Can We Live Without Internet?
We are all aware of the recent events in the Arab world. Some of us were glued to television stations or internet sites to learn about the latest developments. The peaceful demonstration resulted in the fall of the ruling regime in Egypt and Tunisia.
The political protests started and were organized through the use of social media and the Internet. The failing regime recognized this powerful tool and ordered a shutdown of the country’s Internet connection.
In the midst of all this, I asked myself if I could live without social media and Internet!
Social media tools like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are changing the way that students and faculty communicate, share ideas and build networks. The interest in social media is quickly increasing, and as with many other technologies, the educational community is looking to harness the potential of these resources to improve teaching and learning. While social media is popular, educators need to better understand how to use it to improve student learning, while being mindful of privacy concerns.
According to resources, Egypt's government called the country's main Internet service providers and ordered them to barricade online traffic. Here, the United States could technically do the same by blocking Internet access. The government would call a few internet providers and order them to disrupt Border Gateway Protocols in a way that shut down the majority of American internet traffic. For a complete shutdown, the government would force the country's thousands of Internet providers in order to fully clamp down on Internet access, which would be logistically difficult. It is very unlikely for this to happen in the U.S. because our Internet is bigger, and most importantly, U.S. law prevents such an authoritarian shutdown.
The lessons learned, and the one we continue to learn, must be shared and discussed with our students. These are eye opening events and they are changing the history and the political landscape of the region with global repercussions. The world is definitely getting smaller and we can not afford to ignore or neglect the significant impact of these events as they continue to unfold.