Internet users of all kinds have probably encountered advice that they should have a social media presence. There are many inducements: entrepreneurs will attract more business; jobseekers will find their desired positions, and influencers will become famous and wealthy. The blogging phenomenon began in the US in the late 1990s and reached SA in 2004. But Google Trends shows that interest in blogging was 10 times more popular in 2008 than it is now. Peer and media pressure spurs people to emulate bloggers who have massive numbers of followers. Today, audiences have moved away from blogs to social networking sites like Twitter and Instagram. In SA, banker Michael Jordaan has more than 170,000 followers on Twitter. Media personality Bonang Matheba is approaching the 3-million mark. Social workers Ruth Mphahlele and Tebogo Fisher say that the attraction to these sites is fuelled by vicarious pleasure — when people see something on social media, they want to share the experience. Partic...

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