A sustainable lifestyle, climate-friendly nutrition tips, social issues and daily politics – alongside chic vacation pictures and casual shopping photos, more and more informative content that also appeals to children and young people can be found on social networks. The people behind this content are often so-called sense fluencers.
“To influence” means “toinfluence” – and that’s exactly what so-called influencers do in different ways. They present certain lifestyles, advertise products or recommend activities. All this should look as attractive as possible to the fan community in the social networks and perhaps even be imitated. Influencers earn money when they cooperate with companies and advertise for them.
The word Sinnfluencer is made up of “Sinn” and “Influencer”. This refers to people who use their reach on social networks to promote and distribute meaningful content. For example, they represent certain values and provide information on topics such as alternative and climate-friendly lifestyles, sustainability, discrimination, racism, sexuality, feminism and more. One example is the YouTuber Rezo, who made a well-known video about the CDU and thus also informed about daily politics. Other Sinnfluencers show under the hashtag #zerowaste how to avoid packaging waste in everyday life or how to dress sustainably.
With their information and content, Sinnfluencers contribute to shaping the opinions of children and young people and can be role models. This gives them an advantage over other informative platforms and formats, because Sinnfluencers are where children and young people spend their time every day: At TikTo k, Instagram , YouTube and Co. For younger generations, social networks are more than just platforms for posting vacation pictures and watching funny videos. They also use them for networking, to inform themselves and to exchange ideas. Sinnfluencers address topics that are important to many children and young people.
There are also sense fluencers, who earn money with their content. Behind the recommended products, Sinnfluencers also have collaborations with companies and advertising deals. It is important not to simply repurchase products, but to consider them together: Do I need the recommended product? Does what I see also correspond to my values or am I influenced too much? Is it about information or advertising?
Many topics of the Sinnfluencers are the subject of controversial discussions in society and can create potential for conflict. Information about equality, racism, sustainability and more is not always met with openness in digital spaces. Therefore, it is possible that there are also hate messages in the comments. To ensure that children and young people are not discouraged or frightened by this, it is important to talk openly. Explain to your child that behind such comments is an intolerant attitude on the part of the writer, generally directed against those who think differently, and that such insults and hate messages are always hurtful and not okay.
In principle, it is true that sensory influencers make social networks more informative – but you should still take a close look at who is spreading what.