Instagram is a platform where everyone can post as many pictures you'd like whether it would be a picture of you with your friends, family or a casual duck face selfie. Many businesses and celebrities use it to promote their platform and even pay for their account to show up more so they can get more followers. But what does having a bigger following numbers have to do with the average high school student?
“It's important if you wanna produce something of your own and being able to set a scene… I just wanna put out positivity to the world, show people a better side of life,” said Jean-Paul Osinloye (‘19), also known as @Wavyjp_ on instagram.
Kylie Jenner, The highest paid celebrity influencer on instagram, gets paid an estimated $1 million per sponsor post according to the 2018 Instagram Rich List compiled by Hopper HQ, an automated Instagram scheduler. She wouldn't be getting paid as much if she didn't have 119 million followers, because companies wouldn't want to work with someone if their brand isn't being promoted and if the post isn't being seen by millions of people.
Although Jenner is the highest paid influencer per post she isn't the celebrity with the most followers. Cristiano Ronaldo comes on top with the most instagram followers (145 million followers) but gets paid and estimated amount of $750,000 per sponsored post, a little over half of what Jenner makes.
“I've always loved exploring or going out. I can be me, explore… because at home I felt like I was inside a box, not jail but restricted. Told what I was able to do and what not to do, told how to think etc, but when I was out I could be free. I can just be me, no worrying, no stressing, just me doing me. Nature is so relaxing, soothing, helps me cope. It's beautiful, a gift,” said Jalen Mullins (‘19) also known as @WifisJay.
Most high school students use instagram as a platform to be able to express themselves whether that would be posting videos of themselves, playing the piano, singing, or something as simple as a picture they thought they looked good in. Many teens look up to someone others to look for a way in which they can perfect their image and be better than the rest. However it isn't all always about getting to the top of fame, you can see what other people are doing and you can build your “self-brand” based on what you think will work best for you.
“I never look at it in the negative aspect. I take criticism and see what I have to do to fix it,” said Mullins, “I feel like im able to portray or influence others because they might want to do that but they hold back because they are afraid of what people might think. Well I'm here to tell them who cares? Be yourself because at the end of the day no one can step in your shoes and walk a mile.”