Do the number of likes or shares on Tik Tok determine your worth? In recent years, social media has made its way to change the game for our world. More than ever, people have been posting their lives publicly because they enjoy showing others their selfies, dog, and food they cook. It has been a huge part of our lives. Did you know that 86% of Generation Z and millennials want to be famous on social media? People of almost all ages know what social media is and they also use it, but when kids use it to their advantage for fame, it may be a problem. Social media and the fame that comes with it is affecting mental health, setting unrealistic standards and expectations. Although social media might not disappear altogether, there are ways to use it in a healthy way.
Mostly everyone who has a social media account, follows at least one influencer. Whether it is a singer, actor, model, social seller, or NFL player, we only see all the fame and fortune it brings. Seeing the “highlight reel” of these influencers who have money makes others want to be like them and do the same thing. In fact, my little cousin aspires to be just like his favorite famous youtuber “Mr. Beast”. He always talks about his expensive cars and house. According to business insider Australia, the biggest stars of 2020 are kids who have gone viral on social media. Today, everyone wants to be an “influencer” but it may be affecting their well-being. Not only do we take pictures of ourselves but then post them to get appreciation. Unfortunately, the number of likes, followers, shares, and views determine an influencer’s success that can take a toll on this generation. In addition, they use it to measure their self-worth. Young influencers often become obsessed with outside attention and whether they are seen, and it may consume them at times. According to “The ‘online brain’: how the Internet may be changing our cognition,” , growing evidence indicates that relying on online feedback for self‐esteem can have adverse effects on young people. Teenagers and young adults seek to social media where they find themselves competing and comparing hoping their next post will go viral.
In an online survey conducted by a researcher at UCLA’s Children Digital Media Center, found that 33% said being famous was important on social media. Findings show 54% of those who believe fame is “very important” for their future post photos often or “almost always;” For adolescents, spending more than three hours per day on social media may cause anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts, as per latest reports. This could also take a toll on how they are sleeping and their views on body image.
In addition to worrying about becoming famous and how important they are online; they then have to stress about staying relevant and how many unfollows they receive. Experts say that these young influencers are even more at risk for developing problems than previous generations of child stars, as their lives are constantly broadcasted and observed by millions worldwide. Many struggles with harsh criticisms and opinions that kids may feel bad about. Current Tik Tok stars, Charli, and Dixie D’amelio, have opened to their audience about their own struggles with mental health due to online criticism and bullying. In their Hulu reality show “The D’amelio Show”, the oldest sibling stated, “Tea pages and negative comments and checking who’s talking about me every day has a big part of my anxiety.” People or “trolls” as they are called could be very mean and aggressive online. For example, Jesse James Decker, a famous football wife/singer/Instagram model/business owner who is loved by many took to Instagram crying after she was attacked about her weight. The trolls made mean comments about her body and Jesse cried saying “This is not okay. It is mean. Why are people so mean? It hurts”. This is a person who has 3.8 million followers and is admired by most but still receives criticism. This is not something most people can handle graciously.
Of course, being famous on social media has its perks but people should know the risks that come. These stars make this career look easy which sets unrealistic expectations. People see the fancy cars, fame and money but they don’t see the hard work behind the scenes along with the negative aspects. As an influencer, being transparent in the work that is put in daily could help. Not all social media is bad. By monitoring habits, kids could possibly lower the risk of having mental health problems. Limiting time on accounts daily is one of the many things that can help. By doing this, kids can live in the moment more and won’t have to worry about living up to certain standards to try and get famous. Using social media in a positive light and being a good influence on others is an important thing especially to adolescents and young kids. There are ways to decrease criticism and bullying such as deactivating the comments section to not see the negative feedback. Tik Tok sensation Addison Rae took a hiatus to take a break from social media and the negative feedback she was receiving. This is another great way to protect your mental health.
Although the title Social Media Influencer is becoming more and more popular as a career, it can have its disadvantages. It can be detrimental to one’s mental health defining their self-worth, relevancy and cause anxiety. There is a lot of criticism and negativity that comes along with the job as the person is in the public’s eye. It also sets unrealistic expectations on daily work that must be put in to become successful. With ideas such as limiting time spent on social media, there are healthier ways to use it.
For Further Infomation:
Business insider international. “TikTok Is Breeding a New Batch of Child Stars. Psychologists Say What Comes next Won’t Be Pretty.” Business Insider Australia, 24 May 2020, https://www.businessinsider.com.au/psychologists-say-social-media-fame-may-harm-child-star-influencers-2020-5.
“Charli and Dixie D’Amelio Put Mental Health on Display like Never before. What Experts Say about Their Raw Reality Show.” Yahoo!, Yahoo!, https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/charli-dixie-damelio-shed-light-mental-health-social-media-164453055.html.
Jayson, Sharon. “Survey: Young People Who Use Social Media Seek Fame.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 18 Apr. 2013, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/04/18/social-media-tweens-fame/2091199/.
Locke, Taylor. “86% Of Young People Say They Want to Post Social Media Content for Money.” CNBC, CNBC, 11 Nov. 2019, https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/08/study-young-people-want-to-be-paid-influencers.html.
“Social Media and Adolescents’ and Young Adults’ Mental Health.” National Center for Health Research, 5 Oct. 2021, https://www.center4research.org/social-media-affects-mental-health/#:~:text=Anxiety%20and%20depression%20are%20not%20the%20only%20mental,one%E2%80%99s%20own%20body%20and%20becoming%20judgmental%20of%20it.