We all follow more or less popular influencers on social media, but how these so-called ‘opinion leader’ really impact our personal lives and affects our choices?
The platform Wyred offered the space for discussing this subject and a lively debate arose around the role of Instagram influencers in our society.
We asked young people from different countries to follow an influencer of their choice for a week and to explain to the ‘community’ what he published and the feelings aroused by its posts.
What kind of influence do they exert? Do their lifestyle affects only the way we wish to appear or also our innermost feelings?
What came out is that most of the time young people seek to imitate what their idols do on social media, how they look like and what they wear.
Companies know that and use VIPs to promote their products online.
In their posts, stories and videos, influencers often endorse products for which they have been handsomely paid. A keen eye can indeed spot hidden advertising but young people usually lowers their guards on social media and don’t always realise that what they watch every day is nothing but an ad campaign.
It’s easy to see how the power and popularity of influencers can actually be dangerous if not used properly.
Many Wyred users admitted that their recent purchases were influenced by what they saw on Instagram celebrities profiles.
When questioned about the reason behind such behavior it emerged that for some of them this is the only way to feel more confident and good about themselves.
Cover advertisement raises therefore an issue not only about the lack of transparency on the web (medias stars don’t declare whether they are being paid for product placement) but also because this sales technique often exploits people’s weaknesses to make them spend money.
Almost everyone on the forum agreed on the positive role that education can play in helping young people understanding what lies behind the perfect world of influencers and how to recognise and deconstruct hidden adverts.