Since the war in Ukraine became the “first social-media war”, almost everyone on the ground was able to act as a reporter and post their stories from the frontline. Social media is changing the modern war experience, not just for military personnel, but for their families and the world at large.
US Army Colonel John Spencer (retired) author. Modern Warfare: Combined Soldiers: Leadership, Life and Social ConnectionsHe explained that the influence of social media on the military is being felt by this reporter.
Spencer, a veteran of the war, was able to lead a platoon with soldiers in battle and learn for himself how important unit unity was. He said that social media has changed this dynamic after only five years. While social media apps and platforms like FaceTime, Zoom and Zoom are great for keeping soldiers in touch with loved ones, it has its advantages and disadvantages.
Colonel Spencer said, “Like Iraq, 2008, we see platforms like FaceTime and Text as a way to connect soldiers and their families every hour.” After all, soldiers are socially complex creatures. They want to communicate with family members, including their spouses and children.
However, this is not without its flaws.
“Since there is no division between soldiers and their families in space or time, soldiers and families both live in two worlds – war and home,” Spencer continued. Spencer said the soldier is able to keep one foot in both worlds. He can fight wars, but he can also get home pressure every day. The family experiences war, sometimes receives real-time updates on the horrors of war, or at least updates like at any other time in history – ‘Don’t worry mom, I’m fine’ takes on a new meaning. “
Anger and isolation are more common than connections.
Both the family and the soldiers will be concerned if they are not contacted quickly or if it is too late. Talking to your family is a great thing. However, it can also be detrimental to your connection with other deployed troops.
Spencer noted that soldiers spend more time updating loved ones from the frontline than each other, which results in less time spent in bonding and solidarity with fellow soldiers, as well as a big downside in dealing with sharing experience.
Annoyance can also come from those who do not have the ability to connect with their families. This can be worse than not being able to receive a mail call or receive a letter. Isolation can be caused by someone not using social media regularly or zooming in with family members.
Losing lips in the twenty-first century
During World War II, the U.S. military took privacy very seriously – it was common to see posters promoting such warnings as “Loose Lips Sync Ships”, but in the days of social media, it was very easy to share. This can be dangerous for fighters.
Ukraine has shown the importance of having a mobile phone and posting messages on social media sites like Facebook, Telegram and Twitter. Both Russians and Ukrainians have seen soldiers killed for using social media. Sometimes, it happened due to an interruption signal on the posted phone. Spencer warned.
How is war?
One way social media has the potential to change the military experience is to make everyone on the field a battlefield reporter.
Spencer says the Ukraine war has “evolved past the war that people can watch on television,” with live feeds from the battlefields now available to viewers around the world. You can see pictures and videos of the battle scenes just days before the news networks reported. It affects three populations – the military, the politicians and the population – involved in a war and affects local, regional and global perceptions, support and non-support of military action. “
Sometimes information can be difficult to contain. Russia quickly discovered that with the arrival of the report and the trend on social media, it was. Although Russia may have tried to pretend that everything was fine, the photos of the tank destruction posted on Instagram and Twitter clearly show a different side. While it may be able to control the message in Russia, social media provides almost real-time updates from the ground up.
One of the most important lessons to be learned from the Ukraine conflict regarding social media was the lack of information control. Russia has tried and failed, “Spencer said.” The military, the government and other actors must fight for the sake of all peoples and places in the world, not just the TikTok idea. “