Most of us are on social media today to keep the world updated about what’s happening in our lives. We visit restaurants, holiday destinations, shop at various stores to post about it on social media. Ok, we get it. It’s 2019. You have come of age during a time when technology is advancing faster than society can acclimate. Where side hustles have become commonplace for almost everyone. And social currency is at times a higher priority than actual currency. But for this generation, those currencies actually go hand in hand. Social fame in today’s world isn’t just a source of clout and bragging rights among the members of your community. It is a legitimate source of income for many a social media influencer around the world.
In fact, it’s a career for a lucky few. And quite a lucrative one at that. The biggest and brightest stars on social media take in hundreds of thousands, and for some, millions of dollars in revenue from their online channels. This caveat, paired with the admiration and attention that comes with online fame, makes the idea of becoming an “influencer” all the more appealing.
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Generations before millennials yearned to be the next big movie star or elite athlete. But in today’s world, A-list actors and huge social media celebrities and social media influencers carry surprisingly equal influence over their audiences. And for those who dreamed of pursuing their goal of being the next Michael Jordan, but were genetically predisposed with a lack of natural athletic ability, there are now outlets in professional e-sports one can explore. It’s a whole new world.
So it should come as no surprise that everyone these days seems to have their own reality show or YouTube channel. We live in a culture where your social channel is your public identity more than ever. And a world where everyone assumes that they will get their fifteen minutes of fame sooner or later if they can get that one viral video. That one piece of content that kick-starts their career into social stardom.
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However, some would argue that this dream of social media influencer comes at a cost. And that those with dreams of one day turning their social media channels into sustainable careers, should proceed with caution. Experts and data alike support the idea that kids these days have social aspirations that precede those of more traditional values. An online poll of 2,450 American millennials revealed that one out of nine millennials would rather be famous than get married, and one in ten would rather be famous than get a college degree. Aspirations for stardom have been prevalent since fame itself existed, but the perceived ease of which this fame is achieved in today’s age creates a sometimes toxic desire to focus one’s efforts almost exclusively on achieving a high level of social media influencer. At almost any cost.
These thoughts, opinions, and data points likely won’t dissuade anyone from creating their own YouTube page or Instagram account in an effort to become famous. Nor should it. In a free enterprise and an era where our dreams are at our fingertips, no one should be inhibited from investing in their aspirations.
– Lynn Misquith
Lynn is a graduate of Class of 2019 in the Post Graduate Programme in PR & Corporate Communications at School of Communications & Reputation, Mumbai. She is a Bachelor of Commerce from St. Agnes College, Mangalore. Her passion for marketing & communications drove her towards the field of Public Relations. She believes in turning her dreams into reality by accepting challenges and accomplishing them efficiently.
Lynn completed her internship with Edelman, Mumbai in the healthcare vertical. She was recruited by MSL, Mumbai at the end of her programme.