Perhaps I had approached this from a different angle because I am a teacher, but I came to realise we are all influencers even on a micro level, and on a daily basis. Our opinions, the way we dress, our actions, they’re all capable of influencing others, often without us even being aware of it. As a teacher, we are more than aware of the influence we have on young people and the power that comes with that. Whilst we know and want to use this for good, we are constantly aware of how our opinions are taken by others and are consequentially cautious to provide an objective approach. There are even some topics that are no-go red zones that we are completely not allowed to discuss; we’re not allowed to talk about our political opinions, for example. Imagine teaching business and not being able to talk about your opinion on the general election campaigns!
I for one do not deny my influence, hence the platform I have the most followers on (Instagram), I tend to keep it just about the clothes. I chose to make my blog the outlet for my personal opinion and this is how I have reconciled how to navigate my responsibility whilst being able to publish my opinions. I am fully aware that what I write has the capability to influence many people without my knowledge. And that is something I have to be aware of and cater for.
So why are so many bloggers and influencers in denial about their influence? Is it because they themselves don’t understand it? Or maybe it’s because they don’t want to carry the burden of knowing their actions do matter, and will be held accountable in influencing others?
The only thing that’s different between you walking down the street in your outfit and posting a picture online is that you potentially have a crazy amount of people seeing it online, you also can add inflammatory comments and opinions to the mix which can reach more young women than you care to imagine. This can be dangerous for someone’s heart, mind, and spirit. You talk, engage and facilitate conversation on these matters that can be the reason for someone to find strength in the weakening of their faith.
So this isn’t just a message to influencers to wake up, admit your influence and use it well. But it’s a message to us all. We are all influencers in our day to day lives. We inspire, provoke and encourage. We are role models to someone. Be it your own children, friends or random people we meet. We need to be more responsible with our influence. Embrace it and utilise it. But don’t deny it. Because it’s not about the masses. It’s about the one person who saw you or heard you, listened to you or watched you and thought, ‘I want to do that, I want to be like that, I agree or disagree with that’. And it embeds, becomes part of their mind structure, and works into their actions. Their truth, a tiny part of their life is influenced greatly by you, this can mean more blessings for you, or a more grave reality. Be responsible with your influence.