Maintaining Integrity Amidst Nominal Returns

Apr 15 , 2023
By Kidist Yidnekachew

The term "influencer" does not represent all social media content creators. I believe an influencer has the capacity to change the opinions of others. Still, not all social media personalities aspire to make a difference, some resorting to making money or promoting their works.

I know people interested in raising topics that stimulate the mind on their online platforms. They are far from gaining views or earning decent money but do it out of passion. They stick to their niche, stay loyal to their segment, and spend a lot of time doing research because they respect their audience. When raising unpopular ideas, they risk putting the information out there, although it might backfire. After all, the majority agreeing with something does not make it a fact.

I often hear them complain about how poorly their channel is doing. These people know exactly what to do to get more views and how to do it, but they would rather maintain integrity.

I once tried to help with ideas for generating more income through a reaction video I came across on YouTube. My friend firmly declined, replying he would rather quit making content than be the kind of creator that adds no value to viewers.

He considered watching reaction videos a waste of time and required no effort to laugh or usually make fake jokes. However, people are prone to subscribe to such effortless work while there is a vast pool of channels to enable growth.

People seeking to learn a skill or acquire information prefer to go to school. No one could deny the ease of access and convenience the Internet provides, although the reliability of the information is up for debate. We live in a society where having two degrees perceives one as more knowledgeable as opposed to having work experience of nearly a decade. There is no way a fresh graduate knows more about a field than someone who has been in the field for years and is engaged with the actual work. Indeed, there are exceptions to the rules, with people who have spent decades in a field turning it into a routine and declining to update themselves, while there are also fresh graduates who are well-read and willing to learn on the job.

Full-time content creation requires energy and time, especially if it is an original one supported by research. There are many contents on an online platform that spike interest and cultivate knowledge whose hard work may have passed unnoticed had it not been for the reactors. Meanwhile, the reactors make a good amount of money just by watching the videos with their audience.

This annoyed my friend because his efforts were lost in vain. People were too busy mindlessly watching reaction videos while he was toiling around to bring handy information that they could actually benefit from. Despite the nominal financial compensation, he failed to get recognition, leading him to believe society is not ready to learn and rather have fun.

Perhaps certain platforms are preferred for entertainment.

We are all overwhelmed with life; the last thing people want to do is turn to the Internet to be bombarded with a chunk of information. They may want to take a break and laugh it out by mindlessly watching funny and reaction videos.

Everyone is entitled to their preferences. The quest for knowledge is not always pleasing; not everyone wants to get on board.

PUBLISHED ON Apr 15,2023 [ VOL 24 , NO 1198]

Kidist Yidnekachew is interested in art, human nature and behaviour. She has studied psychology, journalism and communications and can be reached at (

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