Last week I had the opportunity to give a keynote presentation to a group of high school students at the 8th Annual International Leaders Summit. I enjoyed the opportunity to speak with high school students about how social media has a global impact and importantly how they can have an impact with social media.
It was honestly one of the first times that I even stopped to realize the tremendous impact of social media.
A few of the things that I discovered as I built the presentation:
- Social Media Really Has Inspired Global Change: People can now communicate in a more powerful way than ever before. And they say that knowledge is power. By breaking down communications barriers people can communicate and connect and drive real actual results.
- Social Media Has Increased Transparency: This is true both for businesses as well as globally. As much as some governments have made efforts to block or censor social media (e.g. China) people have the technology to communicate and spread the word. We saw this in Egypt in 2011 as well.
- A Small Voice Can Make A Huge Difference: The thing is, you don’t need to be a big organization. Anyone with a powerful message can have a voice. If that voice is adding value people will listen. Perhaps it is aggressive to say this, but really, anyone can initiate change through social media (positive or negative).
- News Travels Fast… Crazy Fast: With social media news travels quickly. A message can reach around the world in minutes or hours. Prior to social media we got our news with the news cycle. Now we get our news quickly in real time (don’t get me started on the challenges this creates for journalism).
- Anyone and Everyone Can Have a Voice: There are young people with YouTube channels with millions of views. Anyone, regardless of their age or experience can build an audience and initiate change with social media. Use your voice wisely.