According to a poll, children prefer to be YouTubers over astronauts. It led to a lot of complaining about kids nowadays. Young people up to 1.3 million in the UK want to make their money by creating social media content.

The global influencer market is expected to be worth over $12 billion in 2020. Zoella and DeliciouslyElla are both worth over five million dollars. 300,000 people are using content creation as their sole income source

The lifestyles advertised on social media are attractive, but are they influencing a career path? Sex, race and disability, and mental health issues are some of the issues that lie underneath the glossy exterior. Young people hoping to become travel and content creators should be aware of the impacts that my research has shown them.

They will be the first to say anyone can make it in the industry. A Love Island contestant was criticized for saying that everyone has the same 24 hours in a day.

Brooke is a social media economy expert. She discovered that there was a huge gap between those who found lucrative careers as influencer and the rest of the population. Most of the time, passion projects of content creation become free work for corporations.

The DCMS committee identified pay disparity as a key issue in the industry. There are pay gaps based on race. A 2020 study from the global public relations firm, MSL Group, found a racial pay gap of over 30% between white and black people.

Adesuwa Ajayi, senior talent and partnerships lead at AGM Talent, started an account on social media to highlight the pay gap between male and female talent. The account gives a platform for anonymous sharing of stories about collaborating with brands. The account has exposed pay gaps for disabled and LGBTQ+ people. A lack of protection that comes with permanent employment, such as entitlement to sick pay and holiday, is one of the reasons why most influencer are self employed.

The risks of self-employment are amplified by the lack of industry standards. Fees for work can be determined by the value of the work. Many content creators end up working for free because they under value their own work.

Power to the platforms

The behind-the-scenes computer programs that determine which posts are shown in which order to users are often at the mercy of the influencer. Platforms don't give much information about their algorithms, yet they determine who gets visibility on social media.

The pursuit of influence becomes "a game of visibility" according to Kelley Cotter. In my research, I found that influential people shared intimate and personal moments of their lives in order to remain relevant.

The threat of invisibility is a constant source of worry for influencer marketers. If they don't, they may be punished by the search engine by having posts hidden or displayed lower down.

Mental health crisis

One of the biggest issues of the industry is mental health concerns. At any time of the day or night, there is no separation between work and life for many people. The fear of losing visibility and excessive work can lead to mental health issues.

Content creators are at risk of significant online abuse, both in relation to how they look or what they do, but also negative views of influencing as a career. Mental and physical health issues can be caused by online abuse.

The industry's dark underside needs to be visible and improved through enhanced employment regulation and industry led cultural change.

If you feel you could benefit from mental health support, please speak to your GP and try to get in touch with organizations such as The Seasonal Affective Disorders Association, The Samaritans orCALM. Information on wellbeing and support can be found on the website of the National Health Service.

The University of York has a department of geography.

Under a Creative Commons license, this article is re-posted. The original article is worth a read.