I feel that the topic I have chosen to do for my inquiry project has opened my eyes a bit more to the world around me. I have always been one to keenly explore international news, but for whatever reason I never dove deep into investigating the Arab Spring. I guess I just assumed- naively, might I add- that because I am Lebanese anything dealing with the Arab world I automatically understood. I have learned, however, that I truly knew very little about any of the events that made up (and continue to make up) the Arab Spring. I am focusing my inquiry project on the Egyptian Revolution, and through researching the revolution I have realized that I only knew the oversimplified version of events that took place in Egypt. There were copious grievances regarding the state of Egypt before, leading up to, during, and now after the revolution that I had no idea about. Exploring my topic for my inquiry project has genuinely made me realize that there are so many factors that have played into the Egyptian Revolution, and while I am working on learning everything I can, I have just scratched the surface.
On the other hand, I have found a common, undeniable theme in the Egyptian Revolution: social media, beyond any doubt, played an enormous role in the revolution. Various social media platforms were used to educate and inform others of the growing issues Egyptians faced as well as share pictures and stories of police brutality and oppression. Facebook was used to share such information and stories, as well as where the majority of protests were organized. Twitter was used to spread live updates from the protests, as well as provide individual whereabouts and emergency information (such as increasing police force presence). The incredible surge of social media use in the Egyptian Revolution reflects the popularity social media has gained in recent years, and as the primary text I am using in my project shows, social media sites Facebook and Twitter are among the top ten most visited sites in the world.
The primary text I am using in my project lists the 500 most frequented websites in the world. Facebook ranks second and Twitter ranks seventh globally, but in Egypt the number one most visited site is Facebook. From a sociological perspective, it is easy to see that human social behavior is becoming evermore reliant upon social media. The incredible popularity of these sites indicates that people use and rely on social media platforms to communicate and interact with one another.
In the next ten years, I expect the primary text to change slightly. Currently, the number one most visited site in the world is Google, and I do not expect that to change within a decade. I also expect Facebook to stay put as the second most visited site in the world. I do think that Twitter will move up in rank in the next ten years, most likely to third or fourth place. It seems to me that Twitter is continuing to gain a lot of users, and it is becoming difficult to find someone who does not use Twitter, so I very much so believe that in ten years it will become the third or fourth most visited site in the world. I expect that the primary text will still prove useful to those who wish to know which sites are the most visited in the world and individual countries (the site grants visitors the ability to view the most visited sites by country as well as globally).
Because of the simplicity of the primary text, I do not see it having many limitations in the next ten years. Alexa, the company which publishes the global rankings, measures how much traffic a website receives based on the site’s estimated daily visitor average and page-views in the course of three months. The company then determines rank based on how well the site does compared to all other websites on the web in that three month period. Thus, Alexa provides recent data. I do think that because all data presented is recent, a limitation of the primary text could be that it does not provide insight into past ranking. Data compiled over a three month period is useful for the here and now and could potentially be applied to the past, but in a research paper or essay the data would prove much stronger if compiled over a longer period of time or if it provided past data as well.
Looking back at this post, I believe that I wrote from the heart; I genuinely feel as though I have gained a lot so far from this inquiry project. I think that this post reflects my desire to convey to all who read my project that social media played a big part in the Egyptian Revolution. I think that the post also shows that I am constantly thinking about my project and that I am trying to look at my primary text from all different angles to ensure that I make my argument as accurately as possible.
As I re-read this post, I think that my argument is heading towards asserting that social media influenced or played a part in the events of the Egyptian Revolution. I think my argument will be something along the lines of: Social media giants Facebook and Twitter played a significant role in the Egyptian Revolution.