In one of my previous articles, I talked about influencer culture and the growth in the number of influencers in the past decade. One of the things that I mentioned was how some influencers tend to leave their day jobs and possibly even drop out of school to pursue social media. This was perhaps not very normal when influencers were just coming about, but has become extremely normalised in the past year or two. It is also more common amongst those having a big platform on YouTube than it is with any other form of social media. But now the question that arises is, should influencers quit their day jobs or drop out of school to pursue social media?
Up until the late 90s and early 2000s, getting a standard 9-5 job, working your way up the corporate ladder and retiring at 60 was the norm. However, the younger generations are realising from a very early age that they want to break this norm. They want to do something creatively fulfilling and entertaining, which is one of the many reasons why the number of influencers has risen. People as young as 15 have gained fame and are making millions. However, it is very easy for this fame to get to their head and convince them that they are invincible. Their audience keeps praising them which only inflates their ego, and they’re eventually convinced to drop out of school.
It is understandable why this is so appealing. Who would want to sit in a classroom memorising formulas when you can be making millions from the comfort of your home. Some say that there is no right or wrong path for students to follow in life. However, it should be realised that it is simply not realistic for children to drop out of school. Your knowledge is a weapon no one can take from you. It is a common fact that some of the stuff that school teaches you is nonsensical and you won’t ever need to “solve for x” in real life. But this doesn’t mean that you should call it overrated and drop out. As much as you hate it, it is a crucial part of life. It gives you some important skills needed to be a functioning member of society. We need to stop propagating the idea that school is worthless and kids should drop out, and also better the education system, not dismiss it.
Now, if we talk about adults leaving their day jobs for social media or YouTube, there is a difference. For one, they have already passed from school and are much more independent than a teenager who is considering to drop out. Many people tend to look down on content creating and label it as a “fake job”. I believe that if something supports you economically and helps you earn money, it is a job. Social media is unstable and one isn’t going to be relevant forever. Also, those are more privileged and have more advantages are going to have a much more stable life if they quit their day jobs, so this is something which is not really for everyone. But, since the rules are different for adults and teens, one cannot really decide whether people quitting their day jobs for social media is right or not.
I believe that if one chooses to pursue social media full time, they should have some other responsibilities or hobbies in their life. Having some other structure in your life can help you to avoid being stuck all day in the toxicity of social media, as it can get extremely negative. It is also important for them to have a backup plan, as internet fame can be fleeting, and while taking advantage of your online platform when it is thriving is great, one shouldn’t expect it to last forever and work on other things on the side.