The Role of Influencers in Our Children’s Lives
Thanks to the social media revolution, a new phenomenon has come into existence: Influencers. Today we'll talk about the role of influencers in the lives of today's children.
In recent years, social media platforms have gained more and more relevance, they’ve become a part of our daily lives. What’s more, another related digital phenomenon is also on the rise: Influencers. The power and influence these figures exercise on younger generations are undeniable, and they’re truly iconic. However, how far does this influence go? What is the role of influencers in our children’s lives?
The influencer phenomenon
The revolution of social media networks is a fact that has deeply changed the way that society works and communicates. And in this context, the influencer phenomenon came to be born.
Publicists Monica Perez and Concepcion Campillo explain that this phenomenon is based on the ability a person has to influence members of a certain audience and modify its opinions. In this sense, the audience follows the footsteps of its influencer unconditionally, admires them, and shares their lifestyle.
Thanks to the internet, reaching an immensely large public isn’t just possible, it’s actually very simple. Experts and businesses know this, and use the social power that social media influencers possess. In other words, they use these individuals to promote their products and services.
According to psychologists Elena Sanamaría and Rufino Meana, influencers are, in a sense, thought leaders. They’re people that bring together a series of characteristics such as charisma, the ability to engage others, and knowledge about a certain subject area. These individuals use the internet to express their opinions on different issues of general interest.
The role of influencers in our children’s lives
There is a greater variety of influencers and as many different areas of interest as you can imagine. Beauty, fashion, gamers, food, books, travel, fitness, etc. It’s possible for some influencers to be at the top of the ranks thanks to their fame in other areas – for example, athletes, singers, actors, and models.
However, a large percentage of influencers made their way to fame directly on social media. Such is the case with beauty expert Huda Kattan and internet prankster Cameron Dallas, and a great number of others.
“I’m working on bridging the gap between mainstream famous and internet famous. They’re two different things, but eventually, social media will be the way to become celebrity.”
– Cameron Dallas –
For this reason, it’s likely that when your children talk about their role models, you’ve never heard of them before. And that’s what’s happening: Influencers are becoming the new role models that our children look up to.
What do influencers mean to our children?
- Influencers give children a way to reaffirm and share their interests. Children and teens that follow a famous gamer or fashion expert are looking for a way to confirm their interests. What’s more, influencers give them a space where they can share their hobbies with others that understand the world in the same way they do.
- Influencers reinforce self-esteem. According to Santamaria and Meana, followers of influencers increase self-esteem and self-acceptance in children because they constantly reinforce their interests… those same interests that they themselves are unable to affirm with the same amount of strength.
- Another role of influencers is making children feel like they’re part of a collective. By actively following an influencer, fans come into contact with one another and create their own virtual community. Thanks to a common interest, they share opinions and experiences and create an important social connection. In a way, they’re a virtual version of urban subcultures.
- Influencers influence buying habits. According to Eduardo Irastoriza, professor at EAE Business School, influencers come in at third place (26.9%) when it comes to deciding to buy a product. Their followers hold their opinion in high esteem and seek to imitate them as much as possible. One of the ways they do this is through the products and services they decide to purchase.
There’s no doubt about the role of influencers and social media in modern life. They influence our opinions, behavior, and lifestyle. This is especially true when it comes to adolescents because they are easier to influence.
To conclude, parents today may have a hard time understanding and relating to the importance their children place on influencers. However, it’s important not to overlook or judge this dynamic. Influencers play an important role in our kids’ lives, not only influencing what they buy but also contributing to the formation of their identities.