Why Wanting To Be An Influencer Is A Terrible Idea
I’m often outspoken about how harmful I think social media can be. This probably strikes a bit hypocritical considering how much I rely on it for my work. This blog and my writing wouldn’t be as successful without social media, so it does have important uses. But this is the key difference – there’s a way to use social media properly. However a lot of us quite frequently use it in ways that damage our mental health.
Nobody could have really predicted how far reaching social media would become. It’s a part of everyday life and for some people, there is no life without it. Social media titans like Instagram and Twitter how given everyone the potential to have a platform which means a lot of don’t really know how to exist without it.
The problem here is that when everyone has a platform, the notion that one can become famous or well-known increases. The desire for fame and recognition has never been higher. This little idea is warping our sense of reality and our sense of what’s truly important.
In a world where everyone has, at the very least, the potential to become well-known for how they engage with social media, it becomes distressing when those who desire fame do not receive it. We live in a generation populated by people who are addicted to getting more likes, more followers and more shares, because this is a rolling source of cheap serotonin and dopamine.
Take a scroll through your feeds and you’ll see want-to-be influencers with discount codes for some sort of product everywhere. People want to be well-known and will do just about anything to gain this clout. Turning yourself into an advertisement for some capitalistic product you don’t believe in might be a way to do this, but at what cost?
Not only are you reducing who you are to a 20% discount code, you are also basing your inherent value on how other people view you, and how many people know you. This is the crux of the matter. If you want to be a well-known, influencer-type and this doesn’t work out for you, then you will feel worthless because your value is based on superficiality. If you do happen to make it as a discount-wielding influencer, then you are telling the world that your value is to be found in the companies you advertise for. Neither option is a good one.
It is possible and relatively easy to avoid all of these superficial and worthless values – simply stop putting so much weight into social media.
Our lives shouldn’t revolve around social media apps. We shouldn’t be structuring our lives around how our feeds look. We don’t have to post everything we do on social media. Privacy and moving in silence are good predictors of consistent wellbeing. That coffee cup doesn’t need a story. The walk you’re on can be enjoyed, and arguably enjoyed far more, if you keep your phone in your pocket and remain present.
Social media has a lot of benefits, and can be used to enhance our lives. However, right now social media is life for many people, and that’s a huge problem.
The next time you find yourself doing something specifically for social media, in order to be seen by other people, ask yourself why. Why do you need other people to see you to feel important? Why do you need recognition from strangers and acquaintances in order to feel valued? We ALL do this, and it affects how anxious we get, or how content we feel with our own lives.
Use social media as a tool to enhance your life, but don’t let it use you.