Influencers: a sociological phenomenon

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Influencers: a sociological phenomenon


By Adam Borowski

What makes us look at someone and say: when this person speaks, people listen? The obvious answer? Money. But the matter is much more complex than money. There are people who have a heavy impact on thought processes of entire nations, and yet they do not appear to have millions in the bank.

Money certainly brings social status. Social status equals influence. A random person expressing an opinion is not going to affect stock markets. That is an undeniable fact of life. Some say wealth is a state of mind. Perhaps this wealthy state of mind is what makes certain individuals so charismatic?

Intellectual prowess. Geniuses are revered in our society, because they seem so alien to the rest of the population; it is not even what geniuses know, but rather the sheer foreignness they represent. Genius is often seen as a hero of sorts, someone from another dimension who cannot be fully understood by the ones who operate in a social consensus.

Conversely, sometimes all it takes to become an influencer is displaying mind-boggling ignorance _ and reveling in it.
Governments play a major part in being influencers. The government may not be represented by a single individual, and yet the society-shaping power it wields is enormous.

Many people assume the government knows best. I will give you an unorthodox example. In the time of World War I, British women were encouraged to seek out men who were not fighting on the front lines ― and give them white feathers.

Men who were sometimes too young to fight, were called cowards and told to wear dresses as a sign of their shame. The women were told it was their patriotic duty to persuade (I use the term loosely) men to fight for Britain.

When people like every single comment their favorite influencer makes on social media ― do they apply critical thinking? Is this an automatic process?

People who earned their status as authority figures ought to be respected and listened to; alas, we live in a world, where all it takes to manipulate entire societies is a silver tongue and braggadocious behavior.


Adam Borowski (adam.borowski1985@gmail.com) teaches English to students on all levels of advancement.



By Adam Borowski

What makes us look at someone and say: when this person speaks, people listen? The obvious answer? Money. But the matter is much more complex than money. There are people who have a heavy impact on thought processes of entire nations, and yet they do not appear to have millions in the bank.

Money certainly brings social status. Social status equals influence. A random person expressing an opinion is not going to affect stock markets. That is an undeniable fact of life. Some say wealth is a state of mind. Perhaps this wealthy state of mind is what makes certain individuals so charismatic?

Intellectual prowess. Geniuses are revered in our society, because they seem so alien to the rest of the population; it is not even what geniuses know, but rather the sheer foreignness they represent. Genius is often seen as a hero of sorts, someone from another dimension who cannot be fully understood by the ones who operate in a social consensus.

Conversely, sometimes all it takes to become an influencer is displaying mind-boggling ignorance _ and reveling in it.
Governments play a major part in being influencers. The government may not be represented by a single individual, and yet the society-shaping power it wields is enormous.

Many people assume the government knows best. I will give you an unorthodox example. In the time of World War I, British women were encouraged to seek out men who were not fighting on the front lines ― and give them white feathers.

Men who were sometimes too young to fight, were called cowards and told to wear dresses as a sign of their shame. The women were told it was their patriotic duty to persuade (I use the term loosely) men to fight for Britain.

When people like every single comment their favorite influencer makes on social media ― do they apply critical thinking? Is this an automatic process?

People who earned their status as authority figures ought to be respected and listened to; alas, we live in a world, where all it takes to manipulate entire societies is a silver tongue and braggadocious behavior.


Adam Borowski (adam.borowski1985@gmail.com) teaches English to students on all levels of advancement.


LETTER

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