- Until recently, the impact of celebrities on youth is vastly discussed. Now, social media celebrities have more influence on people than traditional celebrities. Social media websites such as Youtube, Instagram, Twitter gave opportunities to common people to earn fame and thereby resulted in the rise of social media influencers.
- Social media influencers have a great impact on many people and especially youngsters. Even film celebrities are collaborating with influencers to promote their films.
Impact of social media influencers on youth:
- People trust social media influencers more than traditional celebrities because they are more relatable having the image of a girl/boy next door. Followers and especially youngsters feel closer to the influencers they follow because influencers interact with them frequently. And hence many youngsters follow social media influencers religiously and are influenced by what they say and promote.
- As youngsters are spending more time on social media than people of other age groups, social media influencers have more impact on youngsters than others.
- Brands are also preferring to collaborate with social media influencers over traditional celebrities due to the influence they have on youngsters, and also because the sponsored content is easily blended into the normal content of influencers. Influencer marketing is on the rise and is affecting the purchasing behaviour of youngsters. Moreover, youngsters are more likely to research the product before buying. And they will check the reviews by the influencers they follow.
- Some influencers do not mention whether the content they created is sponsored or not. They promote products for money and mislead the youngsters. A few influencers are also creating paid content in favour of political parties. As followers do not know that it is paid content, they are likely to believe it and may get influenced.
- The food habits of the youngsters are also shaping up by the influencers they follow.
- As influencers are creating attention-grabbing content, several youngsters are wasting their precious time by watching the content.
- Some influencers fake perfect bodies and perfect lives. So, some youngsters are comparing them with those influencers and are feeling insecure. This is resulting in low self-esteem, mental health issues, cosmetic surgeries and materialism. This influences identity formation too.
- Youngsters are listening to different world views and perspectives from social media influencers.
- Some social media influencers genuinely review the products they used. By watching their reviews, people are saving money and are avoiding bad purchases.
- There are so many influencers on social media that promote positive things such as body positivity, financial awareness, ethical values etc.
- With great power comes great responsibility. So, social media influencers should be socially responsible. They should avoid doing things that have the possibility of influencing people negatively.
- Youngsters should be aware of the influence social media influencers have on them and need to make conscious decisions. They should choose to follow genuine influencers who are ethical and socially responsible.
- Parents and teachers also have the responsibility to make their children aware of the positive and negative impact of social media celebrities on their daily lives.
- Regulations should be there on influencer marketing to mitigate the negative impact and to prevent the misuse of fame.
Social media influencers have the power to impact the daily lives of youngsters. However, many young people are increasingly aware of the influence social media celebrities have. So, they can choose the good leave the bad. But, influencers have the responsibility to be ethical.