Management Prof @ Lang School of Business & Economics, University of Guelph

From a new piece in the New Yorker by Cal Newport:

“The TikTok influencer Loren Gray, with her more than fifty million followers, is much closer to an old-fashioned mass-market Hollywood star than to someone involved in Kelly’s democratic vision: large numbers of niche artists making a living through close interactions with small groups of dedicated followers.”

To me, this is a pretty profound observation – it means that the remarkable majority (86% by one reporting!) of young people who want to become social media influencers are more akin to those from previous generations who dreamed of being stars – rock stars, movie stars, sports stars. Of course, given the odds, the probability of ending up in such a career (regardless of your ability/persistence) is about equivalent to winning the lottery.

No wonder young people are so miserable – the biggest career aspiration of our times is a hope and a prayer.