With Influence Comes Responsibility

The age of social media has generated countless online ‘influencers, many with millions of followers. They range from musicians to people with quirky personalities, and from aspiring actors to motivational or inspirational speakers. The great news is that these influencers (and their followers) are of all ages and backgrounds. Everyone has an equal chance of going viral. But with that influence should come a sense of awe and responsibility.

Many people will try just about anything to become popular on social media. For some it has become proof of their ‘importance’ in life. For some it’s a showcase for their skills and talents, and for others it’s just a place to put other people down. While many are genuinely sharing their deepest issues and show their vulnerability, others fake going through hardships just to get attention. The truth is that people attract followers for countless real or completely fabricated reasons.

Whether you have attracted tens, hundreds, thousands or even millions of followers, it’s important that you keep a few things in mind:

  • One or more of the people who follow you are going to try to emulate you. They see you as a role model, and decide they want to be like you. So ask yourself, ‘What kind of example am I setting?’
  • Examine who you are following, and why? Are you truly enjoying someone’s talent or personality? Do you relate to them? Or are you drawn to people who are struggling because you relate to them? Do you get a kick out of on seeing other people who are hurting? Who you follow says a lot about your personality and your innermost thoughts and feelings. Your followers will follow the people you follow, which in turn makes you a different but still effective form of influencer.
  • When you comment on posts, do you build others up? Or do you tear others down? What do your comments say about you as a person or as a friend? Your comments are a form of influence as well.

The bottom line is this: Any time you put yourself out there on social media in any manner, you put yourself in a position to affect the lives of the people who see you. Whether you realize it or not, you have control their feelings and emotions for that short moment. But sometimes, those feelings last far beyond that immediate impact. Countless people have been destroyed by just one person’s words. But countless others have been inspired and motivated by the same number of words. Only you get to choose which kind f influencer you are and are going to be.

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