You are on page 1of 5

Nevitt 1

Austin Nevitt

Ms. Mullins


18 January 2017

Unidentified Power

Seriously, who isnt on social media these days? I mean, why wouldnt you want access

to the most efficient means of communication among all of your friends, classmates, and favorite

celebrities? Whether you realize it or not, social media is impacting your life. In todays world, it

is used for almost everything. Friends share pictures, businesses promote themselves, and ideas

can spread like wildfire. You dont have to have an account to feel the effects of social media. Its

power is seemingly limitless, and its potential is forever expanding. Social media is the dominant

force of the 21st century.

Social media is the main focus of society, and people can take advantage of that. Users

spend a large portion of their time on social media, and they often use it to outline and share

whats going on in their lives. Its how people keep each other updated. However, many users

dont realize that people and institutions can and do track their activity. Social media is open for

others to see, and even if you make your account private, the right people can still find a way

to attain access to your posts. This means your profile and posts can be analyzed by other people

without you even knowing it. Many universities around the nation fall into this category. In

They Loved Your G.P.A. Then They Saw Your Tweets. by Natasha Singer, she mentions,

[Students] may not realize that comments they casually make online could negatively affect

their prospects (Singer). Students dont think about this when they are posting or commenting
Nevitt 2

on social media. Colleges have access to this data, and will utilize it if need be. When Singer

surveyed colleges, 30 percent of the admissions officers said they had discovered information

online that had negatively affected an applicant (Singer). This shows that even though not every

college uses an applicants social media profile to help make a decisions, it can still affect the

chances of being accepted. Additionally, there is no way to tell whether or not they are using

your account because they can do so anonymously. Within the article, Singer reflects on several

instances where a university has revoked admission because of what they find on social media.

Even a post by someone else that mentions the applicant could negatively reflect the type of

person they are (Singer). You never know when your account is being looked at and there is

nothing that can stop this from occurring. Social media can be used in this way to monitor and

develop an understanding of someones life without actually knowing who they are. This makes

social media seem controlling, even if you arent fully aware of it.

Because of this idea, people dont realize when they are actually being affected on social

media. People are unaware of the impact that it can have on them, whether it be from somebody

else seeing their data or from them seeing the ideas of other people. This is a common theme

when it comes to politics on social media. In When Campaigns Manipulate Social Media by

Jared Keller, he says, The [American Future Fund] set up nine anonymous Twitter accounts in

early morning hours prior to [an] election that sent hundred of tweets accusing Martha Coakley

of taking money from health insurance lobbyists to other influential Twitter accounts around the

state, linking back to anonymous websites containing further details (Keller). This is a major

example of how politicians can use social media to spread rumors or share their views quickly.

Ideas on Twitter and other social networks spread unbelievably fast. By the time anybody can
Nevitt 3

realize something isnt true, millions of people could have read about it. With such specific

claims and rumors, people tend not to take the time to research them. They simply believe what

they see and dont think twice about it. This could definitely swing an election or a debate in

favor of one candidate or another. Another example of politicians using social media to their

advantage is, [A] group of right-leaning users on the popular social news network Digg were

accused of censoring from the site stories with a perceived liberal bias and promoting stories

with a conservative slant through collective action (Keller). By making fake identities and

accounts, common people were able to support what they believed in more effectively and allow

their ideas to spread even quicker than normal. By doing so, they also could affect ones thoughts

without them even realizing it. The power that these users had on social media was able to

completely block liberal ideas and expose only their own. The general public in society doesnt

realize this problem when it happens. The few elites with power and control over these databases

are able to supply seemingly limitless control.

Major businesses and corporations need to use social media as a crucial source of

production and efficiency. We see the advertisements all over social media, and its no secret

that companies are always trying to convince you to buy their products. In Managing Yourself:

Whats Your Personal Social Media Strategy? by Soumitra Dutta, he is loud and clear,

claiming, Todays leaders must embrace social media (Dutta). If the leaders of society want to

be successful, they have to invest in social media. It is the way of the world now, and is the only

way to have any chance of being successful. It is utilized to establish brand name, connect with

consumers, and reflect on progress (Dutta). Businesses and corporations take control of society

by doing exactly this. How many brands can you name off the top of your head? Im sure you
Nevitt 4

could go on and on and on. Social media is the reason these businesses are able to spread their

name and develop into more powerful institutions. By using social media to communicate with

the public, the elite corporations can perform from anywhere in the world and have the ability to

further develop their reign. They can easily make changes in their own ideas and processes, as

well as those of society. Society doesnt realize the full power and potential that the elite

businesses gain through social media.

Social media is the main source of power through which society and corporations

operate. As technology and social media innovate and evolve, so does the potential power they

have. Society is often blind to what the dominant forces of todays world can do, and this greatly

limits the public. As social media becomes more readily available and more uses become known,

the strongest forces gain control. As a whole, society will never understand the influence that

businesses and large institutions have on them through social media databases.
Nevitt 5

Works Cited

Dutta, Soumitra. "Managing Yourself: What's Your Personal Social Media Strategy?" Harvard

Business Review. Harvard Business Review, 31 July 2014. Web. 18 Jan. 2017.

Keller, Jared. "When Campaigns Manipulate Social Media." The Atlantic. Atlantic Media

Company, 10 Nov. 2010. Web. 18 Jan. 2017.

Singer, Natasha. "They Loved Your G.P.A. Then They Saw Your Tweets." The New York Times.

The New York Times, 09 Nov. 2013. Web. 18 Jan. 2017.