June 15, 2021
As more people turn to social media to express their passions and sentiments, we see the rise of a new class of netizens that’s taking over the web: the “influencers.”
What separates these influencers from your regular content creators is that these people have a huge following on their social media platforms, numbering to hundreds of thousands or even millions of online followers. And these people gained a massive following because of their advocacy, message, or the kind of content they dish out—hence, the term “influencers.”
Thanks to the power of social media, one’s ticket to fame nowadays is no longer just limited to being a celebrity or a showbiz personality. Social media has provided a level playing field for anyone who wants to speak up and influence other people.
But here’s the caveat: Not all influencers are an influence for good, which is why choosing the right influencers matters so much.
The contents and messages we’re constantly exposed to can influence and shape our values, decisions, and behaviors. If we do not closely examine the messages these influencers relay, we endanger ourselves by consuming content that may be harmful to us and the people around us.
Therefore, before following a content creator or subscribing to an influencer, consider the following:
It is definitely not easy to deeply examine a person, let alone know them for who they really are. After all, the things they allow us to see online, no matter how raw or unfiltered, are all curated to show us what they only want us to see.
However, we can actually determine whether a person is worth following and promoting by examining our own values and comparing it to theirs. Our standards for following and promoting an influencer must go beyond the need to be entertained but rather must be educating, edifying, and enlightening.
Remember that subscribing to a person’s channel is tantamount to giving power or clout to that person. May the people you follow online help you reinforce the good values and character that you want to see in society.
One way to know whether a certain message or content has substance and depth is to assess its effect on you. Just like the food we eat, there are kinds of food that only satiate your hunger but do not nourish your body. In the same way, there are messages that can only give you a good laugh, satisfy your curiosity, or give you new information but do not add much value to your life.
Sadly, there are influencers who have a huge following online but have the least substance and depth. We are not saying that we should not have time for light content that’s purely for entertainment. Rather, we are saying that when it comes to exposing your life to influencers, it’s better to choose the ones who challenge you to grow.
The definition of an influencer makes us realize that any of us can be or is already an influencer to someone within your own social circles. You have a certain degree of influence on people. There are people who come to you for advice on certain things, from the most trivial stuff to the most serious matters.
This is why what you post on your social media account is important. Your opinions can affect the people around you even when you are not aware of it. The kind of message or content that you consume and share do not only affect you but also those who are near you.
The Internet is a marketplace of ideas, and sometimes the ones that sell most are the ones that can do more harm than good to the lives of other people. Since we have the power to promote and propagate values and messages, may our accounts serve as amplifiers of good, honorable, and life-giving content. While it is impossible to rid the Internet of all harmful contents, we should at least help saturate the internet with good.
If you are a content creator or you plan on being one, take this to heart: Do not create content for the sake of gaining clout. Think of how to create meaningful, life-giving content that will add value to the world and to the people around you.
May the message that you bring become a breath of hope to someone in your sphere of influence.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.