You Already Have Influence

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The term “Influencer” has become ubiquitous throughout social media as meaning someone who has many followers and is somewhat of an internet “celebrity.” But we all influence the people around us with everything we do. Every interaction you have with someone has the potential to influence their future actions. Poor interaction can influence one to make a certain decision, while good interaction influences one to make a different decision. What are you doing to make sure that your influence is not only positive but the best representation of yourself? How is your influence adding value to the lives of those around you?

As our businesses and brands grow, so does our circle of influence. This growing circle of influence is something that should be valued and treated as such, not something to be taken for granted, so be sure to use your influence for good! Are you someone that your circle can trust? Are your values aligned with what you are saying? If not, and you aren’t doing the same as you say, you will lose credibility and trust, and therefore influence with your circle.

Recently, Southern California had a Super Bloom of wildflowers, which was a dream come true for the many Instagrammers of the area, and the many self-proclaimed and paid Influencers of the area flocked into town to take photos frolicking and rolling in the poppies, creating enviable pictures for all to admire – near and far. Of course, who wouldn’t want to recreate these beautiful pictures which were taken only a short 2-3 hour drive away? The problem this created was that rolling in these flowers, picking them to put in your hair and behind your ear – this is not only glorifying the destruction of nature but is also killing a protected species (i.e., illegal). Those “Stay on the trail” signs are there because critters like rattlesnakes live beyond the trail, and pollinators will be disturbed when one ventures off trail.

What can we do to revel in nature without inadvertently ruining it? What can we, as people with Influence, do to encourage doing the right thing in any situation, not just nature as in this example? Show pictures of yourself with your feet planted firmly on the trail, not just an edited caption saying, “No flowers were harmed when taking this photo.” We need to not only use our influence showing ourselves doing the right thing but encourage the promotion of others who are doing the right thing, not just the best looking photos.

So please, use your influence for good. Whether you consider yourself to be an Influencer or you are speaking to one person – your actions matter and will cause a reaction. Do the right thing, whether you are going to post the photo on Instagram or not, is what matters.


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Youth Environmental Alliance, San Diego Coordinator

www.YEAFrog.org

becky@yeafrog.org