As a sort of sequel to my blog about the dark side of Instagram, I am going to discuss social media’s influence on the younger generation. This time I will not only talk about the dark side of Instagram, but also discuss social media as an entertainment tool, and also a place for Influencers or future influencers.
Just like many others, I have an Instagram account. I use it to post pictures, and also document what is happening in my life, well almost everything. I also use Instagram to look for nice cafes, clothing, and also watch make up tutorials. Instagram influencers as well as YouTube influencers seem to have become the centre of attention among the younger generation. I have also noticed that the Instagram influencers also have a YouTube account in order to further spread their ‘influence’ no pun intended.
I have also noticed that the influence of those Instagram and YouTube influencers have altered the younger generation. For example, my half sister who is 13 years old turning 14 next month, enjoys social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram and YouTube. Media platforms that other young people these days enjoy, and she also seems to imitate the Instagram influencers or at least look up to them, in terms of choice of clothing, and how she posts pictures on Instagram. The reason for the massive success of Influencers is that they are relatable and appear to interact with their followers, they started out as people with little or no fame but they managed to build a persona on social media. Thus, when younger people see them they can become inspired and try to strive to one day be in that position of influence.
An example of such a social media influencer is Mariale Marrero was just a university student before she started posting videos about make up. According to an interview, Mariale Marrero stated that the reason why she started posting videos was to find other people with the same interests as her, as she couldn’t find a lot of people at her Study programme who also enjoyed make up tutorials.
When I was 13 years old, I was not interested in fashion, and did not even have an Instagram account. This generational difference shows that despite me and my half sister being ‘only’ 7 years apart in age, our upbringing and digital experience are very different. She seems more active on social media platforms than me.
According to an article titled Influence of social media influencers on young generation, social media influencers have surpassed celebrities in terms of fame, influence and also reliability. The article mentions that teenagers are more likely to take the advice of an influencer they look up to, and some even trust or feel more understood by their favourite influencers more than their friends or family. When I read this, I was shocked as I knew about the power social media influencers have, but I was not aware of just how big the influence actually is.
This also made me think that the public wants to feel like they are understood by people with fame and influence. Celebrities seem to be perceived as way above them. Therefore, they cannot relate to celebrities as their lifestyle is not the same as theirs, but an influencer is more relatable as they appear to take interest in their interests that appear mundane to most people such as interest in fashion, make up, travelling or gaming.
On the other hand, according to the same article social media influencers also had a bad influence on the younger generation as the younger generation have become reliant on the advice of influencers. According to the article, the younger generation needs to become more independent in terms of that they should not idolise people on social media as their intentions are not as good as they might seem. In the opinion of Youth Academy, social media Influencers want to make money.