Social Influence at Temple
Hafeezat Bishi is striving to educate people through social media outlets
Written by Anna Durning, Photographed by Sierra Henderson and Olamide Yusuf
Hafeezat Bishi, a senior communications and social influence major, is also a social media influencer on Instagram and YouTube. Catering mostly to Generation Z and Millennials, she focuses on topics such as the 2020 election, the difficulties of attending online school, and everything in between.
Above all else she hopes that her content reaches those who are trying to learn more about the world around them and want to do their best to be informed and make better decisions that are based on helping others. Bishi added, “I want to reach people who have good hearts, but don’t know where to start when it comes to one issue or another.”
In the summer of 2018 leading up to her freshman year, Bishi started her YouTube channel. Bishi’s goal was “to create a platform where [she] could talk candidly about topics [she] felt [was] important and required attention.”
Since creating the channel, Bishi has made videos regarding topics in the media’s eye. From videos discussing her move-in day at Temple and her first month at college to issues such as voting, racism, and more recently, Zoom University, she has covered it all. Her channel is a welcoming space for any and all young adults in or out of college to listen and discuss their experiences and opinions.
Two years later, in the summer of 2020, Bishi took her content over to Instagram.
“Folks know me as the person who spams her Instagram stories with news and information consistently. I started my Weekly Digest to share stories I find interesting throughout the week and want folks to know more about,” Bishi said. Her Weekly Digests include information about things happening in the United States or around the world to bring attention to relevant topics. She also runs a blog that contains detailed information on them.
To pull herself away from social media every once in a while, Bishi makes it a priority to step back from her personal blog at least once a month. When the Black Lives Matter protests surfaced at the beginning of the summer, she was consistently providing links and resources for people to use to educate themselves on the matters at hand. While she knew that it was something positive to do to educate her followers, it became draining after a while.
“I’d be on my phone all day, not paying attention to my work, responding to everything, and helping everyone I could. And I got burnt out. I realized that I was letting social media use me instead of me using social media. And I told myself, ‘Okay, you need to unplug.’ So I turned off my notifications and I didn’t go on my personal page for a week.”
Bishi recommends taking a good amount of time off social media because “you cannot burn yourself out on social media or else you’ll begin to resent it.”
Throughout the pandemic, Bishi’s platform has given her a space to decompress after classes, where she is able to immerse herself in what she truly enjoys. However, despite the space that it has provided, she noted, “Sometimes I fall into this hole of ‘I NEED to post this week or else folks won’t think I’m relevant anymore.’ My platform on YouTube is small, a while my Instagram has a modest following. Because of that, I feel as if I have to be on top of every single situation out there for the sake of pleasing everyone and being on everyone’s radar. But that’s an impossibility and I’m learning to be okay with not being all-knowing and all posting. If I don’t post one week, I give myself grace.”
While her personal blog and YouTube channel is a big part of her life, she has set very clear boundaries in order to make sure she is not overworking herself and is taking care of her mental health.
“When I’m creating something I feel so accomplished.” Bishi stated.
Bishi reminds herself that her social influence is something that she is proud of and that she can use as an outlet, but that it can be draining. It has taught her a lot about herself and what she needs to do to take care of herself. Over the past year, her platform has become something that she is extremely grateful for as well as an overall positive experience.