Submitted for your approval, hopefully not your reprimand:
This is my first one of these ever, completely freehand.
There is but one element under my command...
and across the whole world my power has spanned
by so many people, like grains of sand..
(even though my domain has no actual land!)
Most people know of me, from cowhand to newsstand,
I was not always like this, from farmland to Thailand
In my early days, you see, I was quite lean and bland
but now with my influence, I can be posh and grand.
But care is required; thought beforehand.
Much damage is caused by my usage unplanned
But enough about me, and my remarks so offhand:
What's my identity? Think you understand?
If you haven't read the comments, "element" was probably a bad choice of words. Think "force" or "phenomena".
Thailand could probably be replaced with a few other Asian countries, but it was chosen for the rhyme.
One word shows up in the rhymes more than any other. The answer involves it.
Hint 4 (dead giveaway):
You'll need to use it to answer