vox populi

Reporting Live from Liberty Square

It’s autumn, the best time for counting “the chicks.” Time that particularly this year “flew past” — so subtly, I’d say. People have come to Liberty Square who have counted “the chicks” and saw that something is not right, “the chicks” are few, but they said there would be many. And now they’ve gathered in Liberty Square, counting, subtracting, multiplying and dividing — yeah, they’re few. 


And so it was decided to conduct a week-long sit-in and the tents entered the square… Someone unaware, passing by Liberty Square might think that a group of people have come and are relaxing in Liberty Square. It’s true, this is the dream of all of us: to pitch a tent, light a campfire, dance dances, sing songs — all in Liberty Square. However, all that ceased to be a dream for some after 2008.


But as they say, “The best new is (actually) the forgotten old,” so today too there are tents in Liberty Square, the mood is the same, and the expectations have doubled. 


And what’s happening in social networks, particularly in Facebook? Here, life is simply “bubbling over”: situations, comments, likes and debates, and these, ideological. If last year, opposition activists weren’t using social networking sites and social media, well today they’re convinced it’s here where they’ll find their supporters. 


And so it is that on social networking sites, particularly in Facebook, you’ll come across the appeals urging people to come to Liberty Square, calls of “Coooooooooome, it’s great,” “What, you’re still in Facebook? Get out and go to Liberty Square,” “Come to fix the country (that’s the opposite of building)” and so on, and people who constantly repeat, “I don’t understand those people who aren’t in Liberty Square right now” and “Today at 6:30 pm come out onto the street, go toward Liberty Square and do nothing.” Several hashtags have been created in Twitter where such appeals are also posted.


Social media… writes every little detail because it knows that my people are sitting — in front of a blue screen — and waiting for this. Several websites also ensured live streaming, immediately writing Levon (Ter-Petrossian) lifted his left hand, then his right. The author definitely notes her authoritative opinion on the matter. 


And suddenly news spread — again by the online press — that the cafes and public toilets around Liberty Square are closed and word spread and some also concluded that this is akin to a “blockade” — they are being forced to leave Liberty Square. 


And I immediately called an employee of one of the cafes adjacent to Liberty Square and she said it’s raining and cold and people are no longer sitting in outdoor cafes, so they closed. And see, what conclusions we drew and what we were thinking.


If you noticed humanity has begun to place more importance on social media, believes it more than, say, traditional media, since this new media is more interactive and here, an individual person too can be the media: she saw, took notice and posted it in her blog; that is, we receive information first hand.


And it is this fast pace that is to blame that social media often rushes and states information that’s not accurate, but there can be no question of being held liable.


It’s fall and there are tents in Liberty Square…


Ani Smbatyan



School: Y. Khachatryan high-school in the village of Agarakadzor

University: Armenian State Pedagogical University named after Khachatur Abovyan, Faculty of Armenian Philology

Favorite book: Stefan Zweig’s The Royal Game

Favorite music: Every style of music is pleasant to the ears except for rabiz (a type of popular Armenian pop music)

Favorite sport: football to watch, basketball to play 

Favorite expression: “If the idea is good, the price doesn’t matter”

The views expressed in the column are those of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Media.am.

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