There’s something about the way people at the top of the heap react when they start to feel the hierarchy shift beneath their feet. It’s as though they go through four of the Kübler-Ross stages simultaneously – denial, bargaining, violent rage and depression (actually, that last one looks a lot more like self-pity). Acceptance only seems to kick in once it’s wheels-down in the luxurious-place-of-exile of the now-former dictator’s choice.
With Mubarak, that process is now complete. With Ghadafi, it’s still underway – and every day, the damage to his country and people multiplies. And while the debate still rages over how large a role social media have played in the past month’s events across the Arab world, there’s no question that Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have given the rest of us a window into a remarkable period of potentially profound, historical change.
If you want to see what that looks like, and you haven’t been following Andy Carvin’s Twitter feed, definitely check it out. He has been retweeting tirelessly since the early days of what many are calling the Jasmine Revolution, giving voice to an incredibly diverse range of people.