By MATT SCHULER, Digital Architect, Marx Layne

“Social Media has created a human filter for quality content,” writes Vadim Lavrusik for Mashable. It’s the lede of his article on “Why Social Media Reinvigorates the Market for Quality Journalism.”

I’d like to take the premise a step further, because social media really reinvigorates the market for nearly everything.

Just as ten years ago, Google made it easier than ever to search for something online, now with social media it’s easier than ever to get a friend’s or acquaintance’s opinion to help you make a better decision.  That decision could be any number of things, from the meaningful decisions we seek guidance on every day, to the less meaningful ways to spend five minutes on the internet: looking at a captioned picture of cats, watching a video of a adolescent girl turning to the Dark Side, reading an article of what happens next in the latest Facebook lawsuit.

In both respects, social media is raising the quality of sharing information. There are funnier times being spent on the internet and more informed decisions are being made every day.  Just recently, a couple of friends were looking to buy a new car. They turned to Facebook and their friends there and ended up making a great purchase.  Then a week later, a mutual friend was starting his new car purchase.  He was told to look back to the previous advice shared on the social network and is closing in on making his decision as well.

We can trust the personal recommendations that our friends make because they are friends. Similarly, there’s a growing value in the social media space because of that human filter for quality content. We don’t have to rely on an algorithm; we can rely on a person. In social media, if someone makes a bad recommendation or if that link just wasn’t funny enough, it’s easy to unfollow them. Similarly, if someone keeps making quality suggestions and gives informed opinions, it’ll be easier to take their advice when looking to make the more meaningful decisions we often face.