“Climate change is a topic I am very passionate about. As humans, we must re-imagine the way we look at the earth so we can preserve it for ourselves and generations to come.” – Prince Ea on YouTube 2018
Prince Ea’s words of love and hope deeply resonate with me and many others. At last count, he has amassed 2.6 million YouTube subscribers, 8.5 million Facebook fans and 1.2 million Instagram followers not to mention the billions of views on YouTube and Facebook.
The committed climate activist has even featured in this year’s Forbes’ 30 Under 30 as well as Oprah’s SuperSoul 100.
Needless to say when Prince Ea was awarded the Social Influencer of the Year Award at Black Enterprise’s first-ever Black Tech Awards I was unsurprised. But when he got up on stage to accept the award, the speech he delivered absolutely floored me and reminded me again why I’m such a big fan of his. Upon receiving the award and after the usual round of thanks, he told the crowd:
“That word ‘influencer’ is interesting to me because it’s like we’re influencing people to do what, right? A lot of people call themselves ‘social media influencers’ but you’re influencing people to do what? Is it to reach a level of beauty that is not attainable naturally? Is it to have people lust after cars or material objects that will never bring somebody true happiness?”'I see the words used all the time on people's pages, I'm an influencer, I'm an influencer, but you're influencing people to do what? To reach a standard of beauty that's unattainable naturally even for you?' - Prince EaClick To Tweet
“When you get pulled over and you’re drunk they say ‘you’re under the influence.’ A lot of people are intoxicated by what these influencers put out there. When you get sick what do they say? ‘You’ve come down with influenza.’
“A lot of people are ill because of what these influencers put out there. So I just have one question for every influencer, because we’re all influencers, and that question is: when people come to your page, do they walk away better or worse?”'A lot of people are ill because of what these influencers put out there. So I just have one question for every influencer, because we’re all influencers, and that question is: when people come to your page, do they walk away better or worse?” - Prince EaClick To Tweet
At a time of peak narcissism on social media and especially Instagram, and rising anxiety, depression and mental health issues in young people, this issue has been a growing concern of mine. Inspired to hear more of Prince Ea’s words of wisdom on the subject, I went searching online and didn’t have to look far. Months ago he published another powerful video addressing this very topic. Entitled “Send THIS to every “Social Media Influencer” he shares these words in the minute-long film:
“I see the words used all the time on people’s pages, I’m an influencer, I’m an influencer, but you’re influencing people to do what? To reach a standard of beauty that’s unattainable naturally even for you?”
He continues, “You got two choices as an influencer: You can either dig people deeper into their illusions or you can free them… I’m saying you’re an influencer, but so are some of the worst people in history. The question is, what kind of influencer do you want to be?”
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Title image credit: Prince Ea