Chapter 14People Are Brands

Youth culture has always created its own brand of alternative celebrities, influencers and counterculture gurus who expressed a worldview that mirrored the thoughts and concerns of the young, in an adult-driven world that rarely reflected their actual beliefs. In the past, these counterculture celebrities, who had no access to the mass scale that traditional media could provide, were forced to bang the drum slowly, building from the grassroots of America, and making their presence felt through the force of their point of view, often one person at a time.

They gave poetry readings in back rooms of smoky bars, wrote provocative articles in hand-published and hand-distributed newsletters, staged happenings, delivered radical lectures in university classrooms, and built their brands slowly through word of mouth. While iconic gurus and influencers like Timothy Leary, Noam Chomsky, Abbie Hoffman, or Angela Davis did ultimately amass a following and influence culture, their audience and their access remained niche.

Flash forward to today's world where social media has created a platform to access audiences on a mass scale, available to anyone with a point of view to share. Suddenly, YouthNation's counterculture niche influencers of yesteryear are becoming the mainstream celebrities and mass scale influencers of our world, sometimes for better, sometimes for worse.

The Newsfeed Is the New Soapbox

Thanks to the proliferation of 4G data plans, push notifications, ...

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