Insights · April 18th, 2011

This is a great question addressed by Time magazine last week. Although I personally try not to devote too much time to social media, they make a great comparison with the internet  and it’s beginnings  – “Were Netscape and the Web enhancing our economy, or were people just spending more time at work checking out ESPN.com”? I know it took the older generation a much longer time to adapt to using the internet and the same may be true for social media, but will it be good for everyone? I think most people, at least in developed countries, would agree that the internet is now vital to growth and sales for many businesses, and the same may soon be true for social media. This may look good to some, however, the vast majority of people still do not have access to the internet at all. In the Time magazine article they sum it up quite well:

Time TwitterLike so many things these days, social media contribute to economic bifurcation. Dynamic companies are benefiting from these tools, even if the gains are tough to nail down in specific figures. Many individuals are benefiting too, using LinkedIn to find jobs and Groupon to find deals. But for now, the irony is that social media widen the social divide, making it even harder for the have-nots to navigate. They allow those with jobs to do them more effectively and companies that are profiting to profit more. But so far, they have done little to aid those who are being left behind. They are, in short, business as usual.

Writer: Catherine Otten was a Program Manager and Administrator for Futurist.com in 2007 and again in 2010-2011. We lost her to cancer in 2016. An avid outdoors woman and mountain climber, Catherine was especially passionate about the environment.

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Nikolas Badminton

Nikolas is the Chief Futurist of the Futurist Think Tank. He is world-renowned futurist speaker, a Fellow of The RSA, and has worked with over 300 of the world’s most impactful companies to establish strategic foresight capabilities, identify trends shaping our world, help anticipate unforeseen risks, and design equitable futures for all. In his new book – ‘Facing Our Futures’ – he challenges short-term thinking and provides executives and organizations with the foundations for futures design and the tools to ignite curiosity, create a framework for futures exploration, and shift their mindset from what is to WHAT IF…

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