Erik Qualman’s “Social Media Revolution 2013″ under our recommended texts should be moved to required. There was so much impactful information packed into 3 minutes and thirty seconds that I had to go back and rewatch it to understand which facts and statistics were getting the most reaction from me.
Here are the few that struck my attention, organized under my own titles:
- 1 in 5 couples meet online
- 3 in 5 gay couples meet online
- 1 in 5 divorces are blamed on Facebook
- 92% of children under the age of 2 have a digital shadow
Education and Information
- Generation Y and Z consider e-mail passe
- Some universities have stopped distributing e-mail accounts
- Some kindergarteners are learning on tablets instead of chalkboard
- Social gamers will buy $6B in goods by 2013 while moviegoers will only buy $2.5B in real goods
- 90% of consumers trust peer recommendation while only 14% trust advertisements
- We will no longer search for products and services…they will search for us via social media
While we’ve always discussed the significant impact of social media on our individual lives and on society as a whole, this video really draws on statistics and facts that make the intensity of such a “revolution” truly known. To start off with the first category, it is apparent that social media affects our personal lives, particularly our love life. It’s becoming socially acceptable to find a significant other online–20% of all couples and 60% of all couples do. There was a time when using online dating sites was highly stigmatized but with new apps geared towards young people, such as Tinder and Grinder, as well as the acknowledgement of the difficulties of meeting new people in current society, online dating has become an important resource for forming new interpersonal relationships. This has especially large significance for members of the LGBT community, who are overshadowed by heteronormative mainstream society, to finding potential romantic interests. With the benefits also come the negatives. Without context to really understand why 1 out of 5 divorces are blamed on Facebook, we can only infer that a large portion of those divorces must have to do with breaches in privacy as spouses uncover hidden digital footprints revealing unsavory acts. The next stats about 92% of children under 2 having a digital shadow is astounding. What these both imply is that the online world is making more information available about us than possible before and it’s starting at a pretty young age. We will soon see the implications of this early exposure. It certainly means that we need to train the young to be aware of their digital footprint early on.
While I understand the attitudes of young people towards email, I think it has to do with where they are in their lives. I had also thought that email was unnecessary and antiquated until I started coming to Stanford. Email is such an integral part of my life, but my sister, who is 5 years younger, doesn’t yet understand the significance of email because she doesn’t receive many (yet–lucky her). I find it hard to believe that some universities aren’t distributing email accounts because how are their students supposed to gain the social capital necessary to transition into the working world? A lot of the students that I tutor in the area use tablets and computers to learn, which I think is great because it’s a more accurate reflection of the real world. They have the ability to quickly search up a concept on the internet if their book doesn’t provide a sufficient explanation or pull up their emails–yes, these students already have working email accounts that they check on a daily basis. I don’t think that email will step down as an important medium for communication. Going past this point, the use of tablets and computers as early as middle school shows the importance of understanding how to use these tools at an early age because they become vital to our day-to-day lives.
The online world is also affecting the way we do business. The creation of an online world means that a virtual economy has also emerged. This is an incredible creation of a completely new sector–it’s questionable to label it as part of the service sector but can it be part of manufacturing or industrial sector if it’s not even physical? The emergence of sites like Yelp and the prevalence of product and service reviews has shifted the expert role to the consumer. Unlike the industry expert, the consumer is seen as reliable because she is most likely not being incentivized by companies to endorse or condemn a product. The consumer’s assessment is perceived as objective and unbiased while advertisements are seen as untrustworthy. Thus, we see a need for businesses to adapt their marketing to this new world where word of mouth is more visible and prevalent. The last point makes social media even more important–the products or services that we need will look for us. Targeted advertising is a mixed topic for me. On the one hand, it’s creepy in that it relies on collected data on individuals but on the other, it exposes individuals to new products and allows them to discover things that may interest them. But perhaps the biggest takeaway is that our online identity is perceived as being enough to understand what we need or want to the extent where they are satisfied without much effort on our part to look for those things.
It’s crazy to think how different our world has become because of social media. These facts allowed me to compare my current world with the past in a way that really illuminates the effects of the revolution.