Today, one of the top career choices for young people is being a social media influencer. But does it influence a viable career path?

Although the lifestyles we see on social media are appealing, the reality is that many people live precariously and face pay disparity because of their gender, race, disability, or mental health issues. The hazards of self-employment are made worse by a lack of industry rules and pay transparency. Influencers frequently have to judge their own worth and set their own rates for their services. Because of this, content producers often undervalue their own creative efforts, and many of them wind up working for free. Algorithms also determine an influencer’s success. Platforms don’t disclose much information about their algorithms, yet in the end, they control who and what is visible (and influential) on social media. Additionally, online prominence puts content creators at danger of serious online abuse, including criticism of their appearance, the things they post or don’t post, and their employment as influencers. Online abuse has the ability to cause problems with both mental and physical health, such as eating disorders, depression, anxiety, and body dysmorphia.

More and more people may find it enticing to become influencers. However, the industry’s dark side needs to be exposed and addressed through tighter employment regulations and industry-driven cultural change.