The New York Times

Don't Scoff at Influencers. They're Taking Over the World.

ANAHEIM, Calif. — When the first TikTok star is elected president, I hope she will save some room in her Cabinet for older and more conventional bureaucrats, even if they don’t have millions of followers, great hair or amazing dance moves.

I say “when,” not “if,” because I just spent three days at VidCon, the annual social media convention in Anaheim, hanging out with a few thousand current and future internet celebrities. And it’s increasingly obvious to me that the teenagers and 20-somethings who have mastered these platforms — and who are often dismissed as shallow, preening narcissists by adults who don’t know any better — are going to dominate not just internet culture or the

This article originally appeared in .

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The New York Times

The New York Times4 min read
Finding Balance in a Tiny, Wobbly Boat
Rowing is a rigorous workout for the muscles as well as for mindfulness: Not wanting to flip keeps you focused.
The New York Times4 min read
Recession Panic May Have Passed. But the Economy Is Still at Risk.
For one brief, terrifying moment this summer, the word “recession” was on everyone’s lips — the stuff of television segments, front-page articles and Google searches. Then, just as abruptly, everything started to look pretty much fine. The trade war
The New York Times6 min read
Addicted to Screens? That's Really a You Problem
Nir Eyal, who wrote the industry manual for hooking people on tech (“Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products”) now has a recipe to free you — even though it was your fault to begin with.