In 2019 Time’s 25 Most Influential People on the Internet, a group of writers highlight and discuss the 25 people and celebrities with the biggest glocal impact on social media, as well as their ability through these platforms to drive news. Though some of these selected few are unsurprising, as I am an active social media user and will occasionally engage with their profiles, there is some serious diversity in terms of what these users are promoting and doing on the platforms, as well as who they are in society.
Multiple people caught my attention in this article, including President Donald Trump, Cardi B, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, also known as AOC, Lil Nas X, and the Student Strikers. From this small compilation of favorites I have chosen, it is clear that they do different things on different platforms. However, through these various topics, such as political and social issues, or pure entertainment, all of these people have gained a widespread following. We know that politicians such as the Student Strikers, a movement started by Greta Thunberg to promote climate change awareness, AOC and President Donald Trump are popular in advocating their political opinions and finding an audience that will listen to them. But we can also look at Lil Nas X, Cardi B, Ariana Grande, and Jojo Siwa, to name a few, of celebrities who have risen through the ranks as either artists or influencers in the entertainment realm. Regardless, these are the things that users want to see, depending on who you ask.
Social media has taken a seriously strange turn in terms of what people want to get out of them besides seeing and communicating with their friends and family online. For example, Chris Godfrey, known for posting the World Record Egg in order to set a world record and get more likes on Instagram than Kylie Jenner’s picture of her baby, was successful because people love a challenge and, in blunt terms, wanted to see if something so stupid could outrank a celebrity on social media. It makes you wonder what direction social media is going and whether or not there will be generations to come that are more interested in liking a photo of an egg than pursuing greater things in life.