Social media influencers affect our lives in positive and negative ways, when the influencer is genuine and true he/she can motivate people to worthy causes like charities and help people in meaningful ways by trying to solve real problems.
When the influencer is only worried about the monetization side, and is devoid of morals, then the outcome can be no short of dangerous to people and the environment.
Like everything there are two sides to the coin, having the power to influence others can be a great gift or it can be a huge problem, hopefully, we are all smart enough to know the difference between true and false.
What is Social Media Influencers Impact on Youth?
To be able to determine social media influencer’s impact on youth we have to first dive into the mind of a young person and draw a mental map by analyzing their behavior.
Between the age of 16 and 25 years old, these young people are going through quick changes in their lives they are modeling their personality, developing self-esteem, and looking for freedom and power in their lives.
It’s time to start making they’re own decisions and start dealing with money from sources outside of their family household.
Their goal normally lies with having a good life and having a lifestyle that enables them flexibility and freedom, and they’re constantly looking for ways to achieve these goals.
Their Image is held in high regard and being associated with someone who represents a good image, will by association bring them more credibility, so they are eager to identify with someone above the crowd.
Living in the information age they are given access to browse through social media with a flick of a button, access to social media platforms is almost instantaneous as they’re always carrying a cell phone with them.
All these changes, uncertainty, and desire to improve their image combined with easy access to information creates the perfect conditions to makes them enthusiastic and motivated buyers.
But also leaves them vulnerable to outside influence, in this phase, it’s easy to fall prey to trends and whoever shows them what is popular and what is not.
Popularity doesn’t always means quality, it only means more people are following a certain topic if millions of people follow bullfighting does it mean it’s good? it does not, it only means bullfighting has lot’s of fans.
So how are these young people supposed to know what’s good and what’s not? they rely on reviews which are easily accessed again through their cell phones, laptops or whatever their preferred means of gathering information is.
Or by the opinion of someone that has the respect of a large gathering of people, the so-called influencers, the more followers an influencer has the more valuable his/her opinion his.
It’s like all those opinions were condensed, and the opinion of the many became the opinion of one.
That’s a tremendous amount of power and a hidden molding process is taking place behind the scenes, that maybe even the influencers themselves might not be aware of.
This molding of personalities and temperaments has a huge impact on impressionable, eager, and enthusiastic young people, Influencers opinions are helping to forge the personalities and temperaments of younger generations, more so than older generations.
Older generations already went through that process, everyone gets influenced somehow, today we have social media influencers, before we had radio influencers, and then TV came along, and we got TV influencers and so on and so forth.
What is Social Media Influencers Negative Impact?
Are Social media influencers causing more harm than good? let’s go over some of the negative aspects of a social media influencing.
One of the aspects I always questioned since the early days of social media was how they all seem to live a wonderful life, they always look glamorous flawless, and everything seems to work to their benefit, now that can’t be always the case, they are human beings just like you and I.
We have ups and downs, we have bad days and are not always happy so I wonder, how real it really is what they show the world.
I see a tremendous fault in that, because if they portray that image, that lifestyle, why are we mere mortals so much different and experiencing much more hardships in life than they are?
Our expectations of what life should be, change, and we see ourselves as failures comparing our situation to theirs, the bar is set so high almost to the point of perfection we feel at best inadequate when we see their mansions, expensive cars, and clothing that cost the same as your car.
Ultimately this will bring you down, you’ll think less of yourself because you weren’t smart enough to figure out this life the same way they did, they are “supposedly” living proof that life can be like walking on a cloud or so they make it seem to be.
The worst thing of it all is that we believe the lie, or if we don’t completely believe we doubt which can be as disconcerting as believing, but what really grinds my gears it that normally when you see success and if it’s attributed to hard work, skill or intelligence
We accept it, because it was earned, it’s a reward for utilizing the gifts you were given and attaining success through perseverance and hard work over a long period of time.
But social influencers do not possess any particular skill I’m not saying all of them I’m sure there are many out there that earned their status, but I don’t believe the majority did, kind of feels more like a popularity contest, and the popular kids are getting all the rewards.
What Is The Power of Social Media Influencers
With great power comes great responsibility.
Social media influencers in some cases have millions of followers, that amounts to an enormous amount of power, with power comes money, and what happens when large sums of money get involved?
Morals go out the window, like I said previously social media influencers play a big role in shaping and molding the minds of young people, so caution is necessary when promoting any type of product or idea.
Let’s say an unscrupulous influencer (once again I’m not saying all of them are) gets paid thousands of dollars to promote something know to be harmful, it’s guaranteed that many of their followers will be influenced and start using or consuming said product or item.
Money shouldn’t talk louder but we all know how hard it is to resist the allure of money and because they are human just like we are, flawed like we are, there’s a high possibility of that happening.
there are things that are evident but others sometimes are hard for us know, if an influencer starts promoting smoking we are smart enough to know that’s harmful and stay away, but there are things we’re not aware of, there are brands that cause significant environmental problems, and we have no idea.
