Sweep, sweep go the social media

Youth isn’t wasted on the young in the Middle East.

TIME columnist Fareed Zakaria says that the old guard regimes have much to worry about in an era of youth and technology.

Fleet-winged youth may dissipate, though Zakaria reports that 60 percent of the region is under age 30.

Technology, though, might be immortal. Thor, meet Twitter. Zeus, this is a Droid. Osiris, Facebook; Facebook, Osiris.

Gas prices may spike as a result of the tumult, but we should have whetted our oil addiction years ago. What’s now at stake is freedom, especially freedoms covered under our own First Amendment.

Free speech, free press; rights to petition and assemble and worship.

Zakaria puts his beliefs in the power of the people in the streets, yet acknowledges the impact of social media.

“In the old days, information technology favored those in power, because it was one to many. … Today’s technologies are all many to many, networks in which everyone is connected but no one is in control.

“That’s bad for anyone trying to suppress information.”

Yes, it is.

Did Mark Zuckerberg or Biz Stone ever imagine their dinner-napkin ideas could become engines for revolution?

Which tech analyst predicted cell phones and citizen journalists would sweep dictators off the political world map?

The core ideas of what social media and impromptu citizen journalism are capable of have been advanced by the peoples who are least free to use them.

That alone should make reporters, bloggers, techies and phone fashionistas take note.

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