27 January 2019

Under the influence

Social media has went mental in the last few years. I’m forever grateful I’m old enough that I made all my teenage faux pas without the added pressure of the world watching... and judging. Being a teenager is hard enough without being surrounded by perfectly filtered snapshots of people’s life to make you feel like a failure.

I’m a Instagrammer and occasionally promote products for money so I guess that makes me an influencer. A tiny little one all the same but the term still makes me hella uneasy. 3 years ago I didn’t know what an influencer was an when I found out my instant reaction was ‘urgh’. Obviously my perception has changed but admittedly only slightly.

Money changes people, a little bit of attention changes people. Ego gets involved and people who were previously your friends start looking at you as competition. It’s savage and I’ve been let down by so many. I’m a sharer and so many others are. We share opportunities and tips and it’s really quite lovely but there’s the sad minority who would step all over you and any loyalty if they think it would gain them some extra followers.

Instagram has tainted so many phrases for me. Self care *rolls eyes*, girl gang (is it though or is it just another clique?) and let’s not forget #blessed *gags*. The terminology people used has changed. “I was gifted this .... by my husband”. NO BARBERA! Your husband fucking bought you it. Calm the fuck down. The ASA are ok with that.

I know lots of influencers who are personable and transparent. Kudos to those guys! If you’re in it for every freebie you can snaffle and will happily trot along to the opening of an envelope then it’s perhaps time to reassess your values. FYI those types eventually out themselves anyway. That shit has no longevity. Realness lasts.

There’s been a lot of talk re: paid followers lately. Mostly me moaning in all honesty but I can’t stand it. It’s misleading to your genuine followers, to brands you might work with and most importantly: it’s unnecessary. It hurts my heart that someone is seeking validation that much that buying some numbers in a fake popularity contest seems like a viable way to succeed. It’s not. Someone who has 300k followers is no better or special than someone with 3.

Let’s talk the kindness brigade. ‘be kind’ is another massively overused term. Of course we should be kind. It shouldn’t really have to be said but ironically it’s used by some of the biggest bitches on these squares. Also if someone’s not kind do you think reading an ‘inspirational’ meme on he gram is going to change someone’s ways? I’m guessing no! We’re grown ups and in theory we should have the common sense to be kind. I’m ok for reminders, thanks.

Bloggers and influencers have a tendency to jump on hot topics. We love a bandwagon. For me certain issues don’t need a bandwagon. They need facts and REAL experiences. Mental health for example. Share your experience by all means. It’s so important that we do but for the love of god please don’t give ‘advice’ on medications etc. Let’s leave that to medical professionals. Everyone is different and we respond differently to treatment. You have no idea how your words can impact people so jumping on a very serious topic to increase your stats in all kinds of wrong.

Getting sent freebies can seem enticing and I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t a welcome perk but working with brands has to be done right. So many people go asking for freebies with no regards for the fact small businesses just can’t go giving things away willy nilly. It’s just not cost effective and the sense of entitlement that some bloggers have just blows my tiny mind. I’ve worked and will continue to work with some businesses that I’m happy to support because I love them. To the point where I'd happily meet up with them for a gin and a chat.

I’ve had some hellish experiences with brands too but thankfully these are few and far between. I bought some items from a lady, I was a loyal customer and she offered to gift me an item for a charity raffle I was organising. In return for a mention on my page. She messaged me a week later saying she’d been mentioned by a huge account and therefore didn’t need exposure from me and my tiny following so the deal was off. That was an eye opener but luckily I’m extremely thick skinned. You have to be. There are twonks in all walks of life.

Sadly blogging seems to be dying a death. We live in a fast paced society and stories can be easier for many to follow. I’m guilty of using my feed as a mini blog post as it’s so much easier to grab attention on there and let’s face it it’s quicker to knock up a few paragraphs on there. Laziness play a large part of this plus writing carries very little financial gain in comparison to throwing an ad on the grid. That’s the harsh reality for many - me included.

Someone (who's name escapes me- sorry) recently said 'be more social on the socials' and I love that. Let's remember what social media is really about. Engage, interact. Follow who you love - and get rid of anyone you don't. Instagram gets a bad press but it's not the fault of the app. It's the people and let's not forget the genuine bonds we've formed on there. I've made friends for life.

This year I’ve decided I’m upping my blogging game. It’s cathartic if nothing else and in all honestly I came on Instagram to write so I'm going back to basics. I’m happy to do ads that suit me and promote small businesses I believe in but last year made me realise I need more balance. I don’t want my grid looking like the littlewoods catalogue so you can expect more rambles on here. You’re welcome!



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