Why I dislike ‘Influencers’.

This is a subject that I’m really passionate about. I dislike the term ‘Influencer’. I dislike promoting ‘Influencers’, but I will talk about a couple in this post, or examples sake. I just don’t think they deserve the publicity they get. I dislike the fact that they claim their fame willingly and are happy to reap the rewards of said fame, but hold very little accountability when it comes to the things they do.

  1. Influence is a powerful thing and something that should never be taken for granted, yet I find that so many influencers really don’t give a damn about that fact. They’re just out for money. And damn, if they have a large enough following it doesn’t even seem like they have to work for that money. It just seems to get handed to them. Vegans promoting meat, minimalists promoting stockpiling, devout Christians exclaiming their followers should save themselves for marriage whilst sitting there unmarried and pregnant. It’s a weird, weird world, the internet.
  2. They seem very entitled. “I don’t owe you guys anything” is a statement that really annoys me when I’m watching Youtube videos. You choose to put yourself online. You choose to sell yourself to the likes of coffee creamers and adult diapers for a dollar and then when someone asks you questions the answer is ‘I don’t owe you guys anything’? If you don’t want to owe anyone a response, don’t make the statement to start with.
  3. They seem so disingenuous. There is one particular ‘Influencer’ who I watched peddle a product on their Instagram in four separate photos talking about how amazing it was and how it blew competitors out of the water. Two months later, I saw them make a Youtube video in which they proclaimed they had never actually tried that product. Girl was getting so many sponsored Instagram posts that she couldn’t even remember what she was sponsored for long enough to not put her foot in her mouth. And, when she was called out on it, for her Instagram photos, she deleted the Instagram photos and then began blocking those users calling her out. She presently has 3.7 million subscibers on Youtube and when anyone calls out her ‘slip-ups’, she blocks them. And honestly, she’s not a one off. It happens all the time. On Youtube channels big and small.
  4. Influencers promote mass consumption/over consumption. Honestly, the makeup, the clothing, the ‘HAULS’ the excess of everything that they need to have and brag about having… it’s not necessary. None of it is necessary. But, if you put a smile on your face and slap a filter on it, there’s always someone (a naive soul) on this earth who will spend their money on it.
  5. None of them appear to be making original content anymore. Have you ever watched a Youtube video before and thought ‘Man, I’ve seen this 30 times already!’ Yeah, that seems to happen a lot these days. Favourites videos and fashion hauls, so on and so forth… it’s all the same no matter what Youtube channel you watch.
  6. I absolutely despise when they post ‘Hauls’ and leave the tags visibly on the products because you know they’ve only purchased the things to make a video and then they’re sending the products right back. This isn’t just with clothes, it’s with makeup and toys and home goods and luxury goods. They want to make it look like they’re spending a lot of money when in reality, you’re never going to see that item again because it’s going right back to the store it came from.
  7. “Full transparency, this video is not sponsored, I’m just going to go on and on for the next eight minutes about how much I love this one particular product for no reason.” Full transparency doesn’t mean much to me on the web. People lie. All the time. Especially in the world of Youtube, especially with ‘Influencers’ who live in countries in which there are no regulations stating they need to acknowledge when content is sponsored. If you’re ever in doubt, there’s a 95% chance their content is sponsored.
  8. I wholeheartedly believe they’re given so much stuff that they lose sight of what basic things cost because they just don’t have to buy them anymore. There’s a good chance when an ‘Influencer’ claims something is affordable, it might be… for them… because they don’t buy anything anymore. But for us regular folk, it’s definitely not affordable.
  9. So much drama. Seriously – The majority of James Charles’ audience is young teenagers and look at all the shit he’s pulled this year! Jake Paul and Tana Mongeau held a fake marriage in Las Vegas and charged people $49.99 to watch a livestream of it. Nikita Dragun paid a male model to be her boyfriend. Jaclyn Hill released defective lipsticks and started insulting people when they called her out on it. There’s a reason why Gossip Channels have skyrocketed in popularity this year… it’s because they seem to be the only channels wiling to be transparent and honest.
  10. “I make more than a doctor.” Girl, we get it. You make a lot of money. That totally natural photo of you leaning out the window of your hotel in France to promote a lipstick we’ll never see you wear ever again probably pays you a quarter of my 2018 salary. And those adult diapers you claim to make your 9 and 10 year old kids wear on roadtrips because you don’t like to stop, probably boosted your pay to half my salary last year. None of it seems natural though. None of it seems even remotely real. And I hope that I’m not alone in thinking this.

Personally, I cringe when I see #AD #SP #Sponored #Partner or any other remotely similar thing included in Youtube Videos or Instagram post. It immediately makes me think ‘well, I know what the company told them to say, so how about I go and find a video or post that was not sponsored to be able to see a real review. Because these ‘Influencers’ have cornered the market of the very real reality that is people use google for review of products before they buy.

