The internet and its celebrities have been taking more importance in our everyday lives ever since smartphones and social websites have been normalised, used and misused by influencers and stars to dictate the lives of their follower, but is it possible to go against the flow?
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, these are some of the social networks that are used every day by millions of people. Everyone is able to share and communicate with the whole world, and some people seek to become famous and make a profit off of it. Even if some people do play the game of putting themselves forward, they still consume the content of other people. But social media have changed the way people perceive others and themselves: a lot of people look up, try to look like and follow the impossible standards of their favourite online celebrities. But social medias are a landmine that brands use to promote their products through the means of influencers and sponsored content. But do we have to be so sensible towards social medias and online content?
The Wave is novel written by Todd Strasser in which a history teacher tries to explain to his pupils how the German population followed the Nazi movement using a social experiment. The teacher proceeds to create a club with his class which quickly spreads throughout the whole school because the students like to follow this new trend, which ultimately leads to bully those who are not a part of it. But the main protagonist sees the wrongdoing of this group she is originally a part of and decides to stop it, breaking the influence it holds on her; this story leads me to think that we are influenced by what we want to be influenced by. I personally am a consumer of social medias; I use Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube everyday as a kind of entertainment, although I am not an actor on these apps, but I do not try to conform to the norms and lifestyles of the content creators I follow. I simply enjoy their content, and if I think something I see could be beneficial for me, then I let myself be influenced by it.
It would be easy to put all the blame on celebrities and influencers for all the negativity of social medias and the humongous influence it has on their followers, but it is the responsibility of every single person to have their own mind, to think by themselves, to check the information their find on the internet and to not let themselves be influenced by everything they see. It is well-known that people on the internet lie, especially when posting pictures of themselves that have been retouched. Doing so, influencers create a false norm that their followers will try to follow, but these followers will lower their self-esteem if they do not succeed to reach these unattainable standards. I believe people should open their eyes to see social medias and influencers as they truly are: a marketing business that trades in the influence they have on people to promote brands on the poor self-esteem of a part of the population. Once they realise this trickery they free themeselves from its nefarious influence and be able to simply use it solely as entertainment.