Influencers - What are you influencing?
The term ‘influencer’ is something that doesn’t really sit well with me. Especially when not used in a good way. The definition of an influencer is “someone who affects or changes the way that other people behave.” That, to me, holds a lot of power and can be scary when not used correctly.
What are you influencing? When I look at Instagram and see these self-proclaimed influencers, I think to myself, what are you actually influencing? Other than a life I cannot afford. That you have money and you can spend it however you please? That your thousands of followers should feel insecure if they don’t look or dress a certain way? If you appreciate and respect your followers as much as you say you do, then why can’t you respect them enough to be honest and vulnerable with them?
Judging from the definition, I would naturally presume an influencer is someone who will want to inspire people to do better. I see influencers as leaders as they have the power to change the mindset of others. For example, Donald Trump has the authority to change a country in a matter of weeks if he wanted to. He has the power to move a nation in a way that he desires. Yes, some people may dislike his decision choices but there are also people who will follow anything he tells them.
A headline I read from the daily mirror states that “Around 60% of teens feel pressured to look perfect on social media & influencers may be the blame.” The same article mentions a survey taken by the YMCA of 1,000 British teenagers aged 11-16 about body image. It revealed that 58% say celebrities are to blame, whilst 52% blamed people on social media. It makes me realise how damaging social media can be to our self-esteem. I do believe it is vital for ‘influencers’ to be more open and vulnerable to an extent where they are relatable to their audience. We are the generation that appreciates authenticity and personally, I would respect a person more if they were open about their struggles in life as it is not easy doing so, especially on a big platform and it can also help somebody.
Going back to the definition of an influencer – having the ability to change the way that other people behave, it is not something that should be used lightly. Some of these influencers need to think about what they are influencing other than looking pretty and taking pictures for Instagram.