I'm so over the social media “influencer.” You know the one—the one unboxing the latest swag they will soon link for you to buy, the one showing the next best item in every single post, the one that touts simple living and minimalism but also links the latest and greatest organization thing (stuff!), the thousands of social media brand “influencers” selling how to become a social media brand influencer. Ah, it is so…overwhelming, exhausting, and dag on annoying. Why is everyone just trying to sell you something? How do you know what’s real? And, God Almighty, it is sometimes downright harmful. Whatever happened to responsible influencing? Oh, wait—that was never a thing. To be fair, you can’t believe everything you see on the internet. The problem is, that so many do. To be honest, social media isn’t really the problem—it is the users and consumers that make it up. What I want—I just want to be inspired, genuinely entertained, and maybe actually learn something interesting in the social media sphere occasionally. There is still a little of that in there. I see you!
Let’s take a step back.
In the ever-evolving landscape of the digital age, social media influencers have taken center stage. Platforms like Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and Twitter gave ordinary people the opportunity to share their lives, interests, and talents with the world. Over the past decade, they've risen to prominence, amassing followers in the millions and commanding vast sums of money for brand partnerships and endorsements by cultivating a unique online persona and producing relatable or entertaining content.
Initially, influencers filled a void in advertising by providing a more authentic connection between brands and consumers. Their personal touch made product endorsements feel less like traditional advertising and more like recommendations from a trusted friend. This, in turn, drove consumer engagement and sales.
However, as the influencer industry matured, it started to show its cracks. The relentless pursuit of likes, followers, and sponsorships began to overshadow the authenticity that once defined social media. Influencers started curating their lives to an unrealistic extent, presenting an image of perfection that often didn't align with reality. This has led to an unhealthy comparison culture among their followers, fostering feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem.
It is becoming increasingly evident that many people, not just myself, are growing weary of the social media influencer phenomenon. The constant bombardment of sponsored content has left many feeling inundated and skeptical. It's hard to know if an influencer genuinely loves a product or if they're simply promoting it for a paycheck. This blurring of authenticity has eroded the trust that initially drew people to influencers in the first place.
There is a growing desire for more genuine online interactions. Users are seeking content that reflects real life, imperfections, and all. They share their struggles, passions, and quirks, rather than those who perpetuate a curated facade. Some “influencers” are opening up about their vulnerabilities and sharing the less glamorous aspects of their lives. But, even so, it oftentimes feels a little forced.
But, I guess that's why they give you the unfollow button. I’ve been pressing it a lot lately.
The allure of the social media influencer is fading for many. The pursuit of authenticity and meaningful connections is on the rise, challenging the influencer industry to evolve. While influencers are far from becoming obsolete, their role is undergoing a significant transformation. In the end, the users themselves will determine the future direction of social media, pushing for a more sincere and relatable online experience.
For the time being, I’m going to stick with social media. I’m hopeful. And, frankly, I just wanna write, be creative, have fun, and share a few things I learn along the way. I guess I hope others follow suit.
Leave the schtick to the highlights section, please.
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