The Weight Of Influence

It’s a maze this digital world we currently inhabit. I didn’t get my first email address until I hit University. And even then most of my friends didn’t have one either. I had to…like call them, all the while hoping they were home. So I know I’m too old for these kid games. Tonight I brewed a pot of Red Rocket Tea and am attempting to finalize/understand The SampleBank’s Social Media Strategy. Less than 30 minutes in I already have a headache and it’s debatable how much more smarter on the topic I am. I do have a question however:

Do we all have influence?

That’s the basic assumption Social Media is based on, yes? That my Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol review has weight (best movie of the series), Nouvelle Vague’s Buzzcocks cover of Ever Fallen In Love is better than the original (tis, much better) and so on.

Do we all have influence?

And not in some Hollywood cheezy “you can do it” we’re all beautiful aphorism. Like true weight. True value. True influence. And not just in movies or comics boooks but…can I make you smile? Can I make your day better?

Can I help you to stop hurting yourself? Can I influence you down a better path? I mean I may as well use these powers for good…if I have them. (I will be a lazy superhero and forgo tights, especially with all the winter weight I’ve accumulated).

For all our social media platforms we have many metrics to determine how much weight and influence we have: clever ROI schemes to ensure we’re actually connecting and communicating not just talking to ourselves like a dishevelled homeless person. Ok so…what? Flip it now.

How much influence do people have on us? How do we measure that?

I’m not entirely sure we all have influence. Or weight. I’ll have to ponder this some more.

I mean somebody has to make the jokes and somebody has to laugh. Somebody has to lead and somebody has to follow. Isn’t that how it goes? Or is that too black and white? Maybe even by laughing we have influence. Maybe by following we can still be leaders. Right? Somebody has to be Oprah.

I recognize part of this is being uncomfortable…truth has a nasty habit of making people uncomfortable. If I do have influence then I have to learn how to use it. So do you. The hope though if that super power is only for some us…I might be off the hook. I doubt it.

Coming of age didn’t just include getting an email address; it also meant going to a funeral every now and then. And when you go it’s not entirely startlingly to hear the impact that person made…I mean you’re there, you miss em too right?

Being a visual person it’s seeing that impact that hits me the hardest. Seeing how a room fills, how tears flow and how tangible that absence truly becomes.

I think I sort of answered my question.

It’s good to ask a lot of questions…it’d be better to have some answers every now and then.


Also published on Medium.

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