Men, women across the world are making millions of dollars advertising products to people online that they’ve never seen nor used and they’re being less than transparent about it. And not just money they’re getting either. They’re getting free trips, tickets to Coachella, being given vehicles and so on and so forth. It’s just not real. They’re chasing this fancy, exorbitant lifestyle so hard that they’re willing to sell anything in the process.

Think it’s just adults doing this? ‘Ryan’s Toy Review’ is a multi-million dollar making seven year old that deceptively markets, through his Youtube channel (with help of his parents), a multitude of products to young school and preschool aged children in violation of rules from the FTC. It’s estimated that 90% of the content on the channel is sponsored, leaving just 10% to be organic genuine content. If adults have a hard enough time trying to determine what is and isn’t sponsored on Youtube, imagine how impossible that would be for a preschooler.

I guess the point of this rant is just to say, don’t believe everything that you read online. Odds are, if there’s money involved, there’s more to the story than what you’re being told.

103 thoughts on “Why I dislike ‘Influencers’.

  1. This was very well written. I honestly never thought about how damaging ‘influencers’ are. Sure I’ve seen the articles and the posts about try this product, but I’ve always just scrolled past or shook my head at the many antics that they pull.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. That’s good that you’re able to scroll past and just not purchase. I think so many people end up spending their hard earned money in ways that don’t benefit them because of influencers. You’re a smart one and a lucky one.

      Like

  2. I try not to follow influences anymore. I used to follow a few without blinking an eyelash back in the day, but ended up unfollowing them. Sure, some of their videos are absolutely unrealistic and ridiculous (I’m looking at you, Joey Graceffa) but as I’m getting older, I’m realizing what a waste of time it is watching these videos. I don’t shop online and for a good reason – it’s so easy to mindlessly buy shit we don’t need and these “influencers” seem to be quite successful convincing us that we need their shit. Glad you are able to see past the hype and call them out while you’re at it. 😂🤗

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I’m so glad you wrote about this. I have been feeling the same thing. What I’ve been annoyed about lately is that I originally subscribed to some of these “influencers” so that I could follow their makeup tutorials. But many of them are more into their own drama, hauls (like you say), showing off who they’re working with today, then they are about what they originally started their channel on: makeup tutorials.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Do you know of any who are original and speak the truth? Not being sarcastic I have a hard time finding people I think are genuine. I’d love some suggestions!

      Thank you!

      Like

  4. Great post! I also hate the term influencer, it’s seems somewhat narcissistic to me. I don’t have a problem with people getting paid to promote a product, so long as they genuinely use it & love it. Integrity is everything, and with a bit of investigating you soon see who is real & who isn’t.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. There are so many people that lack integrity in the ‘industry’. And Influencer Marketing is a big industry. It’s tough because there are so many people who naively believe everything that gets said. It sucks! I feel for people who don’t know any better!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Prior to my most recent trip to Paris, I came across a food walking tour website. It looked interesting and as I puttered around the site I noticed a “we love bloggers!” link. So I clicked it, and saw that they were offering discounts or free tickets – simply email them. So I did just that. After they looked at my blog they replied to say they were going to offer me 25% off the tour ticket price. But in exchange I’d have to write about the tour on my blog (without naming the locations we visited), as well as reviewing them on TA, and posting on all of my social media. Of course everything I did had to be linked back to them. Okay, wait. For 25% off you’re giving me the honour of doing your marketing. Gee, thanks. I wrote back thanking them but declining their offer. No response, which is fine. But I bet if I was in the game of “influencing”, they’d be beating down my door with offers of free tours. You scratch mine, I’ll scratch yours. Ugh.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah, that’s a little ridiculous. They want you to give them free marketing for 25% off? Noooo thank you. Sounds like you might the right choice there. If I saw that, I’d be like ‘I’m going to write about how ridiculous ya’ll are, just so you get negative attention’ though I’m pretty sure they don’t even deserve that.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I agree with you, its gotten to a point where you really have to pick and choose who you follow based on what “feels” geniune and even then that can be sketchy. The internet can bring out the absolute worst in people sometimes.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Oh absolutely! And some people may come across as genuine at the start, but as their channels/platforms grow it becomes clear that they’re just chasing money and not being real anymore too. Its almost misleading in a sense. They make you think they’re genuine only to reveal their true colours.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I prefer to follow people that create a product themselves and promote it. It’s neat watching the creative process and then seeing them advertise it with passion. It’s like watching their journey from excitement to success and I dig that. It’s more realistic to me.

    Liked by 6 people

  7. YouTube used to be so fun and real, long time ago. Now it’s all the same content. How many eyeshadow pallets can a person own? A whole lot when you see it on YT. I don’t watch any more. At first I tought it was so nice to see real reviews but than the money came in and nothing was real anymore. For they show content that is not interesting. For example, there is a girl who supposedly lives in a van. We are looking to buy a van. So for me it would be interesting to see how she convert it to live in. But she has christmas lights in it and nothing is told about the process. I even think the drama channels are not genuine anymore. The drama seems one sighted and maybe created or just stupid. I also wrote a blogpost about YT and cancel culture, you’re welcome to check it out. But on a lighter note, I agree 100% with your views!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I know you know that I read your post last night, I just wanted to say that I really appreciate your take on the whole subject. It was nice to read your thoughts and learn more of people I didn’t even know! Thanks for pointing it my direction.

