Are You the Same Person on Social Media as You Are in Real Life?


Ilona Soltys, Editor

Social Media Influencer is a title that has developed greatly over the last two years and one that many online “celebrities” have acquired. But what exactly is it? Influencers in the world of Youtube and Instagram don’t necessarily fit the cookie-cutter mold of a regular influencer, or a person that impacts the behaviors and lives of their followers. Social Media Influencers are usually just people with a large following on youtube, twitter, or instagram, that occasionally give actual advice or attempt to better their followers’ lives, like health and fitness accounts. Many of these “celebrities” become popular solely for the fact that they’re attractive or take “artsy” photos. On top of that, a majority of them are young girls and boys who are as young as 14 years old.

On his podcast, The Basement Yard, Joe Santagato began to elaborate on the lives of these influencers and why he does not consider himself one, even though he is well-off because of his Youtube career that kickstarted about nine years ago. He says that “these kids” that live in Los Angeles have formed their own little exclusive world. Every event they attend is “influencer-only” and they use it as a photo op to update their Instagram feed. They post to impress each other because otherwise, they’d be “flexing” their head-to-toe Gucci outfits for their audience of 11 and 12 year olds. Santagato, in simpler terms, was saying that every picture, tweet, status, and video had to be somewhat relatable and could only highlight the good sponsored Mykonos vacations and free makeup products.

So that leads me to my initial question, are you the same person on social media as you are in real life? Of course not. Unless you’re constantly posting black screens on snapchat about how heartbroken and stressed you are or about how “fake everyone is,” you, alongside everyone else, hides behind a screen. Why would you want to share selfies with tear-stained cheeks or your failed Calculus test when you could swap it for a sunset photo or a beach “throwback cause” you’re “missin’ this.” Why ruin your perfectly good, monochromatic, black, white, gray, artsy pictures only Instagram feed with a genuine picture of you smiling? Or one with your family?

Now that leads me to my next question. What kind of impact is this fake persona we put on going to have on us and the generations to come? Everyone’s going to want to be sipping “skinny tea” with their rock-hard six pack when in reality, the tea is just laxatives and the abs were photoshopped on. Scary huh?