My original idea was to investigate the power that large businesses have today compared to the power of the US government. In pondering how this argument could be intertwined with the theme of the influence that communication has on civilization I began to research on the internet. A few weeks ago I read the letter that Apple released to their customers in regards to their struggle with the FBI. I have not continued to follow the news on this subject and decided to check back in on the debate. Performing an initial internet search returned countless new statements, videos, blog posts, tweets, etc. This got me thinking about the power of social networks.
Never have we seen a time in history when so many opinions can all be voiced and have the potential to be heard by the masses. Never in history have we been able to see so many people rally behind an issue so quickly. It is incredible if you stop to think about how many people are able to pick a side on an issue so quickly due to information being able to spread quickly and so far-reaching. Communication is truly changing the future of our civilization.
This example with Apple illustrates the power of the masses. In the 21st century one person can have an impact with a single idea. A person can gain a following very rapidly due to the means of communication available in our day. Followings have the potential to go viral. Followings are not limited to geographic areas. Communication in our day is a double edged sword. While the opinion of the masses can be good for society, it can also lead to terrible things. In the recent light of Apple vs the FBI we are seeing a push for the protection of personal information. A company is willing to defy a government's demands and the company is amassing vast support from fellow businesses and individuals. However what will happen to our society when a company is able to defy the government in ways that will harm citizens? Will we reach that point within the next few decades or will the government always have the power to protect individual citizens?
Social proofing my idea with friends and acquaintances has proved that many people agree that big businesses have large amounts power. Several people have disagreed about regulations regarding businesses imposed by the US government. There seems to be varied opinion on this topic and many people have strong views. However I have found that a general consensus exists and people agree that competing power between the government and companies is a real phenomenon.