Influence – the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself.
A term that I’m sure we all consider familiar, within social media, rather “influencer” has transcended various platforms and popular culture. Kevin Roose of the New York Times speaks to the volumes that influence culture.
“When the first TikTok star is elected president, I hope he/she will save some room in her cabinet for older and more conventional bureaucrats.” Which initially sounds extremely radical and hysterical until you dive into the facts pertaining to Roose’s statement.
In this blog post, I’ll be taking an inside look at influencer culture within social media and the effect it has on the American people.
Many of us tend to have strong opinions either positive or negative pertaining to influencers. Regardless of your personal viewpoint, many of your favorite brands have put these influencers in position to shape popular culture and trends within it.
Influencer culture isn’t relatively new to social media but we’ve seen it begin to rise over the last 2-3 years and make certain Individuals famous and financially wealthy by simply being a figurehead.
From a communication standpoint, it’s extremely interesting to see brands choose individuals who have obtained stardom via Tik Tok and YouTube rather than conventional athletes and actresses. Not to mention the content dedicated to the pursuit of becoming an influencer with fabricated shows like “The Circle” and “Instafamous” on Netflix.
As you might remember from this week’s lecture, the majority of consumer audiences tend to catch onto trends late rather than early. Influence culture often expedites that process as well as serving as the figurehead of certain products and campaigns.
But this raises an extremely interesting question, aside from money, what is it that drives these individuals to obsess over becoming famous via social media? The answer is clout.
Clout has proceeded to shift the motives of young people and their motives for using social media. At its core social media is still used meant to be a tool to connect with family, friends and potential companions by way of mutual interest.
Unfortunately those values have been subdued by way of clout, it’s undeniable addicting, the opportunity to be socially accepted by people we’ve never met is assuring and thrilling for the psyche. In an era where mental health has become a trending topic, a lot of us tend to seek healing and love through our phone screens.
Furthermore, certain individuals who end up obtaining this clout are forced to develop an alter ego in an effort to cater to the new found audiences.
Thus redefining the meaning of influence in social media, dare I say Roose’s initial comment isn’t that far fetch after all? Just ask Donald Trump the criteria for being the President of the United States of America has become unorthodox.
Providing climate change allows us to see the year 2036, don’t be surprised to find your favorite influencer potentially influencing political change.