Last night, I went to a press screening of a movie which I’ll review for you next Tuesday when the embargo is lifted.

When I arrived at the theater, a rep from the movie promotion company greeted me in the lobby and asked which film I was there to see. That was unusual, because I can’t remember there being two different screenings in the same place on the same night, albeit in different auditoriums.

He told me another company was showing “Furiosa,” the new Mad Max movie starring Anya Taylor-Joy and Chris Hemsworth. But no critics were allowed to see it last night — only “influencers.”

I don’t know why I put that in quotes, but now that I’ve started, I’ll keep doing it in the hopes it will catch on and I’ll get an endorsement deal from Big Punctuation.

Speaking of deals, being an “influencer” is more lucrative than ever before — the industry is valued at over $25 billion. Brands wouldn’t target them or rely on their massive reach if such strategies weren’t effective. Every consumer-facing company in the world has a social media marketing department full of people with a direct connection to some of the most pervasive and persuasive “influencers” on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube. Imagine waking up every day and trying to think of a new way to make something go viral.

I thought “influencer” was a relatively new term that only came into use over the last couple of decades. But I checked the Oxford English Dictionary, which says the word dates to 1644, when an ancestor of the Kardashians courted controversy by convincing young women of the time to start wearing dresses with a slit in the sleeves exposing a portion of their forearms.

Actually, in 1644, the term referred to religious leaders spreading the word about their church. Unlike today’s “influencers,” they didn’t get a commission on each new parishioner who sat in the pews, though I’ll bet there was some skimming of the offering plate going on.

The irony of my being excluded from the “Furiosa” screening (which I didn’t even know was happening) is I wouldn’t have attended in the first place. I’ve never been a fan of Mad Max, which today seems like a username for idiots who spend every day screaming at everyone else online, hoping to be “anger influencers.”

I also have no need for movies set in a dystopian future, which doesn’t seem that far off considering our current reality.