What Social Media did to Media

Social media and main stream media



Growing up granny had this special radio; a wooden AM receiver Supported towards the middle with rubber bands. There was something of interest with this gadget that only he could tell. Mark you no one dared touch that damn thing. You only got closer, stretched your shaky fingers about to have a feel then imagined he will spot those sticky finger prints and call out “TONY!” in that thunderous hoarse old voice. Then again this ‘special’ thing was KBC default. May those of us who relate chorus Ahem! It got me thinking that only one radio station existed and radio broadcasted news only and that those “niggas” just sneaked into that thing late evening to say news and off they were gone!

Most of the time my mind strays to those days. Those days that me and you dint exist. When the world was not a global village it is. When the world was not as connected as it is or perhaps will be say by 2050. I mean the days when grapevine was word is. That was long long time ago when God was a teenager. You couldn’t know how your neighbor was fairing on until you saw some smoke and nodded “they are cooking” right? But wait. Couldn’t that as well mean their house was on fire? Or perhaps they could well be disposing of dirt by burning. Confusing? True it was.

Exit the “special thing” enter social media and word in town is Facebook, instagram, twitter, Gmail, yahoo and lately watsup just to mention but a few. In this era and time social media is the mother of all news be it grapevine. Be it mainstream information. It must all bear origin there. So they say what happened yesterday is on Facebook! I must confess I get most of the news from social media before confirming with main stream media! My guess just like yours is right. What? Just like Mafisi Sacco we are many.

Social media has occupied such a central and key role in today’s lifetime that the kids born in 2017 might as well conclude it’s the fourth basic need! Wore unto them. Socially, politically and economically, social media is dominant. Listening to that “special wooden thing” my mind would race questions. Does it mean the guys speaking fit in this damn small thing? I mean how do they survive? Can’t they come out and perhaps say hi? These I asked myself. Not granny who worshiped that damn thing! On and on I wondered how media say radio made money?!

No one has ever explained that. Time however has informed that media makes money primarily from some form of tyranny of numbers. The more the viewers the bigger the brand the greater the command. The more the listeners, the bigger the reach. The more the readers the wider the reach. The more the followers bigger the stamping. This too translates to earning. Media enlisting electronic and print creates content. This content is tailored to suit and meet the needs of a given mass either grouped or non-grouped. Over time they create a following. Businesses thus access the masses through the media by way of advertising to grow their brands by converting them into consumers for goods and or services. The primary role as to why media exist is to Entertain, Educate and inform. Media thus is a big influencer. Social media whoever is the trendsetter.

Social alike has thrived allowing people to have fun, interact and interconnect around the globe and that’s business. Its social media that has shaped the face of media lately. Take the paid up Facebook ads for instance and the magnitude of reach worldwide compared against the phenomenal say TV ad commercials that are only guaranteed to reach those who are watching at the time and point of broadcast. My friend Jack jokes “People do not endure commercial breaks, they take bathroom breaks!” So everyone chooses to do business the fun way best put, the social media way. Social media manager for instance is a distinguished career. There’s even a crop of young social enthusiasts who earn just for being on social media. They are established brands and faces to reckon.  The savvy noisy kids who hail from Twitter A. You know twitter A?

Talking of social media and especially the social impact, you can’t close a social media debate without highlighting the social causes it has helped wield. To site a few home examples; the justice for Liz campaign that saw the perpetrators brought to book. The countless pro-democracy campaigns by re-knowned human rights activists Boniface Mwangi of Power 254 staring Langata primary school private developer saga among others. The Facebook inspired 147 is not a number; its Vigil memorial commemorating the loss of 147 lives via the lethal Garrissa University attack. Just the other day “Allister Belongs to jail; the pilot who slapped a female police officer. Yes he’s behind bars courtesy of social media. Forget about him will tell you about some English speaking street kid who just got social media buzzing…that’s if you promise to pass by next week. Shall you? Deal.


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