Merriam Webster dictionary defines an influencer as one who inspires or guides the actions of others. In the past, it was a term used with great care, usually bestowed upon someone respectful, someone who had actually achieved something that has inspired others around him. The usage of this term has gone up sharply in these last 2 years.

These days anyone with more than 10k followers is a self-proclaimed influencer. There is nothing wrong with being an influencer, but please try to stick to your niche.  If you are a fashion blogger, stick to fashion. If you are a paper artist, influence others on craft.  Such influencers are trusted sources of recommendations for their followers since no one knows better about what colours to buy, or what brush type is to be used than an artist who has tried all of it.

It is okay as long as they are ‘marketing influencers’.  The problem is when,  as the follower count grows, marketing influencers end up being life coaches and advisors. Just because you have a huge following, don’t start giving motivational talks to the young vulnerable youth of the nation. Let trained people do the counseling and mental health analysis.

The most well-known advice on Instagram given by these people is that ‘ it is okay if you don’t do anything today, it is okay if you take a lazy day off, do nothing, take no pressure, stay positive, stay happy, etc.  Dear young students, please keep this in mind-  You have to learn when you have to. There is no shortcut to success. You have to work really hard to get your degree. Then, once you are settled, have a good job/business or whatever, you can take a day off. Until then, it is not okay to sit simply and not accomplish anything with your life. There will be always people around you to give unsolicited advice, but the truth is that hard work is imperative in success.

So if it is your board exam, get those books and start studying. You might feel stressed during exams, it is completely normal. One cannot stay happy all the time. It is as simple as that. Imagine how boring would your life be if there is just one happy state.

There are not many ways in which you could control youth from using social media platforms these days, so if you want to be an influencer or is an influencer please try to put good content, content that you know of.

There are so many people starting YouTube channels and Instagram pages about things they don’t know about. An example of such pages are the online English teaching platforms. Some of the content they put is so wrong, sometimes they even get the pronunciation wrong. Similarly, some popular influencers come and talk English on Instagram live and these young people hit the comment box with – Oh your English is so good, could you give a tutorial on how to speak so well!

Dear students-  if you want to speak English, the first thing to do would be to start reading good books, rather than listening to these people who themselves are saying it wrong. And please don’t fall into the trap of ‘It’s okay if you are not grammatically right, It is okay if you don’t have the best language etc.’

The ability to convey your thoughts clearly is extremely important once you enter professional life. In these days where everything is global, it is essential that you learn to talk well in a universal language. It has got nothing to do with forgetting your mother tongue.

Instagram used to be the platform I loved the most. However, these days it has reduced to being nothing but a modified version of Tik Tok.  The most disturbing thing about these Instagram reels made by popular influencers (mostly female influencers) is how beauty is being given importance. They come up with content on how one should be comfortable in their own skin, how the no-makeup look is the perfect look etc., but the irony in this is that they do all of this in a full make-up look.  And, as if that’s not damaging enough, in the same post they promote beauty products. What is the point they are trying to make here?

Couple vloggers, a group that is popular these days are another scary part of social media influencing. Intentionally or unintentionally some of the content that they post is causing a full U-turn of the women empowerment movement. They talk feminism and act patriarchy in their reels. They show content (supposedly funny and relatable) on how the husband is very messy in the relationship and the wife cleans up the mess, how the husband watchs TV and the wife cooks and murmurs about him not helping etc. I have seen young girls reacting to these videos with comments like I wish I had a husband like him! See how these reels, made for increasing their reach are actually normalising all the stuff that several others are fighting to eliminate from our society.

Let me tell you why yesterday’s news was scary. You see this video of an adult person crying out loud on an extremely simple matter. He is seen shouting at law enforcement officers. Not one ounce of respect is being given and he is bragging about his follower count. Since when is it normal to go on  Instagram live while you are in a government institution, discussing a legal issue!

What is even scarier is how another young popular influencer, comes online within seconds, not knowing the complete facts or law, to shout out things like – ‘if you don’t react to this then you are a coward’ just to spice things up for their followers. And the comment section here goes, ‘ respect to this lady’!!

I have started writing on this topic several times, but each time I delete it because I feel it’s too negative. And I don’t think Instagram is a bad platform. It is actually a good way to grow a home business, or market your passion, your craft, etc. But one has to be very careful about what you choose to be influenced by. Think before you follow a person. Analyze whether their posts are of any good to you. And most importantly be safe! Social media is an extremely dangerous platform if not used well.

“Be selective about your external influences. Your multi-dimensional brain is influenced by everything you see, hear, read smell, touch, feel or say”

 -Brian Tracy


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