PSYCHOLOGICAL CHALLENGES OF BEING AN INFLUENCER
“With great power comes great responsibility.” Influencers are individuals with the potential to influence people on social media. They possess the power to affect purchase decisions of people in favour of brands they promote. Every power comes with a dark side, to this limelight. Amid the pressure of being perfect, influencers don’t have an easy life. They face issues like-
1. LOW SELF ESTEEM
There is no human who is devoid of flaws. However, influencers are expected to be the epitome of perfection. It becomes difficult for influencers to always appear in perfect shape and state. In the rat race of social media, there is always someone better who can replace you. Your shelf life is till that one video. It creates immense pressure on influencers to stay ahead of others. This results in low self-esteem and high insecurities.
2. DEALING WITH CYBERBULLIES
No matter how hard one tries to foster a positive environment, there are always some faceless trolls damaging others’ mental peace. Many influencers find it difficult to ignore derogatory comments. Not only mega and macro-influencers but micro-influencers are also trolled. Sometimes this trolling is not limited to their content, physique, and views but also involves their personal lives. In such cases, it can affect the person’s mental health severely.
3. BEING ALONE IN THE CROWD
Despite having a massive fan following, many influencers complain of anxiety issues and loneliness. This might be because influencers and content creators are mostly swamped with work. Social media celebrities are mostly engaged in online interactions which makes them lose links with real life. Their minds start living in augmented reality. They start to seek validation through likes, comments, and online engagements. But these are just hollow attempts to fulfill their emotional voids.
4. ORIGINALITY OR VALIDATION?
Influencers are seen promoting “BE YOURSELF” but are they able to do what they preach? Sometimes under pressure from fans, competitors, or brands, influencers often have to compromise. They have to relinquish their values, ideologies, and opinions. Especially when influencers have garnered a big number of followers, they have to constrain expressing their true selves.
It is often observed that influencers receive backlash from different political and social groups. Hence, they have to be cautious before conveying any controversial views.
5. IMPACT ON PHYSICAL HEALTH
Influencers have to spend a lot of time on screen creating, editing, and approving. Increased screen time results in degraded physical health. It causes problems related to the eyes, back, posture, sleep schedule, and eating habits.
6. JOB INSECURITY
Research shows how the insecurity of a job causes more stress than the loss of a job itself. Since the career and income of influencers solely depend on their social media life, it is always at risk. A decrease in the number of likes and followers can make them lose sleep. Also, this rat race of social media puts additional stress of being replaced. Therefore they are always anxious about their reach.
7. DO INFLUENCERS FEEL SAFE?
Anyone with an online social media presence is vulnerable to risks and potential abuse. Many influencers have to face infringement of their content by others. Not only is their content stolen, sometimes their personal data such as pictures and contact details is manipulated and misused. Although applications like Instagram try to make it a safer place, people often have to pay for staying in this world full of glamour and fame.
8. LACK OF TIME IN REAL LIFE
Influencers have to keep updating their life on social media which does not let them have quality time with family. They rarely have time to enjoy nature and have time with themselves. They even feel fear of missing out(FOMO) from real-life relationships.