It’s the age of influencers

The influencer narrative in day-to-day life is more pronounced today even though they have been there for ages playing a subtle but decisive role all along, writes M S Vaidyanathan

With the advent of social media and advancement in technology, not only marketing of products and services but also image building exercises of individuals and institutions, and winning elections is now significantly influenced by the views and the stand taken by celebrities from the tinsel world, prominent sports-persons and high profile people from various other walks of life. The influencer narrative in day-to-day life is more pronounced today even though they have been there for ages playing a subtle but decisive role all along, for they can make or mar a person’s future as they help mould public opinion.

For the students in school or college, the class teacher or principal was and continues to be an influencer whose words carry weight. In an organisation, the boss invariably remains an influencer for many subordinates. For a sports-person, the coach assumes the role to determine success or failure. Even professionals in finance or corporate law do act as potential influencers in the board room, for their opinion too carries weight and is much sought for. There is also a school of thought which holds that those with money or muscle power are also deemed influencers by default.

I am reminded of an incident some years ago — during the fag end of 1999 to be precise — when while working in the corporate office of a public sector bank, I spent sleepless nights, literally, decoding lengthy Cobol programmes to ward off the imminent threat of the approaching Y2K.

During that time, in the midst of my tight schedule, I was invited, being a member of a professional institute, for a meeting in a star hotel where prominent vendors, offering tailor-made solutions for the Y2K problem, were making presentations to market their applications. Not willing to give the event a miss, I chose to attend, and as fate would have it, the chairman of the committee organising the programme requested me to complete the formality of introducing the resource person of the day, albeit briefly.

Responding to the honour bestowed upon me I walked towards the podium. While those in the audience put their hands together, I felt there was a yawning gap between my jaws. A cursory glance revealed many attempting to imitate my facial expression. Realising the gaffe, I promptly chose to apologise for the same before noticing that many in the audience including the chief guest were yawning. As I walked back to my seat, one of the dignitaries seated in the first row was overheard commenting that I had the trappings of a potential influencer.

“Look at him, even without uttering a word, by just opening his mouth, he is able to make a sizable section of the audience toe his line of action.”

 

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
GET IT
Comments (+)