100 years ago most decision making was based on your gut feel; maybe with the gut feel of a few people around you. Newspapers added some more information for making decisions. Computers, and especially the Internet allowed you to analyze a lot more data and information before taking a decision. This brought a significantly higher quality to decision making because you could make “fact and information based” decisions – whether it was about buying a new camera, or setting up a new factory, or selecting a hotel for your vacation.
Since a few years, thanks to Web 2.0, it is possible to make decisions based on the collective opinions of the masses – like when you buy books on Amazon or select a hotel for your vacation. Now, Social Media platforms like Facebook and Twitter go a step further and allow you to filter in the opinions of those whom you trust – your Friends. This provides a significant sharpening in your decision making, which is one of the biggest gifts of Social Media – “trusted-opinion based decision making“. This is true for a business decision like selecting features of your new product, or a personal decision like which movie to watch tonight. Opinions includes the comprehensive view of real people with their lifestyle and life experience, making it a far more valuable factor in decision making than just information or gut feel. If 76% of your trusted friends on Facebook were to say that they are very happy with their iPhone, it is a much bigger help in deciding on your next smart phone than detailed information on the features of various smart phones.