While many of us use social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter, for fun, it has developed into a important information track when there is an uprising, like the current issues going on in Egypt.

Just like in Iran last year, the youth of Egypt has taken to the streets in protest of their President and demands for a more free life. They are using sites like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to get their message out and stay in contact with family members.

Unfortunately, just like in Iran, the Internet and cell phone systems were quickly shut down in an effort to create a media blackout. This ultimately has made the situation worse. Despite calls from the United States to allow access to the Internet, social media sites and cell phones, overall access is still minimal, at best.

The past situation in Iran and the current situation in Egypt shows exactly how powerful social media has become. It has gone well beyond a source of fun or getting back in touch with old friends. It is now a source for hard news and ways to stay in touch with people and media outlets from around the world. In fact, social media has been the source for many news agencies as they attempt to cover this difficult situation. It shows exactly how much the Internet has changed our lives and has been a catalyst for social justice.

Andrea Lyn Van Benschoten is a specialist in SEO, social media, blogging and content development.

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