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The Independent Self, Mere Exposure Effect, & Influencer Culture

This page will continue to discuss the shift in social media, but instead, we will be focusing on the psychological concepts of the independent self and the mere exposure effect. 

“The self-esteem of highly independent individuals will therefore reflect their perceived success at achieving their independent, agentic, self-promoting, hedonic goals, and consequently, they would be more satisfied with life”

“A similar report by Education & Employers found that ‘social media star’ was the 4th most popular career aspiration for kids across the globe (Chambers, Kashefpakdel, Rehill, & Percy, 2018)... Not only do modern social media users understand and mimic influencers ‘ behaviors as a result of their ubiquitous presence, but many also anticipate that being an influencer is somewhat easy and feasible, making it a growing career aspiration”

“The mere exposure effect finds that people show an increased preference or liking for a stimulus the more that they are exposed to that stimulus. This effect is most likely to happen when individuals have no pre-existing negative attitude toward the stimulus and tends to be strongest when they are not aware of the stimulus presented to them”.

Artifact #8- #alixearleeffect hashtag on TikTok

This artifact is a screenshot from 2023 of a search of #alixearleeffect on TikTok. When considering Alix Earle as one of the most popular influencers of 2023, 137.4M views with this one hashtag prove her influence to be powerful. As well, it can be noted the other amount of hashtags that come up when 'alixearle' is typed in the search bar. Such as #alixearle with 2.3B views, and #alixearlefilter with 7.4M views. This artifact is important because it shows how much Gen Z is exposed to just one of the many influencers. 

Artifact #9- Post by Alix Earle on her podcast Instagram @hotmess referencing the normality of acne for her followers.

This is artifact #9, a screenshot directly from Instagram featuring her podcast account @hotmess. This artifact is important because it shows essentially what so much of Gen Z is being exposed to through the mere exposure effect- authenticity. Alix Earle's 'realness' is a part of her brand and image as one of 2023's most famous influencers. Her simple caption "Social media is fake" can be so relatable to Gen Z. What makes this artifact important within this argument over career choice is that this image was posted by Earle on Dec. 6, 2023, and amassed a total of 45,812+ likes after a few days. Her podcast account @hotmess has 340k followers and has "Get real with @alixearle" in the bio. This artifact shows Earle's authenticity and attempts to relate with Gen Z.

The Independent Self, Mere Exposure Effect, & Influencer Culture