What the World Needs Now is Less Content Creators
Do we really need more influencers?
Thanks to the new apps and platforms being created by the day, the world is seeing more and more “Content Creators” on the rise, whether it be Tik-Tok stars, Instagrammers, or YouTubers. Sharing knowledge is wonderful, and I’m all for it. What I’m wondering is, if every Gen Z and kids around the world are aiming to be the next big mega influencer such as Jeffree Star and James Charles, what is going to happen to the world?
As we know, Influencers don’t actually create anything (besides their own merch and products) that creates a deep impact nor positive change to the world. Influencers make big bucks quick and are the first to tell you what to buy or which product is better but let’s really think about this.
Today, if you ask a child what they want to be when they grow up, most answers would be “a Youtuber”, “ A Gamer” or “an Influencer”, sure you could stretch that out to be a Graphic Designer or Engineer for non social media and tech-related jobs. You can even say that some kids want to be the next Jeff Bezos and Mark Zukerberg. But the majority of children only want to be what they see. And what they see are these influencers making big money quickly. Not long ago, The CIA and Space Force put out new recruitment videos since they now have to compete to recruit talent from top universities with Tech companies in Silicon Valley. Even in a country that prides itself on patriotism, recruiting to work to defend one’s country is challenging. Nobody wants to fight the good fight and defend the innocent, everyone wants to be a marketer and sell.
As someone who has lived in this world for a few decades now, I don’t want to sound like a cliche but money really isn’t everything. Yes, it’s nice to have to be able to send your children to a better school or have your Deluxe hotel room updated to a Club room or even a Suite but at the end of the day, these are not what matters in life. The world still needs traditional jobs like Doctors, Lawyers, Architects, Bankers, Nurses, Archeologists, Linguists, Negotiators. These jobs don't often come top of mind (unless you’re an Asian mom like me who is convincing her child to be either a Pediatrician or Veterinarian when she grows up). But other than that, society and culture have made it so nobody needs to be patient for anything, whether it be wealth or fame. Everything has to happen now. Hence the name Instagram instead of Patiencegram.
Today’s generation has been conditioned to have success in a short amount of time that we are seeing more and more children go through depression due to social media from things such as their content not going viral, not having enough followers, and even not receiving a PR package from a company. In my day, success had to be earned. And it took a damn long time. It was a lot of learning, patience, and hope. A lot of doors slammed in our faces, but in the end, all these trials and challenges made my generation evolve, made us resilient and made us endure the hardships that came with living in this world. Buzz Aldrin and Yuri Gagarin wouldn’t have become astronauts nor stepped foot on the moon if their sole purpose in life was to make a quick buck and be influencers. Instead of the historic images of the moon landing, we’d be replaying footage of their upgraded villa with an infinity pool in Mykonos.
Patience is never taught in today’s world. Nobody ever discussed the years of labor that comes to winning a Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Human rights lawyers like Amal Clooney and their fight to bring war criminals to justice are glossed over unless they really do look like Amal Clooney and married to an international celebrity.
A while back I had the privilege to conduct an interview with the chairman of the London Playing Fields Foundation, a foundation that focuses on preserving playing fields in London. Hearing me say that out loud you would think “What the hell is that…and why”….but here’s the thing, if it weren’t for men like him who still value tradition and impact over pure profit, there would be no more places in London to play sports outdoor. The world needs people in traditional jobs, and the world needs traditional people who do things old school because it is the right thing to do. In case you haven’t figured it out, the name of the game in today’s world is “Make money fast, spend it even faster. And along the way, take pics or it didn’t happen”
The world we live in is a messy, complicated, greedy, and prejudiced world. It has always been that way and as long as humans remain humans, it will always be that way. In the meantime, how can we make the world a better place, if everybody is busy selling things instead of fixing things? Telling me that a Maybelline lipgloss is a dupe for the Nars one is great, but it isn’t going to solve the water shortage in Africa nor help the plight of war-torn children or help educate newborn mothers in rural Uganda on how to care for their newborn babies. We still need Community Health Workers, Foreign Aid Workers, the unglamorous jobs that won’t make bank in the short term but will make a difference in people’s lives and in the long term make the world a better place for everyone, not just ourselves.
For example, being a doctor is hard. No doubt about it, but if you keep at it, being the Head of Surgery in a hospital really pays off all the time, money, and energy that a young doctor has invested during the course of his or her career. This is something that can’t be achieved in one year, it will take decades. Along the way, lives are saved, families are restored. When was the last time an influencer did a triple heart bypass and saved someone’s life?
I’m seriously wondering how we will move forward as a society if everyone from Bahrain to Malaysia to Switzerland are all Podcasters, YouTubers, and Influencers? What will happen when another once-in-a-generation pandemic happens in the future? Will there be a Dr. Tedros and Fauci 100 years from now? These men were basically unheard of and are nowhere near household names, but they are Masters in their field. Their work was unglamorous, tedious, and labor-intensive. But when the unthinkable happened, the years of work they put in on the ground managed to save some, if not all of us. Imagine 100 years from now when there is a pandemic, everybody is a Podcaster and Influencer so will they just hunker down in their studios and broadcast how bad it is out there without actually finding a vaccine? “Hi everyone, welcome back to my channel, as you know there is a weird virus out there that is killing everybody and has no cure, so just stay at home and don’t forget to subscribe to my channel and buy my new lipgloss, for new subscribers use the code Kayla10 to get a discount”. Will this be the end of humanity? When everyone is doing the same thing without actually doing anything?
What happens when the next Mussolini or Hitler emerges? As long as there is greed and poverty, there will always be men who want to take advantage of this. There will be no allied forces, there will be no guerilla fighters because everyone is a podcaster. Where will all the food come from? Where will be the army generals who strategize movements to liberate cities and countries? They will all be busy selling merch and self-promoting on YouTube. Congratulations, we now all live in Nazi Germany on a global scale because none of us have the diverse skills needed to work and band together to fight a Totalitarian man. But hey, at least we were all in that Mykonos villa with the great big white infinity pool and got lots of likes right?
It’s one thing to do your profession well and share it on YouTube such as Dr. Oz or Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Or even be a farmer, post your content online to share how to reduce bugs and grow crops. It’s another to be a full-time YouTuber who only wants to do travel vlogs and the day in the life of. Because let’s be honest, nowadays, all the YouTubers want is to show off their travel vlogs and makeup.
Where are we headed as a society? I’m still waiting for a YouTuber to come up with a pill that can replace solid food and share it on his / her channel saying “You guys, I’ve just made a breakthrough and created a fully fortified pill, the size of a corn kernel that you can take 3 times a day instead of eating real food. What this means is that I have just ended world hunger!”
Humans were put on this earth to create. And not just online content but actually create. Literature, buildings, music, medicine. Time and time again, humans have proven that we are able to create on such magnitude that it has stood the test of time. We’ve created the Great Wall of China, the Eiffel Tower. We’ve discovered Penicillin, Electricity and invented the first Airplane. These are the kind of creations humanity needs to keep on making. The kind that propels us as a society forward, and transforms us to become a higher being. Not creations that have bell notifications and are drowned out by the next post on the feed.
The world and humanity need long-lasting creations that are world-changing and life-altering.
If we don’t create them, who will?