Finances – We all have them. Money in, money out. Bills in, bills paid. It runs the society we live in, and whether we like it or not, how much of it we have can determine the way other people view and judge us. Money can determine our access, our opportunities, or prospects. And while it is easy to agree that too much of the world and how we do things revolve around money, it is less easy to see a clear path that is profitable for the majority, rather than just the wealthy few. Our obsession with money and keeping up with the standards we see those around us attaining has become even harder in the last 15 years with the birth and meteoric rise of social media.
Social media is known to have its positives, like those who invented its various platforms must have intended many years ago at their inception. Social media allows us to stay connected with loved ones, however near or far, share the highlights of our lives, and engage in debate and discussion about the news of the day. However, as technology and social media have both developed at break-neck speeds, we now have constant access to it through our phones, laptops, and tablet devices whenever and wherever we like. As a result, we are constantly connected – aware of the goings-on of our friends at every minute, and more importantly, to the celebrities and influencers that we look up to.
Celebrities have always had dreamlike, unattainable lifestyles, surrounded by levels of money that most of us could only dream of. With the rise of social media, however, we have all become able to share our lives, and those of us who have been able to take on the moniker and job title of ‘influencer’ was, at one point, normal people just like the rest of us. And, because we know that they were once ordinary, regular people, and because so many of them practice ‘curated imperfection’ to make them seem more relatable to the average user, it can be extremely easy to forget that so many influencers are paid vast amounts of money per post. Some of those with the biggest following can be paid hundreds or thousands of pounds or dollars, especially those with large followings. Some of the bigger, more influential influencersare more like walking advertisements for the products they promote than people, yet they are advertising to impressionable younger people, who buy into the lavish lifestyle they are selling without seeing the massive amounts of advertising money that fuel them.
Although the surface has only been scratched here with a discussion of the link between money and social media and how our lives are ever-increasingly defined by both and by the relationship between the two, it is an important relationship to think about, especially as the pandemic has made us more reliant on social media and more exposed to such adverts disguised as ordinary people just living their lives. As this is where the future is headed, we need to learn and teach the many marketing strategies that are being employed here.