Influencer is a fairly new term. Before around 2012-ish social media wasn’t radically popular or used by the masses in the age range of 11-18. Instagram wasn’t used as a place to share fashion tips or build a beauty empire. People posted to keep up with their friends and family, not to sell clothes or detox tea to a million young adults with a discount code. This isn’t inherently bad that social media is being used this way now, but is it necessarily good for the average consumer?
We are all familiar with influencers. You might follow a bunch of them, even without knowing it, or you might be one (even I am considered a micro-influencer, lol). An influencer is described as “a person or thing that influences another” as a general definition and “a person with the ability to influence potential buyers of a product or service by promoting or recommending the items on social media” as a marketing definition.
If you follow people with your like interests or people you find entertaining or whatever your niche is, you are being influenced in some way. This can be helpful to your way of living and ental health or extremely detrimental. It can be helpful in the way that you are consuming content that is positive. You are watching reviews about products that actually work, ways of eating and living a healthier life that will positively impact you or learning new ways to style clothes. there are a million ways to be positively influenced that is individual to you and your needs and what you take away from what someone posts. A good example of a helpful, positive influencer is The Skinny Confidential.
Sadly, I seem to feel as if those positive influencers and the good they spread can be overshadowed by influencers that aren’t necessarily bad people but are spreading negativity, even at a subconscious level. beauty influencers are known for spreading drama, which could project to viewers and consumers that follow these people and make it seem ok to constantly be fighting with friends and not taking responsibility for your actions. There are fitness influencers who promote detox tea and edit their photos so much you lust after having a body as perfect as theirs, even though they don’t even have that body. Then comes the hustle and flex cultures. These are by far, I think, the most toxic subliminal messages on social media. Everyone and their mother have a Gucci belt (guilty) and designer goods like Chanel and Cartier are seen as normal products that everyone should have in order to be “cool” or up-to-date with their peers. 67% of my Instagram followers that took my poll admitted to buying a product that they could not afford in order to be seen as cool. It’s not acceptable, not attainable, and needs to be talked about.
Social media has turned into one big flow of “look at what I have” and “I’m rich and your not” even if it is all fake. You should be carefully picking who you follow in order to avoid feeling guilty for not having luxury goods, a two-inch waist, or a life straight out of a coming of age movie., No one does. It’s become very toxic and influencers are influencing people in such a negative way, I even feel it when I am scrolling through my feed. Take the time to prioritize what content you want to consume, and know you are doing perfectly fine. You are doing exactly what you need to be doing at this time and you have everything you need. Follow people who positively influence you and who you trust and I promise social media will make you feel like it should instead of this negative money grab it has become. There are good people to follow out there and they deserve all of the love we’re all giving to the wrong people. Stay positive!