Dear Grandparenting: As far as I can tell, my 12-year-old granddaughter has two main interests in life. The Internet comes first of course. I tell everyone you’re sure to find her with her nose glued to the screen.
Making money comes in second. The girl is convinced that rich is the only way to go. She was a little fuzzy on the how part until this new thing came along.
I am told she is dead set on becoming a “world class influencer” and living happily ever after. She said influencers are “big stars” that get paid to show and sell things over the Internet because “millions” of people out there pay attention to them, and want to be like them.
Excuse me for raining on her parade, but this is crazy. My granddaughter is looking to catch lightening in a bottle. Can anybody actually make an honest living this way? Barb Nevins, Everett, Washington
Dear Barb: Celebrities and other high-profile individuals that influence others’ buying decisions are nothing new. Nike’s Air Jordan sneakers achieved cult status after basketball icon Michael Jordan debuted them in 1984. In 2019, cosmetics queen Kylie Jenner of the Kardashian clan was dubbed the world’s youngest “self-made” billionaire by Forbes magazine.
In this Internet age, influencers have come to include everyday people who are paid to use social media platforms like YouTube and Instagram to promote brands and merchandise. In 2018, eight-year-old Ryan Kaji earned $22 million reviewing toys.
With the influencer market projected to hit $15 billion by 2022 according to the website Business Insider, it’s no wonder that so many youngsters aspire to become successful influencers. The most accomplished are knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the product or brand they promote, individuals others can relate to and come to trust. Many specialize in niche markets.
More than half of all young Americans would become influencers given the chance, and 86% would post sponsored content for money according to The Influencer Report. Some try to game the system to appear more influential, inflating their number of “followers” or posting fake photos in supposedly glamorous settings. The competition is fierce. Here’s our two cents worth: Like they say, better hang onto that day job.
Grand remark of the week
Ellen Thomas from Marshall, Michigan considered herself “too old to fall in love again. Then I became a grandparent.”
Dee and Tom, married more than 50 years, have eight grandchildren. Together with Key, they welcome questions, suggestions and Grand Remarks of the Week. Send to P.O. Box 27454, Towson, MD, 21285. Call 410-963-4426.