Sanjay Sehgal, Chairman & CEO at MSys Technologies , Venture & Angel Investor, Philanthropist 

Several studies suggest that an average user spends about 2 hours of their day on social media, which roughly amounts to almost a month per year! Now, the scale of consumption may rise with better infrastructure & easier availability of cellular services and create a stronger engagement on these platforms. These high engagement rates post pandemic have surged the content creator industry where millions of young minds flock your screens to sell you shiny products that they get for free, or are paid heavy sums to promote. They are the new age glossy magazines, but for them you don’t have to wait for a month; they pop on your screen at your whim and fancy, dancing, talking, interacting and quite literally doing everything in their power to influence you!  There are several instances where smart & savvy consumers have fallen for it, be it Fyre festival debacle or closer to home where recently an investment conference for startups was organized in New Delhi. For the latter, there was extensive influencer promotion only for startups to find out that there were no investors and furthermore in an embarrassing barrage of posts by said influencers denying their association with the conference. Such occurrences are a wake up call for audiences which has led to a global movement of de-influencing.

Why is de-influencing the need of the hour? What does it mean? In a capitalistic world, we are frenzied to buy the next viral product, piling on credit card debts and amidst cost of living crisis, de-influencing is a new narrative on social media where you inspire others to cut down on buying these products. For instance, there is an increasing trend to stop buying hyped TikTok/ Reels products because they actually don’t work/ aren’t as high performing as their claims. These videos have created a new conversation on conscious spending and questioned the need of most of these highly marketed sponcon products. 

Here’s why you need de-influencing in your life. 

Rejecting the consumer culture 

From product hauls to viral sensational items that are a ‘must-buy’, strong influencer marketing has led us prey to an uninhibited and unchecked consumerism. These small chunks of money spent on indulgences guided by your favorite influencer comes with no warning of how they end up being a large sum of what otherwise could have been your savings/ investments. Remember, no one is showing up at your doorstep with free products, and even when they (influencers) get them, they may have the mighty obligation to sing their praises.  

OG influencers were all about tips & tricks

In the original influencer era, back in early 2015-16, vloggers and influencers went around their respective cities with cameras to unearth coolest and most affordable places. They truly were the guide to your city, and quickly rose to fame because they were your online best friend who knew such hacks. Use that as a lens of filtering your sources of social media influence! Always look out for people who still have that brand of influencing intact. Remember when we saw the rise of tech experts like Rajiv Makhni & how truly helped us with honest no bullshit reviews on new smartphones and gadgets. Some of these OG creators still have those rules intact and are brutally honest despite their conundrum of their income that also comes from the same brand collaborations. 

Expert opinion matters

Just because someone claims to change your life with their mind blowing advice, does not make them an actual equipped expert on it. Social media in its early days used to be about expert-influencers like Chefs teaching their followers the tricks & recipes of the business which has sadly evolved to head turning gimmicks of tasting weird food combinations. It used to be about informing & engaging which has now boiled down to shock or scare to keep up their numbers.

Always seek professional advice on matters that directly impact your health, money and long term decisions.Well-intentioned influencers with their ignorant opinion without any discourse can truly damage your hard earned health and money. 


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