The Circle Demonstrates the Beginnings of an Influencer

Wednesday, January 15, 2020
The Circle on Netflix is the US version of the hit UK reality competition show where the contestants only talk to each other through a social media platform called The Circle, and a popularity contest ensues to decide the winner.

This show depicts the beginnings of an influencer, and how they get others to follow them. Becoming an influencer just means that you’re a popular person. That’s it. It’s pretty much the modern day equivalent of a socialite. And it’s fascinating watching it happen because I have never followed someone who later became an influencer, I’d only seen them after they had reached that “status”. And it happens scarily fast that people trust you when you give your opinion on someone or something, especially because the whole conceit of the show is that you don’t really know who’s the real person behind the profile.

On this show, you can catfish. You don't have to play as yourself. If you catfish, you could be someone who just hides one part of their lives from the other players that they usually get judged for, consciously or unconsciously, on social media in real life. One contestant on the first UK series, who was a 20-something young woman, decided to be a 65-year old man. She was eliminated rather quickly after her entrance because beyond what could be found on a profile, she didn't have enough details to make it believable. The final catfish is between those two situations. You create a new person, usually a guy pretending to be a girl using their girlfriend's photos with permission, and try to accurately portray a young woman. The Circle UK's most successful catfish, Alex pretending to be Kate, won the show.

People ask you to trust them, and alliances form, in order to game the amount of good ratings you can get and get a better average or ranking. But, do you really know them?

Do you really know what they like, what they believe? Take the lessons you learn from The Circle, and apply it to social media in the real world.


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