In & around 1440, Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press. He was a goldsmith & found that his skills translated into etching out type that could be pressed into paper. This single development shifted power on a massive scale. Now anyone who was able to become literate could spread information on a massive scale.
Today, we’re in the midst of a new communication revolution. The Internet & social media has given power to the people. Anyone with a keyboard & access is able to have their voice heard around the world. The implications are staggering. In the United States, 6 corporations own roughly 90% of the media in this country. This isn’t conspiracy theory stuff, this is well documented and researched. That means everything that the average person knows comes from very, very few sources. In short, you’re not getting the full picture. Social media however, is helping to change that. It is giving voices to billions of previously voiceless individuals.
Don’t believe in the power of Social Media?
We had two massive case studies this week.
First: one tweet from Taylor Swift shut down the largest most powerful corporation in human history.
Second: a single picture which made the rounds on social media after a horrific shooting is spurring the complete shutdown of the confederate flag.
Just think about this for a moment, a 25 year old pop star caused a complete re-think of a multinational conglomerate by writing “We don’t ask you for free iPhones, please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation”. That’s it, that’s all she wrote. But rather than endure the wrath of her legions of loyal fans & social media junkies, Apple retreated and reversed their corporate policies.
As for the confederate flag, it withstood the civil war, but not facebook. The backlash from the tragic murder of nine churchgoing folks, and the resulting outrage, is causing states, and corporations to instantly and completely distance themselves from the symbol. The confederate flag stood after the deaths of millions, stood after the jim crow era, stood at the death of MLK, but fell after outrage was shared, retweeted & reposted.
Social media is powerful, one voice can be powerful, your voice can be powerful.
I’m writing this in hopes that it spurs some thought in a few people.
What are you using your social media profile for? Does it look something like this?
Facebook: OMG, just had a great dinner ‘selfie’…
Twitter: Can you believe that this happened today in sports
Instagram: Check out this picture of my car
Or are you using it to change the world?
Make your voice heard.