As a former personal trainer, Sarah is passionate about all things health, beauty, and self care.
Over the past ten years, social media has become a huge source of news, fashion inspiration, personal experiences, and beauty standards. Before social media was the go-to news outlet, people got their information from magazines, websites, and television. At this point, social media has taken over all of the above, and has reached a point in which the majority of information about social standards is found on social outlets such as Instagram and TikTok. And who is communicating this news? We like to call them “social media influencers”. Here are a few words about the influence of social media on society and whether it positively or negatively affects society today.
What are social media influencers?
A social media influencer is someone who has gained a large following (typically over 10K followers), allowing them to share their insights and feelings with everyone who follows them. Before social media our influencers consisted mostly of news anchors, professional journalists, and celebrities. Today, anyone can become a social media influencer. On TikTok for example, you can have two followers one day and 20K followers the next day due to one viral video. That said, a lot of us are being influenced by regular people who somehow blew up on social media. Some may know what they’re talking about, and a lot of them probably don’t. This makes the information that we are getting less valuable and more of a gamble, however, it doesn’t stop us from following social media standards.
Is social media influence good?
There is no right or wrong answer to this question. While in some cases, people may be influenced in negative ways, overall a lot of the information we get from social media is harmless, depending on how seriously or personally you take it. In addition, due to the strict policies and guidelines that have been developed on social media platforms over the years, it is difficult to share anything that could be potentially harmful to users, making such platforms something of a safe space.
You may also want to keep in mind that social media influencers are influenced by each other, which is how social standards are developed, as everyone begins to lean towards one general trend.
While this may leave users feeling like they should follow a certain trend or style, it is ultimately up to the user to decide whether or not they want to adhere to said trend in the first place. An example might be the increase in cosmetic injectables due to the popular trend of having a voluminous pout. While some people may respond to this in a negative way, becoming insecure or feeling the need to do the same, there is no harm in an influencer recommending their most trusted injector or sharing information from experts that they have worked with. They may even boost your confidence or help you learn new ways to improve yourself, in which case social media can be a great tool.
The bottom line
The bottom line is that social media has become a major source of information for almost all age groups. What everyone should keep in mind, is that while you may have a few favorite influencers that you feel they can trust, it is important to always do your own research before you start doing everything you see on social media. These platforms can be a great way to communicate important information and share insights, but as stated above, can always be a gamble, knowing that a lot of the people we follow are not experts. As long as you do your own research and stay safe in your actions, there is nothing wrong with the influence that you are getting on your favorite platforms.