How social media might have changed history
If Social Media Existed Back In Time….
These days, social media is such an integral part of our everyday lives that we rarely stop to think about it at all. At this point, the leader of the free world uses Twitter as his most frequent form of communication with his constituents. Like him or hate him, the guy has amassed over 58 million followers – nearly 20% of the American population. And for the 80% who don’t follow him in that platform, his tweets are a regular subject on the nightly news.
Undoubtedly, tweets from the U.S. President and other world leaders are changing the course of history in ways we can’t even imagine. Consequently, we thought it might be fun to look at other historical figures and events and ponder how history might have been changed if social media had been the force then that it is today.
#1: Paul Revere’s ride
Paul Revere is one of the most popular figures from the American Revolution. A silversmith by trade, Revere was best known for a famous midnight horse ride he took through New England in 1775, purportedly shouting to fellow American militiamen: “The British are coming! The British are coming!” Imagine the time and effort it must have taken to single-handedly warn the populace of incoming invaders by horseback...
Today, Mr. Revere’s job would be much easier.
@PaulRevereRides: Yo, countrymen! I just saw a bunch of redcoats headed our way! Get up! It’s game time! Also, Sterling Silver Earrings On Sale this week only. 20% off. #BritishInvasion1775 #GetYourLadySomeEarrings
Dudes! I just saw these guys marching in our direction…
#getupnow #theBritisharecoming #loadyourmuskets #BritishInvasion1775
#2: The birth of Jesus
Regardless of your faith, you’ve undoubtedly heard the story of Mary & Joseph who, traveling to Bethlehem in the waning hours of Mary’s pregnancy, were forced to stay in a manger when the local inn proved to be booked. As the story goes, baby Jesus was born among barn animals in less-than-perfect conditions. But what if Joseph had a smartphone? It may have looked something like this:
@Mary&Joseph: You guys! We’re traveling and Mary is about to POP! Can’t find a hotel room anywhere. Anyone have a couch in Bethlehem we can crash on for a night or 2? We’re expecting three chill friends (royalty, actually) and a baby who will change history! #MustLoveBabies #Pregnant
This belly needs a place to stay in Bethlehem 2nite. Hotels are booked! Any takers?
#MustLoveBabies #OurSonIsASaint #BirthingChairAppreciated #MyMidwifeIsAGoat
#3: Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci is perhaps the most famous artist to have lived during the Renaissance. He was as prolific as his paintings are iconic. His works from the 16th Century such as, “The Last Supper” and “Mona Lisa” probably make him the most well known artist of all time. But what would he have been like on social media?
@LeoDV: Anybody want to grab a cup of wine? Been working on a painting of a dark-haired woman all day and I’ll be damned if I can get the smile right. #Frustrated #PainterProblems #NeedADrink #WineTime
Couldn’t sleep last night. Did a self-portrait. What do you guys think? Does it look like me?
#BaldWithBeard #NoStache #TiredEyes #Grumpy
It’s fun to think about how historical figures would have approached social media. Wars may have been averted, famous love affairs might have been sidetracked via a snarky Facebook post, or diseases like the Plague may not have been so devastating.
We’d like to challenge our readers to chime in. Send us your thoughts on how your favorite historical figure may have used Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. What would history’s greatest hashtag be? What historical event might not have happened if the world was talking about it on Social Media? We can’t wait to see what you come up with. Have fun!