Published: Sep 10, 2013 10:56 PM EDT
Updated: Sep 11, 2013 3:00 PM EDT

FORT MYERS, FL.- Half a world away, people in southwest Florida are connecting with the crisis in Syria  through social media.

For weeks, they've been using Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to share their opinions, get information.

Jennifer Goodall and her family spent nearly all day Tuesday on the side of the road, protesting against any U.S. Military strikes against Syria.
Even though they're protesting in person, social media has been their backbone.

"Being able to get my hands on reports, articles, pictures," said Jennifer Goodall.

They have even been able to get a first hand view of what conditions are like in and around Syria.

"We have been able to contact people in that region and they can give us their opinion and see what is actually going on," said Justin Goodall.

Dr. Peter Bergerson, a political science professor at FGCU,  says social media is the phenomenon of a generation and extremely powerful.

"Social media has the role now of identifying what the agenda is," said Bergerson.

Bergerson also says lawmakers use sites like Facebook and Twitter to better interpret policy to the public.

"Explain, rationalize, and justify their decisions," said Bergerson.

Now we see all kinds of people discussing foreign policy issues online.

"The internet is just a open forum for people to discuss the issue," said Anthony Leichtweiss.
Leichtweiss created a YouTube video about the Syrian civil war and says the best kind of learning is from good discussion.

"20% of the learning comes from the video; the next 80% comes from the comments," he said.