Good and bad influence

Published: March 24, 2020
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KARACHI: Social and digital media has been fast evolving, not just at the rate with which it grows but also because of the impact it has. I believe influencers have as big, if not more, of a following as ‘celebrities’. A lot of these influencers are in touch with their social media audiences on a daily basis and are even expected to provide content regularly.

However, with power comes great responsibility. These new age influencers should be aware that people turn to them with trust when it comes to product reviews, brand marketing and even more recently, to gather information about current issues affecting us all. Therefore, if people choose to follow and support an influencer, it is all the influencer’s responsibility to endow their followers with authentic information.

I am pleased to see that amid the current pandemic bloggers have begun reporting and keeping their followers up to date on precautions, recent developments and protocols to take. Instead of being apolitical and silent on important matters, bloggers have extended their content matter to address severe issues as well. On another note, our local ‘celebrities’ much like in the past have been a disappointment in some cases. There is our very own Hira Mani who thinks that following the so-called Western advice to self-isolate in the wake of COVID-19 is a cowardly act. Similarly, there are morning show hosts like Nida Yasir who think that the best thing to do instead of practicing self-isolation is to hold a make-up competition.

I want to urge our celebrities to take their voices only as far as their awareness to certain topics goes. Some issues such as the global pandemic are better left to those with the correct knowledge, and undoubtedly the professional advice of self-isolation is the most effect. This is not a ‘Western’ influence, it is professional medical advice and I urge celebrities to not make small of it.

Asma Shahid

Published in The Express Tribune, March 24th, 2020.

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