This upcoming paper suggests that people, like me, can influence vast audiences:
Online Social Networks can be Tipped by as Little as 0.8% of their Population | The Central Node: “we were able to process a 1.4 million node sample of the Dutch social network Hyves in under 13 minutes. Further, we demonstrated that the seed sets in real-world online social networks can be very small. For instance, in a sample from the Friendster social network, we found a seed set that consisted of only 0.8% of the population. We validated our algorithm with a set of comprehensive experiments on over 30 real-world social networks.”
In short, influencing a very small number of people in a social network creates a herd effect that can have far reaching impact on opinion. This is why I’m scared. I should not be able to sway your opinion. You should be able to think for yourself and make your own decisions.