Social Movement – How Social Media changed Leadership

Screen Shot 2015-04-30 at 10.15.46 AMThe spare time I have is often spent simply observing and questioning some of these observations. Yesterday I was on Twitter observing various trends unfolding … I suddenly realised that although many of us participate on various Social Media platforms we have actually failed to see the simplicity, probably because we always want to complicate and control everything. Rather than trying to understand the process we add our traditional thinking to the process and therefore I have realised we have no trust in the system. When we are unable to trust a system like Social Media, we need to realise that we cannot trust ourselves and therefore look for ways to control the system.

That was a mouthful, but we need to realise that we cannot control Social Media in the way that false influence controlled the mass media in the past. The false influence is just because your money has bought you power, you retain that power by influencing the people via mass media. That is a debate on its own.

Let me explain what I have been observing and let’s start by looking at the idea of a protest. In the 60’s most of the media was government-funded and controlled, to a lesser or greater degree depending on the country you lived in. The idea of a protest would be to get people together around a particular cause, be noticed and make the headlines or TV News. As more newspapers, magazines and television channels opened it was important that as many as possible were running your story. Often we needed media specialists to get our stories far and wide to build support for the cause. The summary of this approach is that because you were unable to be heard as a collective, you needed the media to amplify the message of your cause.

When reading the above paragraph you would assume that with Social Media that the scenario would have changed and that we have the total opposite, because ultimately we all own the media and it only has Mass effect when we all talk about the same message or cause. The assumption is correct but is that the reality we see? Probably not because someone always has a need to force themselves as a leader onto others, often making promises of how he can benefit the cause (smoke, mirrors and lies) only to continue relying on the masses to communicate and keep them in power or so-called influence.

We need to be constantly aware of people who pretend to stand for the cause yet do it for selfish gain. This approach worked in the 60’s but we now all have our own voice and we no longer need that type of spokesperson. The days of being a physically visible collective that gets noticed by the mass media are numbered.

The real question is ‘Do you want to be seen or be heard?’

We often make reference to opinion leaders, these are the people who are able to put thoughts out there for collaboration of the masses. Once these opinions spread and the quicker they spread the sooner these opinions get noticed and the pressure is on for the policymakers and old style leaders to start implementing changes. It may sound complex but it is actually simpler than we would like to believe.


Photo credit: Gregory.Skibinski / Source / CC BY-NC-SA

About RichSimmondsZA

Retired but still Disruptive
This entry was posted in LEADERSHIP, Social Communication and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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