Over the past decade or so the Internet, and in particular social media, has changed the way we consume things as people. Before the social media boom of the mid-2000’s, the Internet was looked at as somewhat of a luxury, and was not necessarily a service that one absolutely needed. People may still look at the Internet this way, but the reality is that life would be extremely difficult without the use of the Internet. Not only is social media being used as a way to stay connected with other people around the world, but it is now becoming a main source for people to get their news from. With the rise of social media comes both positives and negatives. Yes, it has led to the fact that people are more inclined to interact online than in real life, but social media also has some positive impacts. The main one being that it is a platform for people to share and explore their creative interests, and it is providing jobs that were non-existent before the rise of the Internet.
Social Media has created a whole new dynamic for the way goods and services are consumed. Whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube, social media has many different platforms where different things can be accomplished. Facebook tends to be the best way to stay connected with friends and family. Twitter has become a platform where most breaking news is released, and even our own President uses it to address the people of the nation on a daily basis (whether you like it or not). Instagram and YouTube has allowed creative people interested in photography and film to share their unique interests and ideas. Before social media, it was much more difficult for people to get their opinions and interests heard by a large amount of people. Now, those same people have a platform to share what they want with the people they choose.
YouTube alone has created a new form of celebrity with the video blogger (vlogger). These people are getting paid by YouTube and advertisements to share and discuss their interests with the viewing audience. For example, there are people who were interested in film their entire life, but found it difficult to break through in the industry. These same people have turned to YouTube as a platform to review, discuss, and analyze films, and now they are getting paid to do it! The same thing goes for people who were interested in video games. Those people are getting paid a large amount of money to share their gameplay and reactions to games with others. Just to put in perspective how popular these vloggers are really becoming, one of the most popular YouTube personalities (username of Pewdiepie), makes an average of about $7 per 1,000 views. Given that he gets nearly a million views per video, his average income has risen to about $4 million per year. Now some people may think this is a ridiculous amount of money to give a video blogger, but because of the popularity and money that goes into social media, these people are simply capitalizing on one of the fastest growing industries on the market.
Social media has become its own industry, but you don’t have to be the star of your own video blog channel just to reap the benefits. The social media industry has led to the creation of jobs with companies that have been around from before the Internet even existed. That is because every company nowadays, whether large or small, must have a social media manager that tries to keep the public perception of a business a positive one. These people are responsible for managing a company’s public relations, making people aware of new products and deals, and trying to be an interesting and up-to-date social media account. The people in these positions tend to be under more scrutiny than one would think. If they run a successful social media account, they can add to the popularity of a business by a large margin. For example, the Twitter account for Wendy’s has become one of the more popular and talked about accounts on the Internet. Their account has become so popular because they are known for making fun of and criticizing people on social media. While this may just be a gimmick to get more attention and followers, those same followers will see all the advertisements and food deals on their account, which may make them spend money at the restaurant. On the reverse side, if a social media account is boring (or worse, controversial), it can lead to a negative stigma for the company. Major corporations are relying more heavily on social media to do business, which has increased the importance of having a good social media manager.
It is true that social media has had negative impacts on our society. However, the benefits that come from social media cannot be overlooked. It has provided a platform for people to voice their opinions and interests, and it has changed the way businesses advertise their product. The Internet and the evolution of social media has created jobs that were non-existent just several years ago, and it will be interesting to see what new jobs it can possibly create in the future.
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