Influencer e salute mentale

Until a few years ago the position of influencer did not exist, while nowadays there of any sorts and age.
What is an influencer? It is a person who is precisely so influential to affect the opinion and the shopping decisions of the users. His power is to be persuasive and to make sure people identify with him or with his message or his values. He’s capable of amplifying opinions, messages and other things thanks to his (true or presumed) expertise. Those who follow him, his community, has trust in his reputation and his abilities.

We meet influencers on almost every virtual platform, so much so that they usually have more communication channels with their community.

They are bloggers, Youtubers, Instagrammers, photographers sharing their content on their channels, interacting with their followers about the topics they deal with. Thanks to their following, influencers are contacted by companies wanting them to promote a product or service. Seeing a person resembling our way of thinking and looking at things makes us feel nearer to them. It becomes a person of trust and value. Influencers are seen as real, genuine, trust-inspiring people with whom it is even possible to communicate directly.

Every influencer tends to “specialise” in its own field, in which he becomes the main actor. These themes are for example gaming, lifestyle, wellness, fitness, food and so on.

The criteria to define the type of influencer can be divided based on the scale of the audience and the level of influence they exert. They can be micro-influencer if they have up to 25.000 follower or even celebrities if they have more than half million followers. It is only natural that companies use them as a mean to promote their products.

All this poses some questions, especially about the impact influencers can have on young people and on the most vulnerable

Presenza mentale sui social
Essere qui ora

The type of person I follow on social networks can influence my way to see the world and my values. I buy that thing because that person has it. I choose to appear that way because it is trendier. Following people who chase high beauty standards, continuous social recognition and a value universe where you are in or out can push the young or vulnerable person to try and identify himself with these pushy ideas. Trying to conform to these standards can cause anxiety and negative situation such as eating disorders and depression. Conforming in order to fit these fashion-dictated standards can cloud the judgement and the comprehension we should have of our own self. We risk becoming dependent on external judgement and temporary trends. The authenticity and the uniqueness of the individual are set aside in favour of a collective thinking, which is potentially damaging for the persona.

The aim is not to demonize the influencers, however it is better to try and take interest in the contents seen and shared among younger generation. Influencers can be a great asset if the contents they share are useful for the individual, but they can also be dangerous for those who are easily led.

Dott. Manuel Nicolè

Psicologo Psicoterapeuta Consulente Sessuologo