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Who’s Having An Impact on Your Teen?



Who's Having An Impact on Your Teen (1)

Teenagers have an especially strong desire to fit in with their group, but most people want to feel appreciated and accepted by their friends. Teens’ decisions about drugs, alcohol, and sex are just a few of the many areas of their lives that can be impacted by peer pressure and influence. Other choices include clothes, hairstyles, and music. Although peer pressure has long been a concept, social media influencers represent a completely new class of “peers” made possible by technology.

Influencer culture

To put it briefly, social media influencers are online celebrities who use their notoriety or perceived industry knowledge to persuade people to purchase goods that they are paid by companies to promote. The influencer marketing market is expected to be worth $21.1 billion in 2023 after experiencing exponential growth over the previous ten years.

Although using celebrities to promote products is not new, influencer marketing companies now have unprecedented access to potential customers thanks to the sharp rise in the number of users and time spent on social media platforms. Today’s social media marketing is ubiquitous, subtle, and even deceptive, thanks to the use of artificial intelligence (AI), complex algorithms, and ad targeting. As a result, it can be challenging for the average teen to recognize that they are the target of a deliberate marketing campaign.

Tips for Parents

In addition to helping teenagers navigate these talking, walking, interactive ads, equipping them with the critical thinking skills necessary to evaluate the messages they’re getting from social media influencers will also help them develop lifelong decision-making abilities. As usual, communication is essential.

Show interest in learning

A smart place to start is by expressing interest in teens and conversing with them about the influencers they follow and the reasons behind it. To stay current, think about following the accounts your kids use. Try to maintain an open dialogue style while avoiding judgment, even though this can be difficult at times.

Discuss photo editing and marketing

Talking about how images, videos, and posts can be edited and frequently aren’t true to life can also be a good idea at this point. Bring up with your adolescent the fact that a lot of influencers get paid to discuss or endorse products, and talk about how this could impact the messaging.

To facilitate the conversation, pose questions. “Who made this video, and what is the creator’s perspective?” “Is there anything that qualifies this person as an authority or someone you can trust?” “What made this post get made? to convince me to take action? What details have been made public? Has anything more been omitted? What emotions does this post evoke in you? Do you share this viewpoint?

Explore values

Assist children in discovering their own values; what matters to them, why, and how these contrast with the content they see on influencer accounts. Promote “healthy skepticism” regarding messages from influencers and instruct teenagers in the use of fact-checking resources. Discuss how to spot sponsored content: look for hashtags and posts that feature brands and companies in collaboration.

Take part in practical activities

Teenagers are naturally less exposed to this kind of peer pressure influencers if they spend less time online. Encouraging children to participate in offline, non-computer and non-smartphone activities such as sports and art projects keeps them offline and builds their self-esteem and sense of identity. Together, we can design a screen-time limit strategy that will help establish lifelong healthy habits.

Set an example for others

Even though it’s simple to forget, parents have an impact on their children’s lives. It’s crucial to set an example for others. Parents who spend a lot of time scrolling through social media may suffer from the “do-as-I-say-and-not-as-I-do” syndrome, which causes their kids to doubt the veracity of what they say. Examine your own group of influential peers critically and think about how they affect your own life. You might be able to resist the allure of influencer marketing by supporting your child in doing so.

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