By Arielle Champion

 

As a result of the pandemic, many things have changed, one being social media. With everything temporarily shutting down and being switched online, many people turned to social media. 

According to a report done by eMarketer Principal Analyst Debra Aho Williamson, “Americans spent on average 82 minutes per day on social media in 2020, a seven-minute jump from 2019 and a large upward revision from eMarketer’s original forecast.”

While some continue to leisurely post, others have used it to their advantage to express their passions and hobbies. Instagram is the home of models, makeup artists, singers, and more. 

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Influencers are constantly posting on their page and stories. Whether it’s a breakfast photo in the morning or showing off a new product for a brand they’re working with, influencers spend a lot of time creating quality content for their followings. 

Influencer Cynthia Victor says, “Every day I wake up and I’m still in shock that so many people follow me.” 

“Sometimes I feel oversaturated by numbers. They feel fake, if that makes sense, but then I go to a grocery store and see like 5 people and then realized oh my gosh there are 90,000 people following me,” said Victor who’s also a senior at Rutgers-New Brunswick.

Influencer Lexxi Pulido said, “It feels amazing because of the amount of support and interaction you get with and from the supporters feels like a dream.”

After interviewing Cynthia Victor and Lexxi Pulido, it was interesting to learn some of the feelings that come with having such a large platform. Having so many people looking forward to your posts, getting to know you as a person, and just following your everyday life can be a great experience but also challenging.

Social media, especially Instagram, can be a scary place for influencers. Some followers will be supportive while others, the exact opposite. 

Pulido, who loves clothes and modeling them, mentioned that dealing with rude comments is often hard and people neglect the fact that there’s so much that goes into being an influencer.

“They don’t know what one goes through, what insecurities they deal with or what emotions are running at the time they decide to post but no matter what it will always come with someone ready to judge behind a keyboard.”

The fact that people can interact with one another behind a screen creates room for easy judgment. What one might not say face to face what is commented underneath that person’s post. 

Although it’s only being typed on a screen, it still can harm the person who’s being vulnerable and posting their videos and photos on social media platforms such as Instagram. 

Victor explained, “A lot of people put you on a pedestal and think you’re perfect.” The 21-year-old influencer continued on to say, “I am human. I have morals and beliefs that may be different than yours and I believe it should be,”.

Being an influencer not only comes with critics but personal obstacles as well. As an influencer on Instagram, one has to continually post to keep their profile intact. 

According to an article written by Paige Cooper, “A consistent presence is the best way to build a real connection with your followers.”

This means, posting at least once, putting up 10 stories, and creating one reel each day. Trying to keep up with Instagram’s algorithm is challenging at times and can interfere with one’s personal life especially as a college student or mother. 

Victor spoke about juggling her social image and working as a full-time student. Having to keep up with assignments, essays, midterms, and everything else college brings can be challenging at times when she has to also focus on her Instagram page that’s continuously growing. 

“School is important because I need my education and I want to graduate but if I’m social media creating content I could grow larger and make it my career and make money,” said Victor.

On the other hand, Pulido shared one of her current battles as an influencer and a mother. Pulido expressed her struggle between getting back to all of her followers and taking care of her three children. 

“Do I sit around and get back to everyone for a few minutes or do I give my undivided attention to my clingy infant who can’t seem to let me put her down?” Pulido explained.

Before the pandemic, social media’s sole purpose was to share photos and connect with family and friends. Now that the world has become dependent on social media for various reasons, including pursuing a career, it has brought on challenges. 

Despite some of these obstacles that influencers encounter daily, Victor and Pulido expressed how grateful they are to be living through such a great experience.

Victor spoke about her passion for makeup and said, “The influence I have on people, for me, it’s not about convincing someone to try out a product, but more about teaching them and making them feel happy about life and themselves.”

Victor shared her ambitions for having her makeup photos plastered on the walls of popular stores like MAC or Sephora one day. After interviewing Cynthia Victor and Lexxi Pulido, it’s interesting to think where their social media pages will take them.