Ring, ring, social media is calling!

Michaela Lumpert, Campus Carrier news editor

It’s no secret that I am desperately trying to become a journalist. I spend hour after hour reading the news, watching news stories and even now, watching television shows in my free time about the news. My desire to be a journalist is so bad that it is seeping into all aspects of my life. When a dream like this fills every aspect of my mind, it’s hard to imagine the other paths to life that I might be better for. 

This summer, I worked in the world of social media. It wasn’t exactly what I was planning, but I have COVID-19 to thank for that. I worked for a public relations firm as their social media intern which is a bunch of words all meaning that I would be running various social media accounts for their clients that were influencers. That was literally it. My life this summer consisted of Instagram posts, blog posts, looking for feed styles, creating brand identities and all the other all-consuming thoughts one has about social media. I had a front row seat into watching an influencer make money off social media. 

I love social media, but to me, I never saw it as a true “job” someone could have. Jobs are not only how we make money in life, but they are also how we choose to help the world. That’s really why being a journalist is so important to me, it’s my way of helping the world spread more truthful information. 

If I’m basing what classifies something as a job off my description of a job, then how can being an influencer through social media be a job? It’s funny you should ask that because it absolutely is a job. It can be used effectively to enhance journalism, sharing even more stories instantaneously with audiences. It can help provide more information to audiences about serious topics like upcoming elections, world issues and ways to spread awareness about something. Therefore, it could be helping the world. 

Social media also requires the time commitment of a full-time job. It takes so much planning, coordinating, creating content and following a brand identity in order to have a successful account. It’s not just posting something and hoping it goes viral; it’s experimenting with different campaigns and content to find the right style that your audience enjoys. 

And then there’s the world of being an influencer. Creating content that suites a certain niche of the audience of Instagram is indeed a full-time job. It’s hours of filming until you can edit together that perfect video, usually all done in an app on a smartphone. In theory, it sounds ridiculous. But we all know from Tik Tok and Instagram that it can be done. 

And that’s where I’m at now, social media and being an influencer can truly be a full-time job for someone. I think at one point in our lives we all dreamed of owning that one famous account. To be able to walk around in public and think, “Yes, that’s right, I run that Instagram account everyone is following.” I believe that it takes a certain type of dedicated person to truly turn social media into their full-time job. 

If you asked me three years ago if I thought that running social media accounts could be a full-time job, I would have laughed in your face. But with COVID-19 completely changing how we receive information, it’s a possibility that that opinion is clouding my dreams and thoughts of being a journalist. I won’t necessarily say it’s my future path and destiny, but it is an aspect that I want to keep in my life as I move forward on my path to becoming a journalist. 

I’m glad for my past experience to have taught me something new about the world, especially in regards to social media. Because I think that is another aspect of life that we have to get used to, the constant changing of the world. If a pandemic has taught me anything, it’s that the world changes too quickly. So don’t be so sure that social media and even being an influencer can’t be a job. I sure think it is, and so do the thousands of people making money off their social media pages. 

I slaved away for hours this summer creating fun posts, writing captions, thinking of new ideas for content and writing blog posts about everything I was doing. I think it helped me learn that social media can be a job for someone who is dedicated. 

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