Statistically it is pretty hard to ignore social media's influence today. We've gone from boring, static websites (Web 1.0 if you will) to blogs (less static, more updating more often--Web 1.5?) to what I have heard some describe as the Sharing Revolution, Web 2.0. These are sites like Facebook with 300 million users now, Twitter's baffling (to some) popularity, etc. where you can share something at the click of a button with tens, hundreds, thousands of people and more, depending on how many are following you.
At first I was thinking that this social media influence is driven out of people's desire to share. There is a lot of truth to this, of course. You see a great (or even just good) movie, you want tell others about it. Buy a car you're particularly happy with, same thing. Tell your friends. Have an idea, make a video and
There is, though, an impulse that runs deeper than merely sharing, however. It's the need to HELP.
Often I find that I want to share a link or a thought with others because I think it might help some of my friends and followers out there in the world. If sharing is the What, helping is the Why.
To me, this means a couple of things, right off the bat:
- Underneath it all people are basically good. Just look at the numbers of people out there who are connecting and sharing and helping each other even if just in a small way. Facebook's user stats alone are staggering. Granted, there are those who use social media for evil just like any other tool, but they are the minority.
- Social media is here to stay, whether in its current form or some newer version (Web 2.5!) which evolves over the next few years (or minutes the way things go around here these days).
Increasing Social Media Influence
This also speaks, I think, a bit to how people should be using social media. Share links and information with others because it would be helpful in some way, vs. spreading gossip or info that might be hurtful to others or have no real purpose at all (note: fun and comical things can even be helpful because they lighten the heart and give a person some lift).
Maybe I'm just an idealist, but I really like the idea that social media and all this sharing could be fueled primarily on people's innate drive to help others and do good in the world.
What do you think? Leave a comment below. I'd love to hear your input on this idea.