Influencers not always role models

Keianah Weakland 
Opinion Editor

As teenagers and young adults, many students look up to influencers they see online in everyday life. There are social media influencers on YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, as well as actors and artists. Through the pandemic, adults have stressed the importance of staying safe, wearing masks, staying home, and social distancing.

Some influencers who have tested positive for COVID-19 are the 8 Passengers, Idris Elba, Alyssa Milano, and Jake Paul were exposed to the virus. It came as such a shock to see these TV stars and role models get COVID-19. It surprised many people when Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and his family tested positive.

People have to follow many precautions that have been put into place since the outbreak in order to keep us and the people around us safe. Many teenagers have their driver’s licenses and want to go on a hike, bike ride, swim with their friends, especially coming out of the hot days of summer. But this was unrealistic for many people because of social distancing. 

As the temperatures rose, more and more people fled to our surrounding lakes and rivers. This made it difficult to maintain social distancing when spending the day outside.

It’s hard enough having to sit at home instead of being able to go paddle boarding or doing other summer activities, but seeing social media influencers constantly being able to do these things and posting about it, makes it feel like the world is back to normal and that followers are able to do these things too. 

Content creators post on all of their social media (Snapchat, Instagram, and YouTube) so it makes it difficult to not see their posts. Their content shows up under your feed and is in the recommended. They tend to do these activities in groups, so followers will see four YouTube videos on their outing. 

Then people see YouTube videos or stories come out about these people getting COVID-19. Influencers like Brooklyn and Bailey and Tanner Fox tend to downplay the severity of it and see it as more content for their viewers. 

This affects influencers’ younger viewers because followers see they can go out and do whatever they want. And if they do get the coronavirus, they get to stay home for two weeks to recover. 

Influencers have been using the pandemic to create a lot of content. For example, videoing getting tested has been on many influencers’ social media accounts. Also, false positives have been a way for influencers to click bait, like Kacey Dirksen. Dirksen posted a YouTube video named “I tested positive for COVID-19”, which led all of her viewers to think she has COVID-19, but in the video she stated it was a false positive. When she took another test, it was negative.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, many people have been taking extra precautions in order to stay safe. While all teenagers want to do is to hang out with their friends or experience their last year of high school, they are not allowed to. But as people watch social media and all of the influencers, actors, and artists, they see them continuing to party and participate in social gatherings, making the viewers and followers think they can do the same.

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