Elon Musk: Person of the Year

Elon Musk: Person of the Year


Devon Garutti

Even if you know nothing about him, it is likely that you’ve heard the name Elon Musk at some point in the past few years. He has a long list of accomplishments and business ventures including but not limited to, being the CEO and largest shareholder of the electric car company Tesla, being the CEO of SpaceX, hosting SNL in May 2021, being an advocate for cryptocurrencies like Dogecoin, having over 70 million twitter followers, surpassing Jeff Bezos as the richest man alive this past year, and now being named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year for 2021.  While Musk may not be the most liked man across the world, he is one of the most powerful.  With a net worth of over $300 billion, an avid following across many platforms, and large control over the tech sector with his companies Tesla and SpaceX, he has a major influence on the world itself.

The decision to name Musk as Time’s Person of the Year for 2021 was met with criticism.  The magazine came out saying the person who receives this recognition is not believed to be the “best” person for that year but the one with the most influence over people.  Not only did Musk’s influence greatly grow this past year, but he also exercised it many times.

Musk has used his following to determine his business ventures, as well.  In 2021, he used his large twitter following to endorse a new form of cryptocurrency called Dogecoin.  Though this apparently started off as a joke, Musk officially announced on January 14th, 2022, “Tesla merch buyable with Dogecoin” in a tweet to his 70 plus million followers.  He was also vocal about Dogecoin in his Saturday Night Live performance, which actually ended up causing a sharp decline in the price of the “meme-inspired cryptocurrency”.  

While Musk uses his twitter following to promote Tesla and his other businesses at some points, most of his tweets consist of memes or seemingly random thoughts.  When asked about his tweets in his Person of the Year interview he said, “I’m not really trying to do brand optimization. So sometimes, I obviously shoot myself in the foot. As is obvious from my tweets, they’re humor that I find funny, but not many other people find funny.”  He even revealed in 2021, that most of his tweets are made from “the porcelain throne”.  And in 2021, based on a Twitter poll, Musk sold off 10% of his stock of Tesla.  Now, he uses his twitter account to interact with his fans or followers, more so than just to spread information about his businesses.  

He is now viewed more so as a celebrity than a businessman, as seen in his hosting of SNL, numerous features on podcasts, and large following across social media platforms.  His celebrity status also took form when he and his then girlfriend, Grimes, gave their child an outlandish name in May of 2020.  They originally chose the name “X Æ A-12”, but after it was found that the name did not comply with California Law, the couple changed their son’s name to “X Æ A-Xii”.  

While Elon Musk has made many controversial moves in the past that don’t make him the most well liked person in the world, many still respect his hustle and his drive to find solutions to problems we face in the world today, such as global warming and use of fossil fuels.  This and his vast influence over the world are only part of the reason why he was named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year in 2021.