The Many Layers of Influencer Culture How to Navigate the Countless Characteristics of Influencing (2022)

It’s 2022, and one thing is certain: there is money to be made on the internet. Regardless of who you’re influencing or what kind of product you’re promoting, companies have grown fond of the diverse opportunities that exist as a result of the social media boom. In this guide, we’ll seek to deep-dive into this new-age form of advertisement, and address some of the benefits and downsides of them, too.

Why is this an important topic, anyway? Even though influencer culture has become a prominent facet in the lives of the younger generations, it affects each generation equally. Chances are, you’ve been influenced in some way or another by a social media star without even knowing it! This is because some Gen-Z social media stars have risen to such internet fame that the next logical step is mainstream media (a good example being Charli D’amelio’s appearance on the newest season of Dancing with the Stars). What are your thoughts on this topic? Leave a comment below. And don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter, where we apply this same generational insight every week!


What is an Influencer?

Generally speaking, an influencer is exactly what it sounds like: someone with influence, who possesses the ability to sway groups of people one way or another on a given subject or niche. For older generations, celebrities, movie stars and musical artists were the OG influencers of their time. Today, however, influencers come in all shapes and sizes. Twitch streamers, beauty gurus, social media stars, or public figures (and more) can all be grouped under the larger umbrella that is the “influencer”.


Influencing as a “Real Job”

The subject of whether or not influencing is a real and sustainable career is ongoing, but the facts remain clear. Influencers, on average, make anywhere between $5,000 to $35,000 a month. These individuals create relationships with brands, negotiate a contract, and begin advertising for them. There are a multitude of avenues for this type of marketing, but the most common are sponsored posts, affiliate links, and product reviews.

Another form of influencer marketing is partnerships, where a brand teams up with a prominent social media personality to develop a product line or new concept. This model gives brands the whole package, considering the influencer knows their specific target market better than anyone, and they effectively become the face of the brand momentarily. One of the most iconic examples of Gen-Z brand partnerships right now is, without a doubt, Emma Chamberlain’s collaboration with the exceedingly popular clothing brand Aritzia. Gen-Z cannot get enough of this one.


The Dark Side of Influencing

Among all of the glamor and prosperity that comes with thousands of followers and access to household-name brands, there does exist a downside to this lavish gig. With the rise of connectivity and social awareness comes an ongoing responsibility to act as a positive role model. This concept has become especially interesting as cancel culture becomes commonplace on the internet. Influencers are continually searching for ways to become more “brand friendly”, which has its own set of pros and cons.

Even more than that, influencers are heralded as their own kind of celebrity, which is evidenced by public recognitions and subsequent photo-ops, paparazzi ambushes, and a decreased sense of privacy when it comes to personal issues, relationships, or privacy in general. Break up videos and public apologies are now the norm, but that’s just part of the job these days.



To sum it all up: social media has drastically changed the way younger generations view marketing and just plain existing in a hyper-connected world. It is crucial for all generations to at least try to understand these trends, considering how lucrative and powerful they have become.

What are your thoughts on the topic? Are influencers really celebrities? Have you ever purchased something because a trendy Tik Toker had an Amazon Storefront in their bio? Do you yourself know an influencer? We’d love to hear your thoughts, and we’d love to have you subscribe to our weekly generational newsletter!

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Let’s face it: anxiety is real, can be debilitating, and on top of that, it’s an incredibly nuanced concept…for everyone. Admittedly, the stressors and pressures the various generations face could not be more different, but one thing remains; mental health is a topic that everyone can benefit from discussing. Anxiety is much more common than we may think, and generational perspectives on mental health have widely shifted to fit the times.

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