Rising To Social Media Rockstardom: The Newest (Overhyped?) Path to the American Dream

September 16th, 2009 |

About

Interactive Marketing Consultant for The Ocean Agency, recent college graduate, and fan of all things social, whether online or off. To find out more about what I do online, go here

Do you remember the first time you read a blog? What about the first time you went on Facebook or Twitter? Did you ever think that a blog or social networking site could be a road to fame, fortune and the American Dream?

The power of the American Dream lies in the underlying notion of social mobility: Anyone can make it to the top through hard work, dedication, and an innovative idea. Regardless of whether or not the American Dream today is fact, or merely a powerful fantasy that distracts us from larger social problems, I think we can all agree that a mastery of social media is touted as the latest route to achieve the American Dream.

American Dream?

I believe in social media. It has absolutely revolutionized the way we communicate and relationships between brands and consumers. We live in an exciting time when it feels like anyone can become successful by using social media. There are numerous examples of social media success stories, from blogs like Perez Hilton to Pro Football Talk to Nah Right that rival (or outshine) major media sources in their niche, to those like Richard Scoble, Chris Brogan, and Pete Cashmore who have become social media celebrities based on their (near) obsession with connecting people and social technologies. There are people who have achieved fame, influence and following via social media in any industry or niche.

On the surface then, it appears that anyone can achieve social media rock-stardom and drive 140 MPH on the social media highway that leads to American Dreamville. While integrating social media into our lives may seem like common sense, we have to remember that not everyone “gets it”, and what’s more, there are many who don’t have the education or resources necessary to use social media to achieve their goals.

To all of those who have become successful using social media, I have something to say to you:

I bet you would have become successful without it.

The social media blogosphere today likes to attack individuals for their failures, especially when it comes to adopting social media. This kind of bashing is fine when it’s aimed at those who are too stubborn to adopt a new technology or those who think that social media is a fad.

But what  about those who haven’t been fortunate enough to get good educations that allow them to communicate effectively? Or those who did not grow up around the internet and understand its consequences?  What about those who don’t have the luxury to take a certain amount of time off to build up a business in order to have a four hour work week?

In our praising of social media as a powerful route to success, we need to remember that there are those who do not have the ability to use social media effectively, not because they are stupid or stubborn, but solely because of unfortunate circumstances.

Am I being overly critical? Do you think we all start at an equal playing field with social media?

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4
Daniel Prager
  • http://www.webimagedesigns.com Liz Gallagher

    Hi Daniel,

    I think anyone can be successful using social media. The problem is that many business owners don’t understand how to use social media and how it can impact the success of their company. Many of them are overwhelmed with the choices of what they should and shouldn’t be doing to promote their business online. Once they understand the myriad of choices, they can determine the best way to promote their business online.

    • http://www.theoceanagency.com Daniel Prager

      Hey Liz,
      Thanks so much for the comment. I wholeheartedly agree with you that every business owner should develop and implement a social media strategy.

      This post was mostly focused on those who are looking for individual fame and success through social media. It takes a lot of education and internet savvy to run a successful social media campaign from the ground up. As early adopters and social media advocates, we sometimes take that for granted. Thanks again for commenting.

  • http://www.zacharyadamcohen.com/farmtotable/ Zachary Cohen

    I think you mean robert scoble

  • Christinecelise

    Enjoyed reading this but it stopped abruptly. Wish you could have gone deeper.