Is Social Media Changing our World?

Is social media (SM) fast becoming judge jury and executioner? It seems to have an influence in deciding who is right, who is wrong, who is expressing their right to free speech and who deserves to go to jail. SM exposed the London rioters, freed the Robin Hood Airport “bomber”, found Megan Stammers and let the world join in on the Presidential election in America. It is allowing small businesses to be big, and big businesses to be small, talking directly to their clients. It gives us sports results before the “live” feed on TV. And we can now even get news before the news channels!

Last week saw Barack Obama being re-elected as the President of the United States, a picture of him hugging his wife Michelle became the most shared and liked picture in social media history. Users were encouraged to show their support by sharing, liking, favouriting and re-tweeting all over the web.

Even more recently, last night the BBC aired a programme on BBC 3 showing how news of the devastating “Superstorm Sandy” from the US East Coast was spread around the world by people using Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Social media was instrumental in finding the 15 year old Megan Stammers when she ran away to France with her maths teacher in September. Their pictures were spread around the internet within hours of the news breaking, and as a result of the media coverage they were found safe and well – and bought back to the UK.

In the recent Ryder Cup series, we noted in the office that “live” TV isn’t always live. Whilst watching the Justin Rose putt on the 17th (see it here)– Alan’s son gave him the result of the putt from twitter before it had been made on “live” TV. Alan politely asked him turn his phone off for ruining it for him! This is better shown over the Olympics which was the first truly digital Olympics with many keeping up to date with the results on various social media sites. Pictures were shared and the news broke on Twitter of Usain Bolt’s evening activities… who knew the key to winning 3 Olympic gold medals and retaining the title of the “fastest man in the world ever” lay with the Swedish women’s handball team?

Social media is having a profound effect on freedom of speech. Earlier this year we had the twitter joke trial where Paul Chambers had threatened to blow up the Robin Hood Airport in Nottingham as a joke on Twitter. After an extended legal battle, with Celebrities such as Stephen Fry and Al Murray getting involved, Chambers was acquitted and all charges against him dropped.

No one can deny that Social Media is changing the world.

Businesses are promoting themselves in new ways and are able to reach the masses at the click of a button. Massive marketing campaigns are being undertaken and firms can interact on a personal level better than ever before. HMRC are even picking up tax avoiders!

Morgan Harris are using social media to connect to clients, contacts and KBI’s – to keep them up to date on relevant changes in the small business world, their industries, tax news and tips, and the wider news which they may find of interest. As this changes we want to interact with you more, our valued clients and contacts – so let us know how you’d like information from us and connect.

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