This year has seen one event after another unfold throughout the world, culminating recently with the Occupy movement all over the U. S. All of these events have one thing in common, the use of smartphones in the hands of the affected population to show what is happening, to the chagrin of the authorities. The smartphone is becoming the most important invention impacting society in world history.
The horrendous account of the recent abuse of authority at UC Davis, detailed magnificently by ZDNet colleague Zack Whittaker, was a prime example of what the smartphone brings to regular people. The ability to not only get the message out to the world in near real-time, but more importantly to keep the message from being controlled by the authorities, is game-changing for society.
One of the first objectives by organizations taking control over sectors of the population is to take over the communication infrastructure. This serves to keep the affected population under control and in the dark about events, and more importantly allows the authorities to control all messages about the action. As Zack so aptly put it, it gives them total spin over the information about events.
The smartphonification of the population-at-large puts an end to the ability of the authorities to enact abusive actions against the populace, without having to answer to the world's stage. Eyewitness accounts, or citizen journalism as some prefer to call it, insure that the world sees things as they really happen, without any spin to make it appear less heinous nor as a deserved reaction to criminal acts. There are too many smartphones with cameras, and mobile connectivity to global social networks that guarantees that abusive actions by authorities, no matter where they occur, will be seen by the world for exactly what they are.
We are already seeing a shift from abusive governments back to the people, and in large part due to the prevalence of the smartphone. This will continue going forward as the technology reaches new areas, and more people have their voice. It is a watershed moment in world history, thanks to those little gadgets in the pockets of many. Communication is a powerful weapon, and it is now in the hands of regular people. To quote a wise man, "spin no longer works."