Most young people today dream of becoming social media influencers. But does it offer a promising career path?

Despite the beauty of the lifestyles we see on social media, many people actually lead rocky lives and receive unequal pay because of their gender, color, disability, or mental health problems. The risks of self-employment are made worse by a lack of pay transparency and industry regulations, too. It’s common for influencers to assess their own value and determine their own fees. As a result, content creators frequently underappreciate their own creative efforts, and many of them end up working for free. Additionally, being well-known online exposes content creators to serious harassment, such as remarks about their appearance, the things they post or don’t post, and their work as influencers. Abuse online has the potential to lead to issues like eating disorders, depression, and anxiety, among other issues with mental and physical health.

Many find it tempting to become influencers. Yet tighter employment laws and industry-driven cultural change are necessary to uncover and address the industry’s dark side.