What the F*!k is Wrong With These Social Media Influencers?
Influencers, as a whole, generate billions of dollars a year for the world economy. Why do they have such a bad reputation?
While you hustled away at your 9–5 and came home to a soggy TV dinner and Netflix, influencers were making billions. Influencer Marketing Hub says the influencer economy had grown from a $1.7 billion industry in 2016 to around $6.5 billion in 2019.
And even though the influencer marketing industry is set to grow to approximately $9.7B in 2020, they took a big hit like everyone else when the pandemic struck. Sure, influencers are still there, chugging away on Instagram, making cash money. But the all-expense-paid trips on private jets with designer clothes have gone by the wayside. Instead, more favor content that touts the benefits of hunkering down and spending less on non-essentials.
Travel influencers have stopped pushing $800 carry-on backpacks and $100 Merino wool T-shirts and started advising us on the best facemasks and hygiene essentials to carry when we need to go grocery shopping.
But, there are still those influencers that just don’t get it. They don’t see that it is no longer “business as usual” and continue to act as if our lives are not upside down. We all need to realize that we live in a new reality, and if we all get on the same page, will be much better off.
The fact is, people will always look up to the beautiful and famous humans in society. They will gravitate towards the movers and shakers wearing designer handbags, drinking Voss water, and snapping selfies with the latest iPhones. There will always be a place for the faux-fluencers as long as unbridled capitalism reigns supreme.
The problem with these influencers and their economy is that the number of people who can afford these luxuries is getting smaller every day. Sadly, most wage-earners are under the impression that if they keep slogging along to their job, they will be able to afford an Instagram lifestyle one day.
What’s sad is: It will never happen in this society as it is now.
Well-meaning working-class citizens will go to their graves standing up for the billionaires and the beautiful people because they hope to be just like them one day. But, the chances are that regular folk, like you and I, will never see a billion or even a million dollars. If we are working 80-hours a week at our desk jobs, no matter how frugal we are, we will never get a lifestyle like the hashtag-homies on social media.
Are we living vicariously through the lives we see on social media, or are we romanticizing the life we want to live?
The influencers are doing us a disservice by normalizing uninhibited spending on a designer lifestyle we are never likely to be able to afford. Most get their products free on top of a hefty check for convincing you to max out your credit card buying expensive shoes and hair products made from the tears and blood of marginalized people.
It’s time the pandemic did some good and showed us a new kind of influencer, or better yet, an anti-influencer. Instead of blonde twinkies telling us which sports-drink to buy, we need more people advising us how to start businesses and get better jobs. Instead of movie stars pouring their tequila down our throats (sorry Dwayne, I do love your work, man), we need more nutritionists advising us on foods that best boost our immune systems.
Instead of suntanned teeny-boppers bringing us along on their all-expense-paid trip to Bali, we need more experienced travelers showing us how to travel safely post-pandemic.
We need more influencers giving away information and experienced-based advice and less uncontrolled spending of money none of us have anymore. Instead of trying to get us to buy things we don’t need, we need anti-influencers who focus on the things that will give us a better life.
How much longer do we keep giving power over our lives to the people and corporations who only want to profit?
They try to capitalize on your goodwill and your hope that someday, you can have the luxuries they all seem to have.
- It’s time that more influencers step up to the plate and start doing what it takes to make everyone’s lives better
- It’s time we call out influencers who lie to you and make you think that the only thing that defines success is excess
- It’s time we stopped using pretty faces, fit bodies, and fat stacks of cash to get people to buy more shit they won’t ever need
- It’s time to JUST BE REAL
Who is watching out for you? Perhaps it’s time to take back our own best interests and become our own influencer or start putting our trust in the right kind of people.
Call me your anti-influencer.
When I try to tell you the truth, you are not looking at a botoxed talking head. I won’t use sex, power, greed, and shame to make you buy things you are never likely to need.
I may suggest something to make your life better, but you can rest assured it can enhance or improve you. I may provide advice contrary to what the so-called “gurus” and life coaches say, but I will always give it to you straight, and it will reflect what I have already done myself and had success doing.
I want to help you find success, whatever your definition of success is, even if you think you want to be a billionaire, or even an influencer yourself.
It’s time to shake things up, and together, we can do that.
These words may be coming from a nobody, but they are not empty promises and platitudes. It’s time you expect more from your influencers!
So, if I call out a movie star for bad behavior or give you my take on the latest advice from the internet marketing gurus, you can be sure it’s coming from a good place. If I see an opportunity to make you think, I will take it. We will not always agree, and that is okay. If you have a differing opinion, make your stance known. I don’t want to exist in an echo chamber, so get your voice heard!
I want to help, and I hope you let me prove that to you.
It’s time for a new kind of influencer. We need to unsully the word and make it mean something.
Let’s do this!