Since the invention of media, there have been plenty of changes in its usage. In contrast to the classic mass media like television or radio, todays use is not only about receiving but producing information as well.
This results in blurred borders between consumers and producers which forms the so called prosumer (http://dx.doi.org/10.3916/C43-2014-a2).
Nowadays everybody has the opportunity to publish their opinion and to reach countless people all over the world, which leads to being able to influence people all over the world as well.
The importance of social media platforms is highly expanding which can be clarified by the increasing number of Instagram users, growing from 500 to ´600 million monthly active users´ in only six months (http://www.recode.net/2016/12/15/13971624/instagram-600-million-users-growth).
Therefore a big reach and possibility for influence is given which is accompanied by a responsibility. Especially younger users tend to not be aware of the affect their posts can have on their followers. And it is also the younger follower group which tends to be easily affected on what they see on social media platforms.
While social responsibility used to stay in a smaller range, the invention of social media made it a topic everyone posting open to the public has to deal with. Being aware of this responsibility therefore gets an increasing importance. It has to be realized that it can be used in two ways: one which will have a good impact on the followers by encouraging and helping them or one which will affect them in a negative way and might even harm them.
In my opinion this makes social media a risk and a chance at the same time. The impact it has depends on the way it is used. People tend to talk about the negative sides while forgetting about the advantages which can result in using social media the right way.
We have to put in perspective that social media has its benefits and its disadvantages. It is not about black and white thinking but about balancing out the good and the bad in it.
Therefore I will publish two more blog posts regarding this topic. The first one will work on the negative examples. It will show how the social responsibility can be exploited and used with bad intentions. I will also talk about the impacts that such behavior can have on the followers.
In my third blogpost I will deal with social media users turning their responsibility into something advantageous. I will give examples for the good impacts that publish posts can have.
But I already want to ask you about your opinion on the social responsibility, which influencing users have.
Do you think the advantages or the disadvantages predominate? Maybe some of you even made some bad or some good experiences? Or maybe some of you are in the position of being an influencer? How do you think you are dealing with your responsibility? Or what do you think how it should be handled? Tell me about your view on this controversial topic, I would love to read your impressions.