Is Social Media curating an Alternate History?

Historians studying this decade in the future will have a lot of archival data to work on in re-creating historical narratives and elaborate mindscapes which past maestros of ‘past’ recreators have done over the eras. Social Media is ‘Human Sharing on Steroids’ as the Singaporean Media Commentator Cherian George quipped yesterday at a think tank forum (paraphrasing a tweet from the Asia Trends Monitor and SIIA twitter accounts). History as Voltaire famously said is the victors version of the Story. As my middle school history teacher in Oman said that History is ‘His’- Story or it is our story. With the quantum of information generated every single day, we are indeed dealing with information pollution as the human senses can only bear that much information. 

Social Media is catalyzing revolutions in the Middle East, with Wael Ghonem – the Google Executive in Egypt emerging as a hero for safegaurding the information superhighways for citizen activism. Governments all over the world are trying to curb content defamatory to their interests on social media. Trillions of terrabytes of written, audio and video content for scholars to pour over to analyze and re-frame the narrative, such as the Green Revolution in Iran in 2009 and the Arab Spring phenomenon, occurring in the social media age. Of course there are questions to how much more fair is the content created by the blogging or the tweeting community, as these are educated folks mostly college educated of a certain socioeconomic strata.

Literature in the fiction genre has been considered alternative narratives of events since long and now since people generated content is huge, a more rounded picture of the a phenomenon can be etched. Will look forward to a read regarding Social Media content related to the curation of historical narrative in the near future.


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