The Problem With Instagram And Influencers

The Problem With Instagram, The Problem With Influencers, Instagram Influencers

I have made it no secret that I don't like Instagram. It has nothing to do with their ever changing algorithm or engagement. I could care less about that. It does have everything to do with the platform's failure to protect the privacy of it's users and the types of people it has created. The people I'm referring to are the influencers. I've never cared or paid much attention to Instagram influencers. In fact if there is something that they're all posting about, it usually gives me pause for suspicion since I'm aware of the monetization game and I know there is nothing genuine to back it up. It's something I usually just ignore but a recent series of atrocious behavior has been alarming to say the least because we're talking about crossing the lines of basic decency to outright grifting. What made me snap was all the influencers who thought it would be cool to "honor" the anniversary of 9/11 with posts promoting themselves and whatever product they were currently shilling. This is a day of immense tragedy and one that I still have a hard time with every year. The normal human thing to do would be to show support and respect if you're going to acknowledge it. But it would really be better and more appropriate not to reference the anniversary at all than to reduce it to a hashtag and use it for personal gain and self promotion. Some of these people took down their hashtags and/or posts after being criticized. But they never should have put them up in the first place. There was even one influencer who felt she was being unfairly called by haters who disagreed with her and were too opinionated. Like WTF!

Therein lies the real problem with these influencers. A lack of integrity, ethics, shame and basic decency. And this is something that has been perpetuated from Instagram, a veritable paradise for narcissists and anyone thirsting for attention. It's incredibly toxic to gain validation and live for likes in this manner but it's a thing now and these people are going to ride it out for as long as they can because it's better than getting a real job. Lately the bubble might've start to burst a little a backlash and criticism ensued with the influencer who turned her motorcycle accident into an Instagram photoshoot, the one who turned a tribute to her dead grandmother into an ad for a dress to Carolyn Calloway who was caught in a scam promoting workshops that she took money for and never delivered on. It came out that her entire "brand" was built on a scam with her ghostwriter revealing how she purchased followers to fake her popularity in the beginning. The story is actually quite interesting. Calloway actually built herself up through the deceptiveness of brand building. Sticking with the typical aspirational Instagram posts, she made sure to include just enough vulnerability and drama to make herself appear authentic. Calloway got caught because of her greed, ambition and hubris but I have no doubt there are countless influencers who have built themselves up in a similar manner. This type of fakery goes beyond using filters to make yourself look like a different person. Buying fake followers has been used forever and it's not just influencers who do it, celebrities do it as well. This story revealed that the celebs with the most fake followers. 58 percent of Ellen DeGeneres' 74.4 million followers on Instagram are fake bots. Don't let her friendly demeanor fool you, she is a nasty piece of work. It'a actually a common practice amongst celebs to enlist bots to follow their accounts to boost their follow counts and their value as influencers.

Don't even get me started on celebrities getting in on the spon con action like that actress with the never ending sponsored wedding.  Like most of them need more money. And then there are those who monetize their children which is deplorable. It's one thing if you choose to sell out but young kids don't have a choice and this raises all sorts of red flags and issues. Perhaps the ones that fascinate me the most are the wannabes on the bubble who act like they are like legends in their own minds and basically imitate everything that bigger influencers do. There is no originality or authenticity but the greed and entitlement is abundant. Quite the opposite of aspirational.  I guess the one thing I can respect is their hustle because these people never seem to rest but the life of an influencer is also rather trivial and meaningless. After all these people are doing nothing more than documenting themselves living.  I'm guessing there are some that aren't out there that aren't all about being sponsored but I'd be hard pressed to name one. I'm probably going to get called a jealous hater but this is just how I feel. I always say that if it weren't for this blog, I probably wouldn't even be on social media. I happen to really value my privacy as well as living life on my own terms. For the record I'm all for Instagram removing likes.

What are your thoughts?

18 comments

Jackie Harrison said...

I have to agree there is a limit in how far anyone will go to advertise 9/11 it not for advertising is a remembrance in how vulnerable we all were that day and how much life was lost due to the hate for USA. The innocent paid with their life, a day they just was going on with their life by going to work to provide for themselves and family never thinking a senseless hatred act will take their life. It brought tears to my eyes how some use for their own greed for attention. I also agree celeb and so many buy followers. I see it 6,000 followers and 2 hundred likes I do not get it. I been on this IG for four years and my numbers are still a little over 2 thousands and everyday I get one or two followers and than I lose it b/c they only want me to follow back. I do not care if likes get remove. Great topic Rowena enjoy reading. Have a lovely weekend.

Ellen Ross | Ask Away Blog said...

Dude... AMEN to everything you said!

Doctor Anne said...

I agree to there being a limit, and I draw my personal line when it comes to sharing those around me. My children are never shown on social media, nor does anyone I am not real life friends with know their name, let alone the day care they are attending or similar. I don´t even have their picture up on my personal Facebook account because I don´t trust that I can really keep them and their faces private once I showed them online anywhere.
Personally I enjoy the Instagram bubble I have created for me, the community of likeminded people that I follow through stories and captions, but that is far outside the "influencer" space. None of us has or cares to have what is called "Instagram fame".
I have my day job that I love, and wouldn´t replace it for being an Influencer.

Anne from “Doctor Anne” (former Linda, Libra, Loca)

Emmylou said...

