Influencers. I get it. There are several influencers I follow on Instagram that make me laugh or challenge me to see a different viewpoint on a given topic. My own daughter-in-law is an influencer and gives great ideas for gift giving or offers links to amazing products at a discounted price. Influencers influence. I understand the draw that some people have on their followers.
But now we also have “digital creators”. This alone isn’t what bothers me. A digital creator is basically someone who produces some type of digital content. The content may range from storytelling, creating music or videos, to giving instruction on photography. And there are many creators in the digital world with a huge following.
According to several articles I’ve read recently, the creator economy is becoming one of the “fastest-growing type(s) of small business.” We’re beginning to better understand the algorithms that basically build and maintain social media. And it’s easy to see that as the number of influencers and digital creators increases, the competition between them skyrockets. This is why creators are developing “new, hyper-specific revenue streams.”
NewNew, for example, is one of these new apps and is basically creating a “human stock market.” Here is how it works. A creator allows his fans to control the things he does throughout the day by posting a poll and allowing fans to vote on what he should do. Maybe it’s which shoes to wear, what sauce to put on his pasta, which store to go to, which friend to call. All of this is posted on the app, NewNew, where fans pay to vote in the poll. So, if you pay for enough voting power, you get to watch that person do whatever it is you wanted them to do.
And that is where I have a problem. The creators are monetizing every aspect of their lives. Maybe this doesn’t sound like a bad thing to you. I mean, who wouldn’t want to get paid to have complete strangers make silly decisions for you all day long. But do you realize what this is doing? These creators are selling themselves out. And what about the fans who are paying to vote?
For crying out loud, there are people in this country who are digging in garbage cans for day old bread while others are paying to be able to watch someone put on a maroon shirt instead of an orange one.
But let’s be realistic. That’s not the only issue here. Today, it’s deciding what to name the new dog. But as the algorithms change, these creators are going to be forced to up their game in order to stay at the top of the social media food change. Which means that tomorrow, naming the dog isn’t enough. The creator may feel the need to do something challenging or even dangerous in order to garner the attention of their fanbase and maintain their status in the social media sphere. And this can lead to an entirely new problem.
So, for the sake of humanity, could we all just stop aiding this addiction and just so “no” to platforms like NewNew? If you really think about it, we would probably be much better off for doing so.