Believe it or not, a lot of people were afraid of Lady Gaga when she first captured the nation’s attention in 2008. Before her, they were afraid of Madonna. Before her they were afraid of David Bowie. Before him they were afraid of Elvis Presley. And so on and so forth.
New can be scary; not just the new “thing”, but the possible affect or impact of the new thing. Once upon a time, people were afraid of cars and electricity. They were also afraid of radio and TV. They were afraid of the Internet and e-mail. And now they are afraid of social media. And so it goes.
Simon Dumenco wrote an awesome column today about social media influence, questioning whether we have reached the end of times… and – more seriously – reminding us that there is a lot of nonsense going on with the valuation of social media and social media influencers.
Using Klout as an example, Dumenco points out that their algorithms identify Snooki, Lady Gaga, Satan and Jesus Christ as some of the higher ranking social media influencers. Draw your own conclusions.
I think the real point here is that social media – like traditional media – has the potential to be used wisely or poorly. It can be effective or ineffective. It all depends on how it is used and who is using it. In short, it’s up to us.