Right now, there’s a 15-year-old girl out there making 10x what you do at your day job just by releasing an occasional makeup tutorial video or complaining about some perceived societal ill and how it will ruin us all on Tik Tok. But before you get upset about the inequities of the new social media influencer instant-riches pipeline, let’s take a step back.
Today, pundits on television and bloggers with far too much time on their hands are pointing a finger at the ones clever enough to profit from an increase in market share for technologies like streaming on mobile phones instead of the greater issues of the day.
Money: We Need to Stop Blaming Social Media Influencers
Marketing changes throughout the years. If you don’t believe me, just recount the last time you used the family’s Sears catalogue to order Christmas presents. Ok, well, that used to be a thing about 50 years ago.
Consumers, producers, and everyone and their momma are using the internet for learning, entertainment, buying, and selling. What I’m saying is, demand for effective marketing using the most modern methods is always going to be worth money to those willing to pay. That includes social media influencer marketing.
When you consider that over half of young people would like to become prominent social media figures (Eichorn, 2022), you can’t really blame the most successful ones who’ve learned to attract and entertain an audience, then monetize their traffic. It’s the new success model, and one that’s been encouraged by large brands and selfie-taking divorcees at brunch alike.
After all, we do still have the remnants of a free market economy where, at least in theory and in some places, in practice, you can set out on your own, build a following, offer some form of value (real or perceived), and enjoy the fruits of your labors, but not everyone sees it that way. The real problem is that America and the western world have descended into failed socialist and communist ideology (Salmon, 2021), where a cynical world full of envy and a lack of real opportunity drives current trends in both art, commerce, and social and political thought.
We Need to Stop Blaming the Millionaires
With inflation, a million dollars no longer holds the same “wow” factor it once did. Now you really need to have a few million large to really get the feeling of lifelong wealth and security. So let’s remember while we point the finger at millionaires, who by comparison are making crumbs to billionaires and hedge funds.
You’ve probably heard similar complaints about high-paid athletes in professional sports: “Should an NFL player make more than a U.S. Army infantry soldier?” It denies market realities like supply and demand, value scarcity, and the freedom of choice on the part of consumers. Class and income envy are the types of chilling behaviors a populace hellbent on becoming communist will exhibit, along with limiting freedom of speech.
Social media influencers have that right to speak—well, as much as Silicon Valley will afford them, anyway. Influencers are on private platforms, earning money for those companies through advertising and site visitors’ clicks on ads. It’s totally voluntary, and, in most cases, completely free for site visitors. So who’s to say someone else is engaging in unjust enrichment when it’s all technically legal and they’re not causing harm?
This suspicion that people are making more money than we think they ought to is just another symptom of a larger trend plaguing once-free cultures and societies—”cancel culture.” And it’s not just me saying this. Many immigrants to America who fled authoritarian, communist countries like the Soviet Union, China, Vietnam, and Cuba are concerned that the western world and the U.S. are in the beginning stages of communism (Schlott, 2022).
Some might argue the quality of social media content is debatable, and I’d certainly agree. However, social media’s impact is held to unfair standards when compared to many mainstream sources of entertainment and common everyday information presented as objective and authoritative.
We Need to Stop Blaming the Productive People Who Can’t Be Seen But Get Penalized Nonetheless
What’s worse is that there’s a ton of content creators out there on all the most popular sites who are providing solid value through how-to videos, social and political commentary (where allowed), and general companionship to a lot of marginalized people. The folks providing this type of content to audiences are the backbone of the internet, shouldering the load to produce real, useful content that future generations will benefit from, especially those without safe access to a library or other educational resources.
The real problems of our society include groupthink that puts blind trust in a government that can’t get out of debt and can’t protect its own people (Han et al., 2021), is constantly increasing its power, and is only happy to allow the little people to bicker and complain about how the deck chairs are arranged on the Titanic as the boat sinks into oblivion.
Fewer real opportunities exist for young people these days, considering the failing public education system and a dwindling middle class that has less time to pay bills and provide a well-rounded upbringing for their children. Now that the populace has been instructed and trained to stay inside their homes, fear the outside world and nature, and do as they’re told, they don’t have time to use their imaginations. They probably don’t even own a home with a backyard where they could work industriously on a hobby or project with their two hands that could materialize into a more traditional business model.
There’s less to go around for everyone now, but should we take from those digital influencers because we disagree with their own worldly, materialistic success? What exactly would that solve?
Let’s fix the real problems and not obsess about the little people making too much money. There’s really no chance for a prosperous future if people spend more and more time worrying about what other people are doing, while constantly seeking to be victims. If you don’t agree with social media influencers or think they’re grifters, the solution is simple: don’t let yourself or your kids watch them.
Eichorn, K. (2022) Under the Influence RSA Journal
Vol. 168, No. 2(5589) (2022), pp. 36-39 (4 pages). https://www.jstor.org/stable/48708175
Salmon, F. (2021, June 25). America’s continued move toward socialism. Axios. Retrieved
February 21, 2023, from
Schlott, R. (2022, April 2). Four Communist escapees warn: ‘America is becoming authoritarian
Nation’. New York Post. Retrieved February 21, 2023, from
Han, Q., Zheng, B., Cristea, M., Agostini, M., Bélanger, J. J., Gützkow, Kreienkamp, J.,
PsyCorona Collaboration, & Leander, N. P. (2021, March 26). Trust in government
regarding COVID-19 and its associations with preventive health behaviour and prosocial
behaviour during the pandemic: A cross-sectional and longitudinal study. Psychological
medicine. Retrieved February 21, 2023, from
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