The Manipulation Of Online Influencers
"Internet Influencer" Manipualtion
I've been on the internet for around ten years and trends control a lot of the internet. We've seen trends such as Musically, Hip Hop, and designer names all rise as trends this past year. These trends aren't terrible but they have so much power on the personality of a person. They can convince a person that they are owed a sense of power because of what they can afford or how big their fan base is. I've seen many creators manipulate their audience into giving them this power just to turn around and abuse it.
The app "Musically" was one of biggest trends of Summer 2016 and as I looked into it, I just got confused. The app doesn't serve any purpose of entertainment to a normal person. Musically allows you to film yourself "lip syncing" to an mainstream artist's song, but you can also share them and watch other people lip sync. From this app an immersion of 13-17 year old Musically famous people gathered fan bases with over millions of fans...for lip syncing. These teen "Musers" went on tours and got record deals because of their lip syncing. When you see people blowing up for just lip syncing there is only one reason its happening. Children.
Children and teens make up a lot of the internet community. Since they are children they are easily manipulated and unaware of the mind games played on them. When it comes to Musically the only thee requirement to become a famous is to be attractive for teen girls/boys, have a phone, and have targeted manipulation tactics. It's crazy to think that a 14 year old boy would have the ability to manipulate millions of young girls/boys to create a fan base, but its happening. There manipulation includes tweeting " I love you." or "Missed you" as a way of convincing there followers they are in a relationship with them.
While many youtubers make commentary on this topic, they overlook how serious this can be on a fan girls mental health. "Erotomania" is the name of a mental illness of when a person believes in the fact that a person is in love or dating them. This is linked up with mental illnesses such as Bipolar disorder and Schizophrenia. It's ok to have a crush on a celebrity but to obsess over them is simple unhealthy.
Internet influencers such as Jacob Sartorius use this as a way to obtain fan girls/ fan boys. An incident happened a while ago at a meet up of Jacob's where a young fan kissed him on the cheek without his consent. His fans took to bullying this young girl on social media and saying they were going to turn to self harm because "he cheated on them." Some of these influencers have a girlfriend that gets harmed in the mix of it all. A person I knew was actually dating one these musically boys. She said he didn't want anyone to know who she was because it would destroy his social media presence.
Not only do they manipulate for a fan base, they also manipulate for money. Recently Vloggers (Video Blogger) Logan and Jake Paul have made multiple videos on buying their merchandise. The tactics they use to advertise this are through music videos they make and constantly mentioning it throughout videos. Let me get one fact straight, it is not bad to sell merchandise or promote it.
During this time of the "Ad Apocalypse" it is okay to have another way of making money. However, when you advertise your merchandise through a song saying "take your gifts and give them back Maverick merch is where it's at" and "you should buy my new backpack throw away that dirty sack," we see exactly what you're goal is. The most influenced by trends are teens and kids. When you portray your merch as "where it's at," you allow these kids to believe that as long as the have this merch then they belong.
When given the opportunity to influence a large fan base, it should be taken seriously. When millions of people look up to influencers who are manipulative, they copy these actions creating an entire community of irresponsible creators. It is fine to have your own personality and opinion. You don't have to base your thinking off of another persons. Stay aware of the schemes these influencers create.
© 2018 WillowMarie