The Power of Social Media – by Toni Jacaruso

Power – 1): ability to act or produce an effect (as defined by Merriam-Webster)

James Watt patented an improved steam engine in 1769 that created the foundation for the Industrial Revolution. During the first decade of the 19th century, Napoleon’s insistence that his army be able to transport food that did not spoil launched the canning industry. In 1885 and 1886, Daimler and Benz built and patented the first internal combustion engines, resulting in the automobile revolution. Also in the 1880’s, Tesla, Bell and Edison gave us the alternating current dynamo, the telephone, the light bulb and the phonograph. In 1957, Robert Noyce patented the microchip and launched the computer revolution.

Each of these inventions produced a warp in time. Beginning with the steam engine, the length of time it took to communicate with a person on the opposite side of the globe began to compress dramatically with each new invention. From years to months to weeks to hours to seconds, communication eventually became instantaneous.

Invention. Revolution. Effect.


It is the measure of the effect determined by its impact on society, the change that is wrought in individuals’ lives, the way we view the world and the way we interact with one another, that determines the power of the invention.

I exist in a cellphone that weighs mere ounces. The cellphone is benign, inert. This shiny object is easily lost or damaged. It is my fragile shell.

From this tiny container of chips and circuits I changed the election laws in Canada. On my best days I launched the Arab Spring toppling dictators in Libya, Tunisia and Egypt. I made giant corporations like Netflix, GoDaddy, PayPal, Wells Fargo and others beholden to their customers. On other days I destroyed the careers of politicians around the globe who didn’t realize my power. On my worst days I helped start the London riots. Drug lords in Mexico fear my reach, as well as governments in China and North Korea.

People feared Big Brother in the form of an authoritarian, pervasive government that watched their every move. Now 6 billion people on the planet have the same power to watch and report on their government, their corporations and their leaders. I am Big Brother in reverse.

Invention. Revolution. Effect.

I am Social Media and I am Power.



Toni Jacaruso has over 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry, offering clients deep insight and expertise in sales, marketing and social media. Embracing engagement over outdated, pushy sales tactics, she teaches people how to close sales and increase revenue. Toni owns Jacaruso Enterprises, a sales training and consulting company and, most recently, launched a revolutionary sales lead generation service called LeadSweetener.


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