Social media is rampant in today’s society with more and more young people aspiring to lead a professional career on a social media platform. So where does Love Island come into this?
The dating show first aired on ITV in 2015, where a group of singletons live in luxury villa for 8 weeks in the hopes of finding love as well as wining a cash prize. The show is known for making contestants “famous” and popular due to their time on the show, but their popularity is mostly on social media.
With their audiences starting from 16-30 years old, young people are at the forefront of culture that perpetuates having a perfect body image as well as the need to have a large following on social media. Although this may not be the intention behind the show, it is what is being shown on mainstream TV repeatedly with no type of body inclusivity.
Statistics show that as of 2021, Instagram users in the UK had reached 28.89 million with the individuals aged 25-34 dominating with 31.8%, followed by users aged 18-24 at 23.8%.
Past contestants from the show have made a name for themselves on social media, blogs, and even fashion deals with big named brands such as Boohoo and Misguided just to name a few. This glamourous and lavish lifestyle has appealed to young people and the traditional career paths are no longer desirable. With millions of viewers tuning in to the show, Love Island is a hotspot for kick starting your presence as a ‘social media influencer’ and the term alone has amounted more than 2,600 searches a month.
Monetising on social media popularity is now a newfound way of establishing a career in so many different areas through networking and social media marketing. Social media or influencer marketing is a good way of promoting your brand by reaching a large audience and through understanding the media platform and its algorithms, your following and engagements will increase on your feed.
Popularity, however, has damaging effects on people especially on social media where thousands of people have an everlasting opinion of you whether you are an influencer or not. Cyberbullying and mental health issues has tainted Love Island entirely as stars from the show have been victim to online trolls and have even committed suicide.
Former host Caroline Flack had committed suicide in February of last year and during this time, she was receiving heavy amounts of social media backlash that could have contributed to her death. In April 2019, former contestant Gradon had also committed suicide and only two months later, contestant Mike Thalassitis had met the same fate.
It’s important to recognise the impact social media has on people’s lives both positively and negatively but also the strong hold it has on young people aspiring to be social media influencers.