So if an influencer starts promoting that brand, thousands of people will start buying it without knowing the harmful effect their causing, and no one’s the wiser.
Another aspect is the constant promotion of new products, especially in the fashion industry, there’s always the next best thing, it’s hard to keep track of the many items Influencers promote one after another because undoubtedly they’re being paid awesomely to do so.
This leads to many people spending money on things they do not need just to keep up with the latest trends instead of maybe investing their money on something that will actually improve their lives, invest or save to better prepare them for the future.
I’m making it seem like it’s all bad fortunately, this only applies to the bad seeds of the influencing universe let’s now delve into the positive effects that social media influencers do have on our lives.
What Are the Positive Effects of Social Media Influencers?
Like with everything the potential for good and evil is present in almost every aspect of life, it’s our choices that make a difference in the outcome.
It’s already well established the tremendous power that the skill of being able to influence a large crowd can have, and I gave you some examples of what can happen if this power is used without consideration.
But if we turn the coin we’ll find that this power can also cause amazing beneficial change to the world, many social media influencers have taken up to themselves to try to make a difference for the better
The creation of charities is a good example, raising money to a worthy cause is not outside the realm of possibility in fact many influencers have taken up on themselves and did just that.
By raising awareness to a problem and influencing people to take action they can have a real impact in how things change for the better.
Another positive aspect is the creation of communities around a subject or a topic, the world can be a lonely place, life has become fast and busy once you reach a certain age it becomes hard to make friends and socialize.
We are bound to the work-day life that leaves little room for friendships to blossom, by being part of a community that came together around an influencer, that void can be filled.
Sure it’s online friends but who’s to say you don’t get the same level of engagement and satisfaction from talking to someone through the screen, someone that likes what you like and has similar interests.
And who knows, you might meet in person someday or plan to, and it was all made possible because of the community brought together by an influencer.
Entertainment, the most successful influencers most are the most entertaining ones, and they don’t require a subscription, most forms of entertainment have a cost associated to it.
You want to watch Netflix, you have to pay you, want to go to the movies you have to pay, subscribe to your favorite magazine, channel, etc. you have to pay, well! not with influencers all the entertainment you get is free of charge.
What Are the Characteristics of an Influencer?
You’d have to be living under a rock with your eyes closed and covering your ears to not know how massively powerful social media has become in recent years.
And there are thousands of people capitalizing on that, who knew if you had a large enough audience following your every move would become the gateway to riches.
We know that the bigger the following and engagement an influencer has, the more valuable he/she is, brands want to sell their products, for that they need to alert people to it and turn them into paying costumers.
The more people that are aware of the product the better the chances of a sale, especially when there’s someone influencing that decision.
The most effective way of monetization used to be television who had everyone’s eyes fixated on it, and only some select few had the chance to make it.
But times are changing and now everyone seems to have a chance, but why do so many fail and some make it big without much struggle.
There are many aspects we can look at, these days there are tools that make your life easier, they help you engaging with audiences by doing most of the work for you.
But them alone are not going to be of much use if you don’t have the human traits required to grab attention and retain it.
A good social media influencer needs:
To be Personable
A personable person should be sociable, agreeable and pleasant, people are not going to follow someone which they don’t like if you do not promote a healthy environment or do not get along with your followers you’re doomed to fail.
To be Creative
Being a creative person means always looking for new and fresh ideas to cultivate high levels of interest and freshness of content.
Creating different types of posts or editing, staying informed of current events and being original are great skills to have.
The worst thing an influencer can do is start slacking and allowing their content to become outdated boring and dull
For me integrity in one of the traits I admire the most, the temptation of big profit is always around the corner and staying aligned with what you stand for proves that you are a person worth following.
If your niche is aligned with the health and fitness, don’t promote burgers just because they dropped a huge bag of cash on your doorstep.
This will most likely result in loss of confidence from your followers and a tainted image.
Consistency is paramount to having an audience that is engaged, not to mention its great for business.
Brands are not going to want you to promote their products if they feel you’re not reliable.
Nor will you gain followers as fast as you could and quite possibly lose the followers to another influencer in the same niche that keeps feeding the masses at a consistent rate.
Put yourself in other people’s shoes, know how they feel, and understand how to fill the needs of people, when people relate to your content they’re more likely to create a bond, and bonds are super powerful.
It means trust has now been established and true likeability has ensued, not only will your followers support what you do but they’ll also share your content.
It’s a dismal truth that attractiveness has always been a top factor in our society [under statement of the year] and it’s no different on social media.
People are ten times more likely to follow an attractive person than someone who’s considered not attractive, it’s how we are and there’s not much we can do about it.
Unfortunately, we all have to work with what we have, there’s not much we can do in that regard but we can try to look our best every time we’re in front of the camera,
And you’ll be happy to know someone who’s is genuinely nice and sympathetic automatically appears more attractive.
To be honest I do not know if this last point has any sort of scientific validation but it always seemed that way to me.
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