Give me a place to stand and with a lever I will move the whole world. — Archimedes
I’d offer that in today’s connected world, the “place to stand” is an individual’s web or virtual presence and the “lever” is his or her personal set of e-connections. Think about it for a minute. Each of us likely has an e-mail account, a Facebook account, perhaps a LinkedIn account, maybe a twitter account, and some even a Pinterest account. In each of these ways we are connected to multiple individuals who in turn are connected to multiple other individuals. These “social levers” allows us to move (think about an emotional, moving event in someone’s life) a portion of the world (those that we are connected to) with ease. If you have any doubt about this, simply wait a day or two and watch for the next viral video to emerge. That happened because of this tremendous “e-lever”.
The larger our lever (read social network), the larger our ability to influence the broader world with our ideas. In fact, I would argue that the size of the lever (read connectivity) outweighs the power of our ideas. At the very least, it is a multiplier whose value should not be discounted. Aside here, that’s a tough pill to swallow personally as I’ve always placed more importance on my ability to come up with new ideas versus my ability to connect with others.
With that in mind:
What will you do today to build a larger lever?
As always, thanks for the time.
(Credit to Bob Lowry for motivating this post)
I’m glad a previous comment motivated you to write this post, Curt. Your premise is really quite important. The power of leverage based on social media through our hyper-connected world may be even greater than the idea behind the connections.
Sometimes, like in several of the popular uprisings in Middle Eastern countries, that leverage is good. It allows an oppressed society to take the first steps toward righting some wrongs. Many give Twitter primary importance in the Egyptian revolt of two years ago.
But, as you indicate, it is quite possible for silly or dangerous material to take on a life of its own without a firm basis in fact.
Our responsibility is to use our social leverage to accomplish something positive, even if it is just to make someone smile. And, absolutely, we must not be part of the process that passes on false or malicious information. Social media leverage is a powerful tool, or weapon. It is up to us to decide which it will be.