It is no secret that the Millennials are completely enticed by social media, sharing pictures on Instagram, making videos on Tiktok, or sharing their opinions on Facebook and Twitter. Social media has given people a feeling of identity and legitimacy.
But are you aware that when comparing social media and kids, your kid’s addiction is not limited to social media? There are social media influencers, which we can refer to as social media celebrities. They start to feel ‘fear of missing’ if not allowed to use social media for certain times.
The researchers have noted that, “approx American kids, i.e. 86% of them want to be social media influencers.”
So, it’s necessary to learn about the behavioral impact of influencers on kids along with the impact of social media.
Who Are Influencers?
An influencer has the power to affect people’s mentality through their social media personalities using their authority, expertise, status, or contact with their target audience.
Influencers are becoming more popular, and many businesses are recruiting them to get young people’s attention towards their brand. Social media influencers affect your kids as they have a high success rate in shaping kids and their attitudes in today’s context.
Influencing is a one-way communication that connects people’s lives and can affect a person’s thinking perspective. Influencers can play an essential part in shaping and showing kids how to grow and mold their future, but they also have a dark side.
As the saying goes, ‘Not all glitters are gold,’ likewise, not everything shown on the internet is real. Many kid influencers tend to show forged realities to intrigue their audience’s interests.
However, it depends on the influencer’s morals and values. Many influencers are only here to make money, but others are genuinely involved in raising awareness among kids and assisting them in their growth.
Now, let’s talk about influencers’ positive and negative effects on kids and on their fragile minds. Shall we start?
Positive Behavioral Impact of Influencers on Kids
Here are some of the positive behavioral impact of influencers on kids.
1. Promotes Good Values
As I previously said, specific influencers are interested in making a difference in the lives of kids and guiding them to improve themselves.
Some influencers make a significant difference in your life by instilling meaningful beliefs and vital understandings through their social media personalities. Influencers who advocate body, positivity, self-love, and growth are the ones to be looked up to rather than the fake ones.
2. Introduces you to New Products
Nowadays, the primary goal of a company is to promote its brands and to identify ideal social media influencers who can market their products to their intended audiences.
These days there are so many brands, holiday destinations, cafes, etc., which we discover through social media influencers, which can be of great help if you’re looking for anything like that at that moment.
As a result, audiences can discover products they like and meet their needs, creating a win-win situation for everybody.
3. Can Motivate You
For Gen-Z people, influencers are the ones who they look up to even more than their parents and peers at times. And, as a behavioral impact of influencers on kids, they think of them as their virtual mentors.
A single wise word, post, or video from their favorite influencer will inspire them and brighten their day tenfold. It encourages young generations to do something they will never be able to do otherwise.
For example, if a person is lying in bed with a packet of chips in their hand and sees a workout video of their favorite influencer, they may get a sudden passion for working themselves out.
In this digitalized world, this is the strength of an influencer. If applied correctly, this force can be a tremendous source of inspiration and encouragement for our upcoming generation.
4. Support your Mental Wellbeing
Many interactive content creators and influencers consciously seek to improve people’s emotional health. They discuss their mental health problems, provide advice about coping with them, and so on.
Because of this, so many people dealing with mental health are not afraid to ask for help if they require one. In most countries, mental health problems are considered taboo and not openly discussed.
However, due to the concern raised by some kid influencers, people are coming forward and telling their own experiences to help others further.
Negative Behavioral Impact of Influencers on Kids
Here, we have just discussed the positive behavioral impacts of influencers on kids. Now, Let’s look at the negative behavioral impact of influencers on kids.
1. Comparison To Unrealistic Portrayals
Social media has started to consume even more of our lives in today’s world and began creating self-doubt. The major behavioral impact of influencers on kids is promoting unrealistic beauty standards.
Many people get bogged down just by scrolling their Instagram because the influencers throw their deepest insecurities at them. On social media, people believe that toned bodies and perfect skin are considered beautiful, which is not true at all.
So, the next time you scroll, reconsider believing the false portrayal of the perfect lives of influencers since no one’s life is ever as flawless as it seems on social media.
2. Creates Anxiety
Social media is widely regarded as a great source of anxiety in kids, and social media influencers further contribute to it. By this, I do not mean all of the influencers but some of them.
Since social media influencers only share the glitz and glamour of their allegedly flawless lives, it creates a void within people who believe they are not as good as such influencers.
They tend to think less of themselves, which eventually lowers their self-esteem. Fear of missing is also a common anxiety when children’s frequency of watching and following influencers are restricted
3. Builds Pressure
Another adverse impact of social media and influencers on kids is that they put them under pressure. There may be many influencers for your age, and children’s frequency of watching them do their work and go to the places, takes an undue toll.
The kids must realize that they do not have to be like them or be as they are. You have to trust the pacing of life and work hard to achieve your objectives.
4. Promotes Materialism
With the rise of social media influencers in recent years, you can see many of them encourage a lifestyle based on materialistic things to be satisfied.
Many people look up to influencers. Of course, not all social media stars are like this, but many celebrities rely on sponsorships as their primary source of income. Likewise, many other individuals or business personnel who wish to sell you things encourage a lifestyle in which specific products are mandatory, which is incorrect.
What Can You Do?
One of the crucial things to know about using social media and getting acknowledged with the behavioral impact of influencers on kids is to be mindful of what you see and not manipulate it. Tons of influencers will promote anything for the sake of money and fame.
However, while following influencers, you must be insightful enough to decide which kind of influencer you want to follow. And it is up to you to determine if their views are worth your time.
We can benefit from the doubt and say that social media is their business and can support anything they wish, but you must be wise enough not to trust the influencers blindly.
Know your Worth
As previously said, influencers, like everyone else, are free to share anything they want. It may be photoshopped images, a botoxed face, or double-standard materials.
But it is up to you to realize that you don’t require validation from any influencers. And you don’t need to agree with their idea of a perfect body, skin, or a perfect life.
Spend Less Time On Social Media
Last but not least, the most important one and probably the solution to all the problems mentioned above is to spend less time on social media. Keeping all its positive aspects aside, social media is still dangerous. Not only are you bullied and threatened, but you are also even subjected to negative effects of social media about your looks or your views.
Some parents can also note changes in dietary behavior. The more time spent on social media, children’s dietary behaviors eventually fluctuates and this is all because of influence on children made by social media influencers.
So, it is safe to say that maintaining a distance from social media can keep you away from most problems. It not only wastes your time, but it can also make you anxious and lower your self-esteem.
The lines between our online and offline identities have become blurred in a world where viewers judge our online lives with thumbs-up or down. Technologies watch, detect, and measure our online activities to present us with appropriate social media influencers.
Social media influencers can affect the everyday lives of young people. It alters children’s dietary behaviors as well since they fall under unhealthy dietary habits as influenced by social media. However, many young people are becoming more mindful of social media personalities’ power.
Through this article, you can learn that Influencers have the power to serve both positive influence and negative behavioral impact of influencers on kids. And not every influencer promotes superficial things; some are genuinely genuine.
So, it is safe to point out that social media influencers may lead to potentially adverse outcomes such as jealousy, anxiety, and feeling left out and more positive influences such as self-expression, self-love, motivation, and much more.