My Kid Wants to Be an Influencer. Is That Bad?

Obsession with social media fame is not the typical rite of passage we’ve seen throughout history.


John Stonestreet

Kasey Leander

A parent of a six-year-old recently asked WIRED Magazine’s advice columnist, “My kid wants to be an influencer. Is that bad?” 

WIRED’s answer, more or less, was that the concerned parent should relax. “All that collective angst about television, movies, newspapers, and theater,” the author wrote, is “a lineage, a rite of passage through which all generations must proceed.”  

That’s true. But just because “The Twist” was pretty harmless doesn’t mean that TikTok is. Smartphones are an open door for pornography, sexual exploitation, peer pressure, mental illness, and abusive relationships.  

Not to mention, fame is a dangerous thing. In a 2011 interview, Billy Ray Cyrus said the decision to let his daughter Miley become a pop star “destroyed [his] family,” and if he could, he’d “take it back in a second.” 

In other words, before we let our kids become “influencers,” we need to have an honest reckoning with just how much our platforms and technologies are influencing them. 


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