hands holding smartphoneYou might want to think again when it comes to aspirations of becoming a social media influencer, according to researchers from the Faculty of Human Kinetics. Photo by Cottonbro Studio/Pexels.com.

Researchers warn against allure of being a social media influencer

Being a social media influencer may not be as glamorous as it seems, says a team of researchers from UWindsor’s Faculty of Human Kinetics.

In an article published in The Conversation, kinesiology professor Sarah Woodruff and members of her Community Health, Environment, and Wellness Lab — PhD. students Sheldon Fetter and Samantha Monk and PhD candidate Paige Coyne — write that monetizing content is not easy as some young people believe.

Income is unpredictable in an environment controlled by algorithms and increasing government intervention in social media and streaming platforms, their research shows. And the stress of embarking on this form of “independent entrepreneurship” with no regulation, training, or support can lead to physical and mental health issues, they say.

The team surveyed 750 Canadians between the ages of 16 and 30 and found 75 per cent of them wanted to become social media influencers.

“With more young people wanting to be influencers, it is our job to educate rather than dissuade,” the team says. “By highlighting these realities, we hope to mitigate some of the negative outcomes associated with a career in social media influencing.”

Read the full article here.

—Sarah Sacheli

Academic Area: