Instagram, TikTok, YouTube and now the up and coming Clubhouse are social media apps rife with millions of people who have ‘influence’. Instagram alone boasts 909.8 million users this year…and is growing even as I write this post. Being or becoming a Social Media Influencer is a job; for some, it is a career. There are now courses and coaching programmes to teach people how to become Influencers. In fact, in his book ‘One Million Followers: how I built a massive social following in 30 days’, Growth Strategist, Brendan Kane, who has worked with the likes of Paramount Pictures and Taylor Swift, recalls the story of a good actress who loses out on a top acting job due to her ‘follower count’.
As educators, we can think of this what we will, but the future of teaching, schools, university, the world of work and beyond will in many ways be permeated by social media. Although there are several educational establishments using social media in a positive and constructive way, it is not necessarily a central feature in mainstream learning. And, if we want to maintain close relationships and relevance with future generations, it really needs to be.