In an age shaped by technology, new career paths have emerged, including roles like social media managers, e-commerce directors, etc. Among these new vocations is the role of the influencer, where individuals create social media content to market products and services: either their own, or those of others.
Recent data from Morning Consult indicates that the allure of the influencer career continues to grow, with a significant 57% of Gen-Z individuals (those born between 1997-2012) expressing their willingness to become influencers if given the opportunity.
Popularity and Financial Incentives
Influencers, over time, have cultivated followings and fame previously associated with entertainers and sports stars. Dr. Andrew Monasterio, a psychiatric nurse practitioner, suggests that the allure of this career might resemble Gen-Z’s modern interpretation of the age-old dream of becoming a rock star!
Additionally, influencers often earn money through product endorsements or services, all while working from the comfort of their own spaces. This digital age presents the influencer path as a seemingly rapid route to wealth.
Role models like Charli D’Amelio, Everleigh Rose Soutas, and Matty B Raps, who are close in age to Gen-Z, have amassed millions of followers and substantial incomes, primarily from sharing their opinions on trends.
The Pull of Social Media
Social media platforms, such as TikTok, offer not only entertainment but can also lead to addictive behaviors that research has linked to adverse effects on adolescent mental health.
Titania Jordan, Chief Parent Officer at Bark Technologies, points out that teens immersed in these platforms may experience a heightened desire to emulate the influencers recommended by algorithms. The sense of envy generated by witnessing the mega-popularity of influencers can be enticing for young audiences.
Social Media and Mental Health
Studies, including a report from Bark Technologies, have highlighted the negative impact of social media on mental health.
Constant scrolling and comparisons to others, who often present a skewed reality, can erode self-esteem and well-being. Engaging in influencing could further amplify these risks.
Becoming an influencer involves significant online exposure, which can lead to issues such as cyberbullying, social comparison, and feelings of inadequacy. Dr. Monasterio emphasizes that the pursuit of influencer status, if not approached with mindfulness, may contribute to mental health challenges.
The pressures of maintaining a public image, handling criticism, and meeting audience expectations can take a toll on one’s well-being, akin to the challenges faced by celebrities—maybe it’s time to educate the Gen-Zers about these risks before they embark on their chosen career path!