Can social networks be the ones that have influenced social mobilizations in Latin America and the world in a certain way? As sources of a marketing campaign for whatever, social networks are developing as a double-edged sword for politicians. On the one hand, they are a good way to reach the youngest voters and, on the other, it is where calls to go out to the streets to take them out of power are spread the fastest.
«Now there are billions of people on the Internet, and most of them are not happy with the established order,» said Ian Bremmer, the president of the Eurasia Group, who are investigating potential risks worldwide. “They believe that their local government is authoritarian. They think they are on the wrong side of the system. They are aggrieved by identity policies and an empty middle class, ”he said for the New York Times.
A study by Harvard University has determined that, although social networks can be friends with citizens and politicians, the latter can also repress the enraged masses in cases of corruption that could be detrimental to the government in office ( such as the Chinese case) through a passive intrusion on the networks.
In the Chilean case, and mostly the Latin American case, the spectrum is quite different because social networks are not regularized as the Chinese do. However, it is perhaps even more worrisome. «Bennett (2008) and Dalton (2009), among others, suggest that» obedient citizens «are being replaced by» self-realized citizens «, mention Andrés Scherman, Arturo Arriagada and Sebastián Valenzuela in their investigation of the civic participation of Chileans and the protests they have been exercising for some years now.
These new self-realized citizens that they mention are those who have managed to focus their activity and political participation through civic and unconventional actions (such as protest). Then, to this, they have incorporated social networks as an effective method to deter any politician by putting him in trouble.
So, if this is the new way of protesting, can the protests be a symptom of collective euphoria or a simple effect of socialization in a globalized sphere thanks to social networks? Well, the second option seems the most appropriate. «The daily sources of socialization of young people – family, school, peers, and media – do not exist in a vacuum. They are interrelated and interact with existing institutional and political processes, and the relations between state and society that are an important part of the ( re-) production of social and cultural patterns of socialization.» Sabine Kurtenbach points out in his article Youth Participation in Global Mobilization.
This could lead to a better understanding of the manifestations carried out in different parts of the world and especially in Latin America, and in which, thanks to a more interconnected and globalized world, protest is also shared as a way to change course. of our lives as simple as in the immediacy of a click.