June 19, 2024

Walking down the sidewalk, almost everyone has a phone in his or her hand. People have laptops in class with constant notifications on their screens. The influence of social media has grown and the impact of the people who utilize it is im- mense.

According to Experian, more than 98 percent of college-aged students use social media.

Kayley Reed, entrepreneur and micro-influencer — an influencer with less than 50,000 followers — said she uses her Instagram account to spread inspiration.

Reed is an influencer consultant and manages a network of more than 200 micro-influencers for brands that facilitate collaborations with influencers.

“I do research based on the client’s niche, propose a list of qualified influencers, manage the outreach and negotiations with influencers and track all of their posts while reporting the results back to the brand,” Reed said.

Reed said platforms for influencers are over-populated.

“We’re going to see the space changing a lot in the next couple years because of the oversaturation,” Reed said. “The best influencers are firstly artists or creatives. They have a unique perspective or style and people are drawn to them.”

Jacob Driscoll, sophomore graphic design major, said his Instagram account is an outlet for his creative work, such as photography, graphic design and videography.

“I treat it kind of like my portfolio; it’s not really about the following,” Driscoll said. “I hope I’m able to do this to bring joy to people.”

Driscoll said he uses social media to create and release new content.

“Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’m uploading a new video to my Instagram story,” Driscoll said. “I started making a video every day and posting it on my Instagram (last semester). It was a vlog of my day and people really seemed to enjoy it.”

Driscoll said he makes new connections as a result of his social media content. He does designs for Community Life and creates videos for Arcade Coffee and local artist Geoff Gouveia.

Allysandra Currie, sophomore electrical and computer engineering major, said she uses social media to follow friends, family and public figures, such as athletes, actors and musicians.

“I like to see what’s going on in people’s lives or some of the things they’ve been up to and accomplishing,” Currie said. “I’m easily influenced when I see a cute clothing item. Most of the people I follow are to keep up with new styles and new places to shop.”

Social media is a great medium for sharing content while keeping up with other people.

It is nearly impossible to predict where the future will take social media, but for now the population of influencers is rapidly growing.

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