Students misled by glamorous social media influencer image, unaware of harsh realities

Influencers selectively showcase only what they choose to reveal.

22 Jun 2024 09:00am
Photo for illustration purposes only. - 123RF
Photo for illustration purposes only. - 123RF

SHAH ALAM - Students aspiring to become social media influencers often fail to grasp the reality of the role, as influencers selectively showcase only what they choose to reveal.

Nowadays, many students were drawn to become social media influencers, attracted by the seemingly perfect lives they see online.

However, they remained oblivious to the harsh realities behind the scenes.

Social media content creator and influencer Ceddy Ang said students were not to blame for not knowing the reality behind the scenes.

"As influencers, we only show what we want to show. I, too, am guilty of this. I do not share moments of mental breakdowns or financial struggles.

"Let us be honest, as adults, we know there are months when finances are tight, but we do not post about these issues on social media.

"You would not see a post saying, 'Hi everyone, today I am poor'. Influencers typically do not share these unglamorous aspects of their lives," he said in an interview with Sinar Daily.

Ceddy Ang
Ceddy Ang

Ceddy said the issue worsened as some irresponsible influencers were telling students that they do not need to take their Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) exams to be successful.

While he understood why students might be unaware of these realities, Ceddy said it was important to be honest about the influencer lifestyle.

"Not every influencer knows how to make money or has business acumen. You might hear stories of influencers who claim they did not need SPM to become successful, but these cases are rare and often misleading.

"Many influencers only show what they want you to see, sometimes even fabricating their lifestyles with rented luxury cars and borrowed items.

"What you see online is often just entertainment, it is not the reality," he added.

Ceddy also said sometimes brands or employers did not pay much or delay payments, making a full-time influencer career risky.

Unlike the regular nine-to-five job with a steady paycheck, he said an influencer's income could fluctuate greatly and there were time when work was scarce.

He said teachers and educators must explain to students the potential consequences for not having an SPM certificate and the importance of education for the long-term stability.