Influencers: Do They Perceive Sincerity or Criticism?

Picture of By Ezgi Keeskin

By Ezgi Keeskin

Influencers are becoming more popular day by day. This popularity brings so many supporters, fame and gain. However, all these positive consequences also have to have negative parts. Currently, some of the influencers’ actions started to attract criticism from many people; and I am one of those people. Are they actually influencing us the right things, or is it just a superficial sympathy they are imposing which has fakeness inside?

Becoming the Digital World

As the world starts to become more technologically dominated day by day, people’s interest towards digital job fields are becoming more common. According to statistics, 3.484 billion people have social media accounts, which makes 45% of the whole population. While this many people are actively engaged in the digital world, influencers are taking the lead as the most popular job in the world. Think of a platform which enables millions of people to communicate and see what you do from all around the world. Who would not spread its fame around the world if they have the chance? That is exactly what influencers are doing. People seek for entertainment, and fun content to spend their time on. At this time, influencers show up with their interesting content, fancy clothes and all of this stuff. All these bring out the reason why influencers hold the one of the most popular jobs today in the world. But, who exactly are those influencers?

Who is An Influencer?

Influencers are people who build a reputation based on their lifestyle, knowledge, and expertise on specific topics. Their job is to share posts, stories, vlogs about specific topic on various social media platforms in order to maximize engagement between them and their followers. Depending on the type of content posted, influencers can be divided into several categories: bloggers, youtubers and social media influencers. An influencer doesn’t have to limit themselves within one category, but can do more than one at the same time. To me, while their initial intention started off as to entertain people and leave a good impression on them, currently, all they do is  show the fake world they are creating and hide the actual reality behind that ‘perfect’ world. Currently, one can see the many contradictory actions of the influencers which made me criticize the way they influence people.

Save Ralph Video: Are They Standing by Their Actions?

In my opinion, if influencers have the power of leading thousands of people, they should be consistent with their actions. This contradiction is creating a threat to the transparency between them and their followers. 

‘Save Ralph’ video was released on digital platforms two weeks ago, and as soon as it was released, it became a hot topic around the world. In the video, Ralph (the rabbit) talks about his experiences of being an experimental animal. The audience sees the tortures, and cruelty towards animals from Ralph’s point of view. The video includes violent content; and all these sensitive elements made the video’s popularity spread fast among people. After this spread, the video caused people’s outrage towards cosmetic brands which use animals to test their products. Thousands of people shared their reaction in their Instagram stories, Twitter or any other social media platforms. Influencers were also included in this group. The part which created controversies and criticism was the contradiction between Ralph stories and makeup promoting stories. In my opinion, if influencers have the power of leading thousands of people, they should be consistent with their actions. A Turkish influencer G.E. posted a story where she criticizes animal testing in cosmetics. An hour later, she posted a new Maybelline lipstick advertisement in her story- a story she is wearing the lipstick and promoting it (Maybelline is a cosmetic brand using animal testing). Since she promoted Maybelline on the same day, her followers noticed this contradiction easily. People who noticed this started to roost her in social media, and she lost 400 followers after this incident. This contradiction is creating a threat to the transparency between them and their followers. Nobody wants a person as an influencer whose actions are not consistent. As to not to lose their fame and popularity, influencers feel the need of jumping on the bandwagon, and following trends that can bring them the most supporters. In this situation, it is either G.E. did not research Maybelline or posted the Ralph video just to increase her sympathy over her followers. In both scenarios, she launched herself in a fake way to her followers. 

The Pandemic Situation

Since March 2020, the world is facing a pandemic which has made people stuck at their homes. Many people started hashtags like ‘Stay At Home’ and posted stories of them staying indoors. We also saw similar stories and posts coming from influencers to show support to people in this situation. While they were defending their stay at home, we also saw many stories and posts from them traveling to other cities, even to other countries. Kim Kardashian, at the beginning of the pandemic, gave support to ones who stayed at home through her social media posts. However, she also threw a birthday party on a private island with her friends and families. Although everyone got tested before they went, these longing parties and vacations contradicted the support she gives to people on staying at home. In my opinion, influencers have to show their true colors instead of showing people a thought that they don’t actually defend. Even though they defend that specific thought, they shouldn’t contradict themselves with their actions afterwards. 

So, Do We Like Influencers or Not?

It is the influencer’s job to promote products and share their lives. However, in my opinion, they should not contradict in their opinions, actions and behaviors. If they choose to influence a wide range of people, they should do it in a good way. The problem I see with most influencers now is while trying to fit the popular opinion, kind of like catching the bandwagon, they deviate from their real thoughts, or launch themselves to the public in a fake way.

Cover: Los Muertos Crew

Edited by: Andreea Rebegea 

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