Social media has grown tremendously over the past few years (thank you Facebook). I rarely know of someone who doesn’t have a social media account, it’s either they are on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram, or all. Along with social media, the growth of bloggers has also ballooned (tumblr, wordpress, blogspot). People venture into blogging mostly for business purposes, ads on products and the like, some for self help, diy stuff, some (like me) just for the space to house random thoughts and share experiences.
The internet, especially social media, has become so influential to today’s society, everything is promoted through this platform and people would bank on likes and shares and follows as gauge for their successes. It’s advantageous especially if you’re running a business as exposure on these avenues have very high engagement (click here if you want to know how many people engage in various social media sites each second –> internet live stats). It’s very informative and up to date, you literally have access to what’s currently happening at the moment just by clicking on a hashtag. And well, people go to the internet when they want to know things. I do that as well. When I want to find out about something, I google it and results would redirect me to a number of links related to what I am looking for. Very convenient.
There is too, an ugly side to it. As when you promote and build a reputation through social media, stumbling onto one (just one) tactless and isolated opinion posted online could send your business (and reputation) crashing especially when the opinion is strongly emphasizing (with the exaggerated use of exclamation points and florid words synonymous to abhorrent) how bad your business/product/whatever is.
So what regulates these blogs? I found some sites to be very irresponsible and apathetic with admins just thoughtlessly posting online to comply with the “blogger” status. We can’t deny that some people view blogs to have legit information on things and are oblivious to the fact that not everything on the internet is true. I get that some people blog because they are passionate with what they write about but I also know that some people just blog to come off as someone influential and well-versed about a particular or all things (or maybe they are just plain bored and have nothing better to do with their lives). What qualifications does a blogger need to have especially when doing reviews? Or are they just free to throw out an opinion (whether good or bad) regardless of credentials or whatsoever? How is a review or an opinion on a particular topic/issue valid? I believe in constructive criticism but what if it implies the opposite and is destructive to the business/reputation?
Take this for example. You open a business, shell out a huge amount of money, struggle for a year to make it work literally pouring sweat and blood into the one thing that you’ve been dreaming for so long to achieve and finally start to make a breakthrough and build a name. Then here comes a random person (who also blogs) who felt like he had a horrible experience in your venue and just had to post about it unsympathetically despite having no background, qualifications whatsoever and is unverified. People would stumble upon the post implying that the business is bad and will no longer patronize. So what is the impact of this one isolated post? Well, one possible outcome could be that the business would become slow which means some people might just lose their jobs.
Opinions I believe are subjective, what may be good to me won’t be good to you. What I may find interesting might be dull to you. What I may find flavorful might be bland to you. What I may find trendy might be gaudy to you. So I guess, unless you have studied film or journalism or know the science behind how a particular food is cooked or have a degree in fashion merchandising, all these “opinions” are baseless but then the damage has been done.
It all goes down to how these bloggers take advantage of this wonderful and highly abusive medium called social media. I just wish writers would be more careful when putting words out there as these could make or break. As for blog sites, the posts say so much about the people behind.