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Sense on social media – a portrait of influencers

3 minutes reading time
11-17 years
Social Media
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Saving the climate, promoting more tolerance, educating people about mental health – so-called meaningful influencers are the “good guys” on social media. Always on hand when it’s time to stand up for a good cause. This article is part of our series “Influencers in portrait”.

For a good cause – what does Sinnfluencing actually stand for?

The Sinnfluencers of the 21st century seem to have taken their motto from a popular song from the 90s: They are “always fighting injustice in the world”.

Wherever it is necessary to stand up for a good or against a bad cause, they are always there. They use their reach and digital fame to explain topics, broaden perspectives and advance “the good cause”. This can be climate protection or mental health. Some fight for tolerance and openness in society, others campaign for a vegan diet or sustainable consumption. To this end, they publish statements or explanatory videos, for example, recommend events or products, exchange ideas with others or offer insights into their own everyday lives.

And who explains the world to us?

The best-known name from the Sinnfluencing cosmos in German-speaking countries is probably Luisa Neubauer. In 2019, the Berliner became one of the best-known faces of the “Fridays for Future” climate movement and has been publicly campaigning for climate protection ever since. She has almost half a million followers on her Instagram profile, where she posts calls for demonstrations, positions on political decisions and statements on climate protection.

Also Louisa Dellert often talks about environmental protection, and even more often about mental health. She has been active on social media since 2013, started out as a fitness influencer and turned to mental health after a breakdown in 2015. She writes about mindfulness, healthy living and her own burnout – and also produces a podcast.

If you want to find out more about nutrition – especially veganism – you will quickly come across Philipp Steuer. The Cologne native not only publishes information on vegan nutrition on his profiles, but also regularly posts new recipes, sells a cookbook and runs a vegan cosmetics brand. This means he reaches around a quarter of a million fans.

Also from Cologne Alice Hasterswho is primarily dedicated to the topic of racism. Unlike many other influencers, Hasters has a background in traditional journalism, has trained as a journalist and works for many major German media outlets. At the same time, she uses her reach to raise awareness of racism on social media and fight against it.

Ricardo Simonetti is a presenter, author, activist and uses his reach as a meaningful influencer on social media. He began acting and presenting radio shows as a teenager. In addition to his presence on social media, he is also active on television. Above all, he campaigns for the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community and uses his fame to fight against homophobia, discrimination and hate speech.

What fascinates children and young people about being digitally good?

With their profiles and content, meaningful influencers present themselves very strongly as moral and authentic role models. They therefore offer orientation and explanatory approaches, especially for children and young people. Young people who are searching for their own identity and world view will find people here who are happy to explain the world to them. Topics are addressed that are important in the course of growing up: “What is good, what is bad? Who do I want to be and how do I position myself?” While such topics are sometimes neglected at school, for example, their role models on social media offer explanations, opinions and even opportunities for practical implementation and can therefore be important reference persons for children and young people.

What should parents pay attention to?

It is fundamentally right and important for children and young people to deal with the question of “good and evil”. Many use TikTok, Instagram, YouTube and co. as a source of information and orientation. And that – as always – brings with it a certain need for caution. Because even meaningful influencers have to earn money with their profiles. Therefore, many of the advertised products or content are advertising partnerships.

  • Make it clear to your child that their role models are public figures and make a living from their digital activities. Like other influencers, they also market products and make a living from it.
  • Feel free to discuss together how authentic it is to “stand up for a good cause”.
  • Talk to your child about the fact that meaningful fluencers must of course always show “the right decisions”. As a result, they easily display a high degree of morality and perfection that can never be achieved in normal everyday life.
  • Take a look at your child’s favorite profiles together and engage with the content. This way, the whole family can learn something new, discuss important topics and perhaps even try out and adopt selected tips from the Sinnfluencer*.

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