As someone who's given up IG years ago, I soooo agree with this, chingu. Man...that 9/11 fiasco just takes the cake! A few people have told me to go back on IG to promote my art work, but I do find the whole thing just soooo fake now:( As you've pointed out, it's all about the number of followers and likes and not even relating to actual people anymore. And yes...I do post pics of my kids on Twitter, but I'm just a crazy mom who's proud of them and have never revealed their names in public. I don't understand how parents can monetize their kids! YouTubers are the same...ugh!
Great and thought-provoking post, Rowena.:)

Ivana Split said...

Excellent post Rowena, you have made some really great points here. It is horrible that someone would take advantage of 9/11 to sell things. The monopolization has gone too far. I feel that many influencers get lost in it, even those who are deep down really good and decent people. What I personally find annoying is how many of them play the victim card, they pretend things are harder for them then they really are, they invent diseases or hype events to make people sorry for them and that kind of behaviour is at its core a form of emotional manipulation. I think social media naturally attracts narcissist personalities. I listened to a few documentaries about Narcissist personality disorder and often they are described as someone spending a lot o time on social media. In their private relationships, they are often what is called a facebook friend or parent, someone who is only interesting in showing their child/family member or a friend as a trophy and not in doing the actual difficult job of caring for someone and/or parenting. Back to the topic of influencers, many of them do take advantage of their kids and that is unfair. Those kids will grow up without any privacy, their photos available to anyone and their security compromised. I really worry about their future. As an educator, I see so many potential risks for the young and the kids on social media. When it comes to Instagram in particular, my main preoccupation is the fact they changed their safety policy and now Instagram is an unsafe as facebook. They are known to keep, misuse and sell private data of their users, that's my main issue with Instagram.

Paola Lauretano said...

This is a very interesting topic Rowena, and your post is very well written!
I don't love IG only for fame!!!
Kisses, Paola.

Expressyourself

FashionRadi said...

I totally get where you're coming from. I see ig as a great way to express my creativity!

www.fashionradi.com

Shireen L. Platt said...

110% with you on this, Rowena and yes, I am a supporter of IG removing likes and with some luck, follower count too. My IG is blog related and that's what I tell all my friends and families, if they are hoping to see what I am really up to with my life and family then they are in for a disappointment. I have my FB for that but it's private. Too much fakery on IG, it's becoming a huge page of ads.

Pilar said...

Rowena you make so many good points in your post. 9/11 is a day that needs to be respected. To post ads such as the ones you mentioned to make a profit on that day is not only selfish, but downright disrespectful. It's like some people don't even care about how that looks or how someone feels to see such a post.

People call me an influencer, but I like to think that by sharing my life experiences in other areas other than beauty/makeup I can help someone. There are so many social issues that need to be addressed and I like to use my social media platform for good. If I'm going to be looked at as influencer, that's what I want to do influence people to kinder and more sincere towards one another. Well written post!

Priya Hareesh said...

All the points mentioned are justifed, however the worst is they selling data
https://www.stylebasket.in

The Exclusive Beauty Diary said...

I completely agree with every word that you wrote. For me influencers are fake people with fake life. Now is Milan Fashion Week and they all wearing designer clothes and then say after show they need to bring it back. Also one of thing that I don't like is fact in three days one influencer present three different face tonic and all of them are favorite. I don't believe them and sometimes I feel so sorry for they life. Thank you so much for this post.

New Post - http://www.exclusivebeautydiary.com/2019/09/lebody-form-body-massager_20.html

Tabela de precos das loterias caixa said...

Achei este conteúdo interessante e compartilhei em meu facebook.
Tabela de preços das loterias

Mica said...

I love that Jameela Jamil successfully campaigned for Instagram to limit or remove the 'diet' products from Instagram, that's a huge step in the right direction! There are plenty of people who know that social media is not real life and is not an accurate depiction of life, but there are a lot of people out there who don't know that and a lot of impressionable minds! I do try to only follow honest, authentic people but every now and then someone will post something that makes me unfollow. I use Instagram to share my outfits, an extension of my blog, so I follow similar accounts - but mostly from people who don't have blogs. I find the bigger bloggers perfectly posted / shopped / product placement photos get old quickly! that mum who forgets to post daily, or who had the perfect outfit but a kid photobombing in the back, those are my people, haha!

Hope that you have a lovely weekend ahead of you :)

Away From Blue

Grace Louise said...

This is such a thought-provoking and interesting post Hun, I completely agree with so many of your points. I LOVE that quote at the start of the post too!! x

Grace || www.gracelouiseofficial.blogspot.co.uk/

Corinne said...

I totally agree with you! Not long ago I saw a girl posting in front of Auschwitz, which I think was terrible taste. I use Instagram as a fitness dairy mostly!

Corinne x
www.skinnedcartre.com

Kinga K. said...

True.. Many girls do everything for Insta, but they don't enjoy real life, it's stupid, instagram it's cool but it is not everything.. :)

The Dainty Dolls House said...

I used to really love instagram, I found a lot of creativity on there. But, lately it's started to go down for me. I found the sponsored posts annoying in my feed, the ones that get thousands of likes are usually airheads promoting something for themselves. Like the weight loss shakes or whatever. They constantly say it's not real life but then cry when someone calls them out on something problematic they've done & their only concern is losing followers or likes. This 'Insta famous' thing is weird. I try to be as real as I possibly can on an app but it's not the end of the world to have the app. I often wonder where a lot of these people who are insta popular will be in years to come, I hope they've built something with substance really! People who use their social media pages for substance are the ones I tend to look for!! x

little luxury list said...

Ugh, what deplorable behavior. I can't believe people use tragedies for personal gain. I'm also completely supportive of removing likes and so over the endless algorithm changes. Let's just share lovely pictures and move on