In today’s digital age, the hype of social networks, crafting the perfect “post,” and hopping between style and photography is unnecessarily increasing.
Social media influencers have seized control of common people’s lives and reshaped the way we perceive things. In that way, a toxic culture is being introduced to new generations.
Toxic Influencer Culture
You must be wondering why influencer culture is toxic? Instagram, YouTube and Facebook have now evolved into platforms for showcasing one’s life. These photo-sharing programs excel at their aim, permitting users to control their unique storylines. They allow influencers to showcase a life that may or may not be based on reality!
As a result, the ” toxic influencer culture” has been initiated.
Who are the Influencers?
Influencers are those who can affect the attitudes and sentiments of their social media followers. Because of their expertise, skill, prestige, or connection with their viewers, they have the potential to control the purchase decisions of others. Influencers are characterized by their desire to sell you products and influence your decision-making.
We’ve all heard that social media is toxic, even if we solely follow our friends and relatives! Because seeing the highlights of your friends’ lives might easily make you feel depressed. However, the emergence of influencer culture has introduced a whole new set of challenges.
The Issues Raised by Influencer Culture
Disappointment with the Body’s Appearance
Most of the time, influential material is published online by adoringly skinny, tanned, pretty young influencers promoting vitamins, detoxing teas, or other health-related items.
These kinds of body concepts, generated by influencers and imposed on today’s youth, are damaging their mental health and body satisfaction.
Not Everything Is as It Appears
The way such influencers fool young people is one of the most essential aspects of this toxic society. They use several photoshop and picture manipulation programs and encourage others to hide their imperfections and exhibit something that is not genuine.
The Desire to Be Famous
Isn’t the first action you do after uploading any post on Insta to monitor the number of comments and likes it gets? That is something that everybody does! because we are mainly interested in praise and attention. Because we see it happening with influencers, we want to feel the same as them.
When people do not receive the response they expected from their online posts, it may have a devastating effect on their mental health. Numerous research has found that the psychological aspects of views, likes, and comments are damaging the psychological health of a person.
Social networking and influencer culture have grown dramatically in recent years. Almost every person, young and old, aspires to be renowned on the internet. Baking, stitching, sketching, singing, and many more activities are now available online.
However, no one can ever be certain of the legitimacy of these people or the things they are pushing.
A lot of victims have reported several incidences of fraud when purchasing items advised by “influencers.” There have also been reports of people falsifying their trip images and portraying lifestyles that do not correspond to their real lives.
Social Media Has Evolved Into a Marketplace
Facebook is a perfect example of a social network that has grown more concerned with quantity and commercialization than with connecting to friends and family. Whereas the platform’s overall viewership has dropped significantly in recent years, its ad income increased by 42% in early 2018, indicating the company’s ability to make money above its ability to establish relationships.
People who join these social media channels to find mental peace end up frustrated by the influencing advertisements.
Fear of Missing Out
Influencers give us a “filtered reality” in which everything appears to be more wonderful than it is. FOMO is the feeling that results from those influencers’ fake posts. Normal people feel that everyone else is experiencing more pleasure and having a better lifestyle, which makes them unhappy and stressed.
A toxic influencer culture may lead to a harmful comparison trap. People start comparing their $10K lifestyle to an unknown’s $200k lifestyle via YouTube videos and Instagram postings, which is a foundation of mental disaster. And this kind of comparison would lead you to assume that only living a luxurious lifestyle will make you happier.
We never know what the individuals behind the camera are dealing with. Money, styling and rooftop bars may appear great on social media, but what if that individual is very lonely in everyday life? Obviously, I’m not implying that every influencer is lonely or fake, but you get the idea.
Keeping Sponsorships and Affiliates a Secret
When influencers do not reveal sponsorships or affiliations, it is among the most destructive aspects of influencer culture. By talking about things and activities without stating that they received such service or product for free, the influencer might easily deceive their followers.
The issue becomes worse when a large number of influencers do something like this, leading you to believe that everyone can afford a luxurious life except you. The fact is, the influencer probably can’t afford the vacation in the first place! But they got it for free and won’t inform you.
So, now that we’ve learned why influencer culture is toxic for our finances, wellbeing, and psychological health, what should we do about it?
Ways to Combating Toxic Influencer Culture
Unfollow the Influencers
Just as a good diet is essential for a healthy body, the material we receive online, including pictures, music, television, etc. may have a significant impact on our mental health.
Hence, the quickest and most apparent thing to do is unsubscribe to every influencer or abandon social media completely. I understand that this isn’t possible for most people but we can fix up our following lists.
Spend Less Time on Social Media
Technically, you may turn off your phone or establish a time restriction for your social media use. As a result of this, you will simply be unable to use these platforms. Of course, this is difficult since everyone with whom we would like to maintain communication, including our friends and family members, uses social media all the time.
We could all take a break from social media and then go for a walk, read some books, or phone a friend instead. The genuine things that count in life aren’t dining at the most upscale restaurants, possessing the most luxurious home, or dressing in the most fashionable clothes.
It doesn’t matter if you have an exquisitely designed home or if you don’t have a relevant network to share it with. A luxury trip is meaningless if severe credit card debt is not letting you sleep peacefully.
As new social media platforms are developed each year, there is no halting in the rise of influencers. However, the impact of influencer culture on younger audiences is becoming increasingly destructive. Now you must understand why influencer culture is toxic.
Sensitive people on social media must learn how to use or view the material positively, and they should be aware that just because someone else’s post shows off attractive appearances doesn’t really mean you have to keep changing to look more like them or feel bad about your current status.