Are ‘influencers’ really that influential?

Some people have huge social media followings, and some have the power to shape civilization. Sometimes those groups overlap—but not always.

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Consider the difference between being an “influencer” and being influential.

Take, for example, Frances Arnold of CalTech, who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for her work in unlocking the key to the evolutionary process, so people can create solutions to save lives and protect the environment, among many other applications.

Her work is summed up in two words: “directed evolution.” 

To say Arnold is influential is an understatement. Her work has advanced all of mankind. Visiting her Twitter profile, you’d notice that she has 20,000 followers. 

Kylie Jenner, on the other hand, has 28.4 million followers on Twitter. lists Jenner’s accomplishments this way: 

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