COMMENT: How companies use your kids online to flog products

IT'S simple really, some things just don't change - if a popular teen is seen wearing something then everyone thinks it's cool and wants it.

So why wouldn't you as a business give free stuff to these kids with thousands of social media followers.

Business is using young people and their networks of thousands to flog their products.

Forget your traditional thoughts on celebrity marketing, our regular kids are the new celebrities.

Yes I'm in that age bracket and for my generation celebrity was rock stars and TV celebs, and therefore it was television and magazine advertising.

Now it's all about our beautiful kids and their lifestyles, for which the rest of the world aspire to, it's all about social media and don't the marketers know it.

Strolling through the plaza last week my daughter receives yet another phone call from a business asking her for her address.

They want to send her product.

I'm quitting Instagram, YouTube and Tumblr. Deleted over 2000 photos here today that served no real purpose other than self promotion. Without realising, I've spent majority of my teenage life being addicted to social media, social approval, social status and my physical appearance. Social media, especially how I used it, isn't real. It's contrived images and edited clips ranked against each other. It's a system based on social approval, likes, validation in views, success in followers. It's perfectly orchestrated self absorbed judgement. I was consumed by it. I spent majority of my day aimlessly scrolling, hours on YouTube... How can we see ourselves and our true purpose/talents if we are constantly viewing others? Many of us are in so deep we don't realise it's delusional powers and the impact it has on our lives. There's a select few photos I left here, half are original captions that I believe to be educational, the other half are photos that deluded you. It was never my conscious intention, but I deluded a lot of people...Call it deception, manipulation, lying, not saying the whole truth... I was both addicted to social approval and terrified no one would value me for myself. So I rewrote the captions of these false photos with short shots of reality. EVERYTHING EXPLAINED IN THE LINK IN MY BIO. There's no likes or views or followers there. Just my content as raw as I want. It's all going to be free of course. My main vegan videos will still be on YouTube, but vimeo will host all the new quality content. Made to help not to get views or $$$. How will I spread my message? Organically. If it moves someone, they tell their friends about it, simple as that. I'll be talking about vegansim, creative imagery with purpose, poems, writing, interviews with people that inspire me, and of course the finical reality behind deluding people off Instagram...I was so caught up in it all. P.S when the new form of social sharing comes out, something that doesn't revolve around likes and views but based on similar topics/quality for example, I will see you there, whenever that day comes.... We must create change.

A photo posted by Social Media Is Not Real Life (@essenaoneill) on

She's an artist so its normally art products but she has a big surf culture following and this time it's another swimwear company.

Straight up she knows mum will crack it if she gives an address - STRANGER DANGER ALERT!!

I think I've armed her well with cyber safety stranger danger awareness, in fact she often checks in on me.

To her credit she come's regularly to chat and discuss and laugh about the strange and the weird that she finds and who find her. I think it's important to keep that conversation open and real.

But without giving you all a lecture in cyber safety my point is that this cold call marketing strategy is increasing in popularity and it's the norm on the Sunshine Coast so heads up parents as this trend continues to grow.

I am aware of many local kids who are sponsored, they get loads of free stuff and that all comes with an expectation they will use it, photograph themselves using it and post it.

This definitely appeals to teenagers, its free stuff, so of course they do it. What's the harm?

They are posting on social media anyway, with or without the extra product supplied to them by marketers.

It's easy work for the marketers, their work is done once they get the product to the teenager - as teenagers aim to post for likes.

Most teenagers have worked out when to post and what appeals, all with the goal of getting maximum likes.   

When a trend like this hits regular households like mine, it's clear marketers are stalking the profiles of popular teens and using them.

Many of our coast teenagers are targets, 'sponsored' and are mouthpieces or more appropriately the bodies and faces for business.

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