Inside look: student influencers make the most of social media


Courtesy of Emily O'Connor

Sophomore Emily O’Connor smiles in a photo that she edited. O’Connor hopes that her posts have a positive effect on her followers. “Sometimes it’s hard if I’m about to post something and I think, ‘are people going to like this?’ or, ‘are people going to think I’m weird for posting this?’, but then I think about how it could affect someone and know that it could affect them positively and I just go for it,” O’Connor said.

Kylie Jenner. David Dobrik. Emma Chamberlain. 

With social media being so prominent in today’s society, everyone has heard the names of these Instagram influencers. Even if not everyone knows their name, student influencers have had an impact on their followers. 

After senior Aaliyah Weston rose to fame through her YouTube channel, she began to gain more followers on Instagram, with a current total of around 1,500. Weston aims to inspire her followers. 

“[I want to be] somebody who encourages people, especially younger girls and boys and show them that they can do anything they want to do, and that the sky’s the limit,” Weston said. “Some people say that they look up to me, and that’s been one of my goals since forever, so to know that I’m a good influence is nice to hear.”

Sophomore Emily O’Connor also has a large following on Instagram and uses her account to inspire individualism. 

“I try to project the message of being yourself, creating whatever you want and never letting people stop you,” O’Connor said. 

Like O’Connor, senior Grace Kroner has used her fame on Tik Tok and Instagram to learn how to maintain her positivity and self-confidence. 

“I learned that it’s okay to be yourself, and you shouldn’t care what other people think about you,” Kroner said. “Just do your own thing, and if people don’t like you, they don’t like you. You should always stay true to yourself and be positive.”

[I have learned] to always be me and never try to be anyone else. Myself is good enough,”

— senior Aaliyah Weston

In addition to inspiring their followers, their Instagram accounts have allowed these influencers to make connections.  

“My favorite part is being able to interact with people that I wouldn’t usually get to interact with. I know a lot of people from different states now and a lot of people that I don’t think I would have known if I didn’t have so many followers,” Kroner said. 

Even though being an influencer is usually a positive experience, Kroner says there are also negative aspects. 

“There’s a lot of people who are always there for you that hype you up, and you can make a lot of friends [that way]. There’s also negative times when people try to knock you down. They say, ‘oh, you’re not funny’ or ‘you’re ugly’,” Kroner said. 

O’Connor says that she avoids taking offense to hateful comments by reminding herself that anonymity can cause them.

“I definitely stay off of the hate comments and just look at the positive or constructive feedback. I try not to take them too hard because people can hide behind a screen, and I know that in person, they would never say that,” O’Connor said. 

Aside from some negative components of having a large following, Weston says that it is very inspiring to know she is making a difference in society.

“Some people DM me telling me that I have impacted their life or that I’ve done something that has made them very inspired. Young girls ask me, ‘how do you have so much confidence?’ and ‘how do I show that through myself?,’” Weston said. “I just want them to see that they can be themselves all the time, and they don’t have to stop. [I have learned] to always be me and never try to be anyone else. Myself is good enough.”