Who’s pulling our strings?

Who’s pulling our strings?

G-fuel, a drink formula among the gaming community, continues to make joint sponsorships of flavors with many highly rated streamers and content creators, boosting overall sales and popularity. Some big names include Pewdiepie, MOISTCR1TIKAL, and xQc, as well as other influencers with large audiences who accept the deals of the sponsorships for the high potential income for the exposure. By having large audiences who have built to trust these creators, it is riveting that the influencers themselves often do not even consume the product they are promoting. The sponsorship tactic does not just apply to G-fuel but brings up an interesting point, are we getting manipulated by social media influencers?

Realizing that a social media influencer has been spreading their false opinions on specific brands and games can be very infuriating, for myself included.

It’s important to remember that influencers often have much power and effect over their followers. In addition to sponsorships, they could be pushing a common overarching theme or promoting their audience to certain behaviors. After having free access to the internet ever since I was little, there is a clear difference between my preferences and language choice compared to friends who did not have this same freedom.

However, influencers can sometimes do the exact opposite, impacting their audience in a good way. One example is philanthropy-type content, which promotes “giving back” to the community. While sometimes exploited for exposure, the primary moral still resides and often brightens viewers’ days and motivates them to do the same.

How should we avoid the negatives and focus on the positives a social media influencer can bring?

Firstly, to buy sponsored products and games, see if the influencer commonly uses or plays what they are advertising. If not, there is a chance they are simply accepting promised money from a company trying to grow their sales. Additionally, watching non-sponsored reviews can provide honest discussions of the advertised product or game, giving you a better interpretation of what you are getting.

Secondly, try to be mindful of what type of content you are consuming. Specifically, I recommend avoiding an influencer with a strong bias towards a particular view and trying to advocate for disapproval or hatred towards another group. Even if you partially agree with where they are coming from, they can often push specific agendas, and you may fall victim to agreeing to topics you do not agree with. Influencers can be especially harmful to younger siblings, who are often impressionable; hence, being aware of what they are consuming can be helpful to them in the long run.

Sometimes we can’t control everything, influencers will continue to share their personal beliefs and agree to sponsorships. So the best course of action we can do is to be mindful of their true opinions and goals. Hey, even spying on your younger sibling isn’t so bad anymore.