One of our fundamental goals at YEWGlobal is to educate and stimulate young minds to think critically on matters involving them and the world.
YEWGlobal is a catalyst for change, empowering youth to lead, innovate, and transform their communities. However, before anyone can stand for change, they must be well-informed. Our weekly articles will do just that. Inform!
Welcome to our first edition of Articles For Change by YEWGlobal.
Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family. - Kofi Annan
Influencing For A Cause:
Social Activism In The World Of Influencer!
Social media platforms have become an integral part of people’s everyday lives. In 2022, around 4.62 billion people were estimated to use social media, more than half of the world’s population. Social media has revolutionised the way we connect and interact with each other. It has also given rise to a new phenomenon: social media influencers. Influencers are individuals who have amassed a large following on social media platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube and can influence their followers’ opinions and behaviours. Social media influencers have become an indispensable part of social media, informing audiences, especially young ones, about various topics, such as beauty, lifestyle, politics, technology, sports, health, tourism, arts and food, among others.
Social activism among influencers is not a new phenomenon, but its prominence has grown significantly in recent years. Influencers are uniquely positioned to drive change because they have highly engaged and diverse audiences that trust their opinions and values. Their ability to humanise complex issues, connect with people on a personal level, and facilitate dialogue makes them invaluable allies in the fight for social justice and other societal concerns. A clear example is the ‘Black Lives Matter Movement’. This was sparked by the tragic death of George Floyd in 2020, which saw an outpouring of support from influencers worldwide. Influencers used their platforms to raise awareness about racial discrimination and amplify the voices of other marginalised communities. Influencers often collaborate with humanitarian organisations to raise funds and awareness for causes such as poverty alleviation, refugee rights and disaster relief efforts. Additionally, the stigma surrounding mental health has been challenged by influencers who openly discuss their struggles with anxiety, depression and other mental health issues. They use their platforms to create safe spaces that provide vital information, promote positive dialogue and encourage people to seek help.
While influencers can have a positive impact, there is growing concern about their effect on young minds. The content that influencers promote is not always positive or healthy. Many influencers promote unrealistic body standards and unhealthy behaviours. Influencers can also harm young people’s mental health. Social media platforms are designed to be addictive, and many young people spend hours scrolling through their feeds, comparing themselves to others and feeling inadequate. Influencers’ curated and edited content can create a distorted view of reality subsequently, leading young people to feel like they are not measuring up to their peers or the idealised version of themselves that they see online.
It is important to recognise that influencers are not inherently harmful. Many use their platforms to promote positive messages, such as body positivity, mental health awareness, and social justice. However, it is important to be conscious of the content we consume by questioning the message behind it. We should be mindful of the fact that influencers are often paid to promote products and that their content may not be entirely genuine. Social media influencers can have a powerful impact on young minds, both positive and negative. While we should be mindful of the potential risks, we should also recognise that influencers can be a source of inspiration and positive role models. By promoting media literacy and critical thinking, we can help young people navigate the world of social media healthily and productively.
Thank you for reading our first edition of the Articles For Change by YEWGlobal.
Write a comment and share it with your friends!
See you soon.