Feature: The Impact of Youth with Influencer Parents – 2 Stories to Read
If you’ve read the news this week, you may have seen that Washington state is taking steps to regulate child influencers. Child influencers are an evolution of child actors, with less privacy and even fewer protections. While there is shifting awareness of the impacts of being raised online, they will truly only be realized when they play out in real-time. With social media, parents share their frustrations and their kid’s embarrassing moments. Imagine those coming up first in a professional search or by your peers when you’re a teen. Or by sharing the amount of information we do, strangers have inappropriate access to youth. No one can give consent to having their ultrasound put on the internet, yet that is a common occurrence.
I recently read Remind Me to Hate You Later and I Will Find You Again, two books that explore the complexity of growing up in the internet spotlight (completely unintentionally!). The main characters are daughters of famous influencers, one influencer is a mommy blogger and the other has a cooking show. Both incorporate their daughters from a young age – and both daughters die by suicide.
The impact of involuntarily being part of influencer culture isn’t the sole factor in their suicide, but the pressure and need for perfect performance (thus downplaying problems) are heavy contributors. Neither book is solely focused on the influencer aspect; they both explore grief and healing and forgiveness. But the stories will have you screaming JUST OPEN YOUR EYES as you know the inevitable is coming.
Remind Me to Hate You Later is out now and I Will Find You Again releases March 14th. Maybe stories like these will help open the eyes of readers and offer additional protections to unconsenting minors.
Remind Me to Hate You Laterby Lizzy Mason
Published by: Bloomsbury YA
on February 28, 2023
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
A story about the pressures of social media, the lengths influencers will go to for fame, and the grief of losing a loved one to suicide, perfect for fans of Jandy Nelson and Gayle Forman.
Seventeen-year-old Jules grew up in her mother's spotlight. A “parenting influencer,” Britt shares details of her daughter's life-pictures, intimate stories, insecurities, all-to a point that becomes unbearable to Jules.
And suddenly she's gone.
Natalie has only barely begun to grieve her best friend Jules's death when Britt announces her plans to publish a memoir that will dissect Jules's life and death. But Nat knows the truth behind Britt's "perfect" Instagram feed-Jules hated the pressure, the inauthenticity, the persona. There's so much more to Jules than Britt and her followers could ever know. As Nat connects with Jules's boyfriend, Carter, and their shared grief and guilt bonds them, she becomes determined to expose Britt, to understand what really happened, and who is to blame.
In a world that feels distorted by celebrity and the manipulations of social media and public opinion, Natalie and Carter need something real to hold onto. Remind Me to Hate You Later is a moving account of grief, depression, complex relationships, love, and the search for truth.
I Will Find You Againby Sarah Lyu
Published by: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
All the Bright Places meets Ace of Spades in this twisty teen thriller about finding a way to live after losing the one person who feels like home.
Welcome to Meadowlark, Long Island—expensive homes and good schools, ambition and loneliness. Meet Chase Ohara and Lia Vestiano: the driven overachiever and the impulsive wanderer, the future CEO and the free spirit. Best friends for years—weekend trips to Montauk, sleepovers on a yacht—and then, first love. True love.
But when Lia disappears, Chase’s life turns into a series of grim snapshots. Anger. Grief. Running. Pink pills in an Altoids tin. A cheating ring at school. Heartbreak and lies. A catastrophic secret.
And the shocking truth that will change everything about the way Chase sees Lia—and herself.