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The world is changing; technology is ubiquitous and it is impacting society with each rapid change it undergoes itself. A few decades ago, television was the most exciting technological development, and it transformed society in an unprecedented manner. Today, we’re seeing a similar transformation via the Internet and the rise of social media. In fact, social media is poised to transform society in an even more fundamental manner. It is easy to underestimate the true disruptive potential of social media, a moving target which is hard to pin down due to constant innovation. For example, as a consequence of the widespread adoption of social media, the distinction between the public and private spheres of life is quickly eroding. Whether one is a CEO, the president of a country, a member of the British royalty, or a commoner, everything about one is on social media: personal information, likes and dislikes, and other mundane activities. In fact, everything said or done is now a matter of public record, and nothing can remain hidden anymore. Besides the doom and gloom surrounding social media because of this lack of privacy, however, there is a bright side as well: social media has led to a drastic increase in transparency in society.
The rise and widespread adoption of social media has changed society dramatically. In just a few years, social media has gone from being a platform for young people to connect with each other to being the lifeline of Internet users. Because of its pervasiveness in society, social media has also affected the way marketers connect with consumers and, in turn, the way consumers connect with brands and products. In fact, social media is a much more powerful force than radio and television. Marketers must learn to swim in these unchartered waters and be sure of how to reach the shore. Social media will have an enormous impact on shaping the future of consumption culture. While social media benefits society in a number of ways, not all of the transformation it has brought about has been positive. In many ways, it is a double-edged sword, providing both positive value and negative repercussions for society. Social media addiction and deviancy are real issues, which should be addressed. Marketers should be cognizant of the fact that social media allows users to alter a brand. Marketers must not only respond but also proactively shape social media to be a positive force for society. In sum, marketing media will be permanently transformed by social media.