• Sunday, May 19, 2024
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Gen Z dreams big: Influencing careers boom, but mental health risks loom

Gen Z dreams big Influencing careers boom, but mental health risks loom

In today’s digital age, the career landscape continually evolves, with technology giving rise to new opportunities and pathways. Among these emerging career paths, the role of influencers has garnered significant attention, particularly among Gen-Z individuals.

However, while the allure of influencing may seem appealing, it’s essential to understand the motivations behind this career choice and address the potential mental health implications associated with it.

According to 2023 data from Morning Consult, a substantial 57 percent of Gen-Z individuals are interested in becoming influencers if given the opportunity.

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This statistic highlights the growing appeal of influencing as a career path, driven by various factors ranging from the desire for popularity and financial independence to the allure of online fame and recognition.

One of the primary reasons behind the popularity of influencing Gen-Z is the potential for financial gain.

Influencers can monetize their content through product endorsements, sponsored posts, and affiliate marketing, often earning substantial incomes without leaving the comfort of their homes.

The success stories of influencers like Eniolaoluwa, Kie Kie, Berby Picxy, Don Jazzy, and many others serve as aspirational figures for many young individuals, showcasing the potential for financial success in the digital realm.

Moreover, the rise of social media platforms like TikTok has democratized fame, allowing ordinary individuals to amass large followings and cultivate their brands.

This accessibility has made the influencer lifestyle seem attainable and appealing to younger generations, who are drawn to fame and recognition through social media.

However, beneath the surface glamour of influencing lies a host of potential challenges and risks, particularly concerning mental health.

Reports from experts and organizations like the Surgeon General and Whistleblower have raised concerns about the negative impact of social media on youth mental health, citing issues such as cyberbullying, social comparison, and feelings of inadequacy.

Read also: Gen Z men pushing boundaries and challenging traditional norms

Influencers, in particular, are vulnerable to these risks due to their significant online exposure and the pressure to maintain a curated public image.

The pursuit of influencer status can exacerbate existing mental health challenges and contribute to issues like anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem.

To address these concerns and support Gen-Z individuals in navigating the influencer landscape, parents and caregivers must engage in open and honest conversations about social media use and career aspirations.

Here are some strategies for fostering productive dialogue:

Keep an open mind

Avoid dismissing influencing as frivolous or unimportant. Acknowledge the potential benefits of social media while also discussing the risks and challenges associated with it.

Go back to basics

Start early conversations about responsible social media use, privacy, and online safety. Encourage critical thinking and mindfulness when engaging with social media platforms.

Foster acceptance

Respect your child’s autonomy and independence in choosing their career path. Offer support and guidance while allowing them to make informed decisions about their future.

Discuss guardrails

Establish clear boundaries and rules around social media use, including privacy settings, screen time limits, and guidelines for engaging with brands and sponsored content.

Monitor and fine-tune

Stay actively involved in your child’s online activities and regularly revisit and adjust boundaries as needed. Encourage open communication about mental health and well-being.