The Power Of Social Media
Last week, the internet was taken by storm when American rapper, fashion designer, music producer, and author, Kanye West, returned to Twitter, following a year long hiatus.
West took to twitter to announce his upcoming album, however, he also shared his thoughts on American politics, sparking a social media firestorm. West tweeted his appreciation for President, Donald Trump, “You don't have to agree with Trump but the mob can't make me not love him. We are both dragon energy. He is my brother. I love everyone. I don't agree with everything anyone does. That's what makes us individuals. And we have the right to independent thought.” West’s tweet was met with both praise and outrage from his 28.2 million twitter followers, igniting a global debate over the power of social media.
Days later, West was interviewed by TMZ’s ‘Charlamagne Tha God.’ In the two hour interview, West commented on slavery in America, stating, “When you hear about slavery for 400 years... For 400 years? That sounds like a choice… It's like we're mentally imprisoned.” West’s statement was quickly refuted by TMZ employee, Van Lathan.
Lathan confronted the rapper, “While you are making music and being an artist and living the life that you've earned by being a genius, the rest of us in society have to deal with these threats to our lives… We have to deal with the marginalization that's come from the 400 years of slavery that you said for our people was a choice."
While each comment is up to personal interpretation, West’s actions beg the question, how much influence on social media is too much?
With a great following on social media, comes great responsibility. West has the power to influence a generation. West has the right to express his thoughts, ideas, and beliefs, however, one misconstrued comment could be detrimental to today’s youth.
As social media followers, we need to be independent, analytical thinkers. We need to study each tweet, each instagram post, and each snapchat. We need to be cautious consumers. And above all, we need to differentiate the factual from the misleading.
To quote Kanye West himself, “I miss the old Kanye.”