The pitfalls of being an influencer: What parents should know and do – We Live Security

Does your child dream of becoming a YouTube or Instagram celebrity? The influencer lifestyle is not as picture-perfect as it may seem.

The rise of the internet has led to the rise of the social media influencer, altering the aspirations of children around the world. A recent survey of 2,000 parents of 11 to 16-year-olds shows that doctors (18%) are still number one on the dream job list, but they are closely followed by social media influencers (17%) and, more specifically, YouTubers (14%).

Being an online celebrity might look glamorous, but what are the risks? The digital world can hide a range of dangers, and its important that both children and their parents are aware of the threats.

Many young influencers, who base their self-worth on the likes and shares they receive, struggle if the interest of the online crowd fades. Basing self-esteem on public acknowledgement from strangers at an early age is risky this is especially true considering that feedback on the internet can often be even more aggressive as anonymity is heightened and the commentator can hide behind their screen.

Any person in the social media limelight will inevitably have to face online hate. Comment sections flooded with hateful messages are an emotional drag while actual threats are frightening for anyone, no matter their age.

Parents can help their children by moderating comments and reporting inappropriate behavior to administrators, but this is not feasible when large numbers of people are involved.

Kim Kardashian is one of the most influential figures on social media someone who likes to post and share everything from her private life. During one of her visits to Paris this backfired in the worst possible way when she was robbed at gun point, with criminals stealing jewelry worth US$8 million. It later came to light that the heist was organized based simply on following Kims whereabouts on social media posts. This example of oversharing should be a warning to anyone, especially to young influencers who will do almost anything to please their followers.

Parental guidance at the start a childs digital life is essential. It helps set healthy boundaries between public and private life on social media. Remember anything posted online will stay there forever.

Nowadays we spend so much time in the digital world that we often feel like its the real world, and so young children tend to overlook the simple fact that followers are not real friends. Anonymous online crowds will not be there when they need a break from the latest social media craze or be their confidant in difficult times. Real friends and family cannot be replaced and should not be neglected in favor of a digital life.

To learn more about dangers faced by children online as well as about how not only technology can help, head over to the to the Safer Kids Online platform.

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The pitfalls of being an influencer: What parents should know and do - We Live Security

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