How online are you?
What does it mean to be 'hyper-online?’ I have friends who use the internet constantly but never to engage in social communication—even if they are closely attuned to the narratives of social interaction on the internet. These people are lurkers; viewers, the audience, and hopefully they are invested enough in whatever they are getting out of the internet and have enough money to plug it back through the system.
Most creators on the internet are not necessarily hyper-online; even if they are highly attuned to their own community they might not spend much time deliberately interacting with the tapestry of internet narrative. The hyper-online people are the community members--the people sharing videos and having conversations about what they see online not with their offline friends, nor even within private groups in video games, skype calls, and discord channels, but within posts on public-facing social internet forums; including but not limited to blogs, forums, reddit boards, image boards, twitter, youtube, facebook, tiktok, instagram, and tumblr.
A lot of these people don't really think much about what they do or don't post publicly--the average person's actions within any but tightly gatekept or moderated communities will rarely have consequences if they are even addressed (and even still, almost never meaningful ones.) Usually, if there is any concern for social consequence, it is limited to small communities or friend groups.
Influence online describes the amount of impact that an idea or entity has on the social tapestry. If people will buy things because they think you're cool and parrot what you say because they think you're right and copy your style because they think you're good, then you're an influencer. Maintaining this status means continuing to have those impacts with your actions.
Influencers do not need to be hyper-online, but their influence is most palpably felt in online conversations where their influence is analyzed and scrutinized. In so doing, the visible internet becomes it's own creation--its own mythology based on however the influential moments and people are discussed by the hyper-online viewership. This narrative is not necessarily visible or has an impact on the viewer or creator who isn't hyper-online, but it can have a massive impact on those who are.
In various communities I have been hyper-online for most of my life. I became an influencer partly in direct reaction to the hyper-online cultural narratives of my circles of the internet. Much of my content was built specifically out of my desire to change certain conversations in my spheres, and we're most effective at doing exactly that. I doubt many people could appreciate the impact of my writing in the way that I do as the recipient of a writing culture closer to what I wanted in my spheres of the internet--even if I think I've managed my impact completely wrong as a career. Win some, lose some.
More recently, in the interest of self-exploration without abundant destructive negative influence and exploring my creativity in more original contexts, I have not been hyper-online. I am active and communal on Twitter and in streams or comments sections, but I am not keeping track of or reacting to the o nine conversation in any circles. This mean much less anger in my life but also much less discourse and influence in turn.
I don't love all the results of being as influential as I have been, but without that relationship to the internet I have a lot less idea what people want and ability to sell to them. I didn't realize how weakening it could feel to lose that influence until youtube both shadow banned my side channel and locked me out of my main one, putting me in a position without a strong means of reaching a substantial audience or even publishing my thoughts on the matter at length. That drowning sensation led me to starting this blog, so I hope it reaches you!