• Erica Green

The Influencer

The Café for Teens -

Do I really want to be popular, you ask. There is a kid in your remote learning class. Yeah, you’ve seen her on Instagram. She gets a ton of likes for...um, nothing. She takes a selfie while drinking water from one of those loud recyclable crumple water bottles. She gets 30 likes. She buys a new pair of boots, snaps a picture, then posts it. Boom, 50 likes! And you know she doesn’t even go outside enough, these days, to even wear them. BUT, she gets all these likes and you can’t stand her for it …because when you post your shoes, zilch. No likes at all. Okay, maybe one pity like -from your crazy aunt who follows you. Oh, and later she’ll Zelle ya $20 and tells you to buy new shoes...for um, $20?

Deep down, though, you know your real passion isn’t in copying this kid from school. Your true love is drawing, singing or some other art form. However, only your cat knows this. You copy this kid because it’s safe. As for your aunt, you can deal with her non-attentive likes. She likes everything. She’s a trigger-happy-liker, quickest finger in the western burbs. It’s almost like she has to like your stuff, though. The true dread of posting is actually seeing a comment left, good or bad. Then, trying to understand the ulterior motive behind positive feedback.

This is the dilemma. You can either continue to copy your friend or take a risk and be you. Sure, it’s scary. You may not get a like from your aunt, but you can post because YOU like it. It means something special to you. Something YOU really want to share. If it doesn't come out well the first time, maybe, in time, your craft will get even better. You’ll build your portfolio. And who knows, maybe your style, your talent, your flare will be the next thing to go viral and influence a few. But most importantly, you’re being true to yourself.

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