Harness the power of social media and you have the world’s biggest army.
Alice Lombardi Vanquish.
The revolution failed back then, but now things are different. Now we have the means to speak to the people like never before.
Basically this is just one huge flash mob conjured up by Twitface and the like.
Alice Lombardi Vanquish.
For many of us, visits to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and other such platforms are now a regular part of our daily lives. We join groups of like-minded people, pop into chat rooms, support campaigns and comment on forums. Millennials and Generation Z were seemingly born complete with username, password and avatar, but statistics indicate all age groups seize the opportunity to connect and share.
Allowing for overlap, Facebook (founded in 2004) and Twitter (with us since 2006) have a joint membership of more than one and a quarter billion. Put another way: they reach a seventh of the world’s population. Instagram (operating since 2010) boasts eight hundred million users each month.
Has social media changed the world?
How could something so vast not have done so? The delivery of news, sharing of ideas and expression of opinions has changed forever.
For many it has become an addiction: the first thing they do in the morning and the last before they go to bed. In between times they avidly check their accounts for ‘likes’ and retweets. Recently I sat near a group in a restaurant who were all far more interested in their online friends than those whose company they were in. Phones out, eyes down, no verbal conversation. When their food arrived they took and posted photographs of it. I’ll make no judgement.
Is social media a force for good or evil?
Everything has its up and downsides.
Positives include the breaking down of cultural barriers, businesses being able to amplify their brand to a much wider audience along with improved recruiting and career-building opportunities brought about by networking. On a more personal level it’s easier to stay in touch than ever before. Those who are housebound for whatever reason are able to reach out and feel less isolated. Good causes get a boost, effective campaigns are mounted and friendships founded.
Along with the internet as a whole, social media gives people a voice and a platform from which to use it. It has to be argued that in some cases these voices would have been better forever silent. Cyber bullies, armchair warriors, hate preachers, spreaders of fake news and those who simply have nothing better to do than cause mischief while hiding behind a false identity.
Currently we are seeing governments attempting to control and censor social media. It’s hard to see how they will succeed. The internet, and social media along with it, has flourished through the sheer power of its users and they are unlikely to allow their freedoms to be curbed.
Love it or hate it, social media looks set to be with us for a long time to come.
The big question. Could social media bring about a revolution?
Read our latest novel Vanquish to find out.