Effects of Toxic Influencers

Mia Barbero, Writer

As the use of social media has increased over the years, it has created a job with the title of ‘influencer’. Is having fame and fortune at nearly everyone’s fingertips a good thing or a recipe for disaster?

With access to entertainment and social networking apps like TikTok and Instagram, one viral post could leave someone set for life with fame and riches. No particular talent or personality is required to become known across the country, or even the world. Unfortunately, it also allows people with negative views or mean spirits to reach millions of young and impressionable viewers.

Many children these days have internet personalities that they look up to. However, if these internet superstars are promoting racism, intolerance, or overall malicious behavior and pettiness towards others, it could convince the child to think the same and repeat what they hear from their favorite “celebrity”.

Another issue I have seen frequently is internet celebrities not taking Covid-19 seriously whatsoever. Many of them preach wearing masks and staying home, but turn around and go to huge parties in Los Angeles with hundreds of other influencers, not one mask or any kind of distance in sight.

Due to our current circumstances surrounding Covid-19, these influencers could promote taking precautions to help stop the spread so we could all go back to normal as soon as possible. Instead, many of them are acting as if they are immune, and a few flat-out saying they just do not care. This may be contributing to the downplay of the severity of the virus and the continuation of making unsafe decisions without considering the consequences.

Having an internet platform is a privilege. It is an amazing opportunity to spread positivity and awareness and create a fun community. When toxic people are given this power and responsibility, it overshadows the good having a platform can have when the right kind of person is given one.