      Like

      1. You’re so welcome! I’m glad somebody red the post, always wondering if I’m writing too long of a post. I worked hard on it and it were my thoughts at the time. It still is for the most part, except I’m not sure about the drama channels anymore. YT is a whole universe on it’s own 🙂 I really enjoy your posts too and I’ll keep on reading them with great pleasure.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Toys aren’t just being given too him but last year Mattel paid him $500,000 to talk about their toys on his channel.

      How honest do we think those reviews are if mom and dad are telling Ryan that all Mattel toys need to be good, no matter what?

      He’s got monetary deals between $20,000 and $2,000,000 with over a dozen different companies.

      Like

      1. The family is under Investigation with the FTC right now because he was mandated as requiring to acknowledge sponsorships in 2017 and it has been found that he’s/his parent’s have been failing to do so in a manner that would allow people to understand what he’s getting paid to talk about and what he’s just talking about for fun.

        Apparently the investigation is ongoing.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I have been an uninfluenced influencer for four years now and kept it as ethical as humanly possible. There was a lodge that I even refused to review, after sadly having spent a night there at my own cost. All my reviews were honest and true – which is what this should be about.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. I agree with you. Integrity and honesty are important, but I can see how when money is involved it can be tempting for most people to forego that. I think if you are promoting things that you personally love and have tried and that you do stop and think about integrity then you are doing it the right way.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I appreciate honest reviews. I think that’s why I take to places like Expedia and google reviews, etc.. because I feel like, for the most part, people on there are going to be more honest. I agree with you, it should absolutely be able being honest and true. It should be about being genuine.

        Like

  8. I totally agree and so well written. Its such a shallow and fake industry that doesn’t add to popular culture much except I guess…boosting the economy due to the mass consumption it promotes. I am 100% guilty of that, and i have realized how materialistic consumption is just a way for me to be distracted or get temporarily “high” from the purchase of something new. Its horrible and I do want to change and seeing you write this post really made me reflect harder on what I choose to watch and follow in my life! Considering what influencers do, they should at least be genuine.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. The over-consumption is is something that really bothers me. You don’t need 100 pairs of running shoes. You don’t need a garage filled with Mrs. Meyers cleaning products. There’s so much of it online and they make it look so good… I just disagree with that on its face.

      I agree, considering what they do, they should be a lot more genuine than they are.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. “Influencers” are highly annoying . I just wish they were real and more honest. I understand having to make your money but just don’t lie and fake . Loved this article … seriously 🖤

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Wholeheartedly agree with everything you just said. Just be real. It’s like… in reality there are things you don’t like in this world. Perhaps you can talk about them once in a while. Just to remind us… you talk about things you don’t get paid to talk about.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Point number 7 is why I follow your blog 😂😂 you say things I wouldn’t say out loud, “I’m just going to go on and on for the next eight minutes about how much I love this one particular product for no reason.” great post 😊

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Right? I hate it when you see them going on and on and on about something that they’ve never mentioned before and will never mention again and they’re like ‘Yeah, this isn’t sponsored’. Sure. Sure.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Materialism and the love of money… it brings out the worst in many of us. I really hope humanity evolves past its current obsession with consumerism and materialism.

    Thankfully, there are a few people who are ethical and use advertising and marketing techniques responsibly. But they’re in a minority. I treasure these people when I find them.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I definitely agree – when I find those people who seem to be very ethical about what they’re doing, I tend to watch them more often or follow their blogs more. I think it’s just… people need to be more realistic about the world. Overconsumption annoys the crap out of me.

      Like

  12. Going on from our conversation about my son and youtube, this is another example of why I will not let him do it, I am not sure its ryan he watches, but every so often I have to say, he is being paid to say how great that is.

    If lego sponsored my son, then I would let him do it, as that would save me a small fortune each year. But I would have signs up all around going Lego gave me this for free

    Liked by 4 people

    1. They are the infomercials! That’s such a good way of putting it. They blur that line between what’s real and what’s bought and paid for… it’s the epitome of an infomercial.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. We as influencers go, at our own cost, to really amazing farmstays, or destinations few would have thought of, and take photos, write reviews – for the reader to enjoy. There is no bias and no hard selling. When done right.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I also get tired of the morning TV show where all they do is to show foods that cause Type 2 Diabetes and that app-based cab service who racist driver tried to kill me, calling me a “f…..old white man.”

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Honestly, I’m reaching a point where I wouldn’t miss it either. There’s so much on youtube these days – music included, I don’t know if I can stay away from it, but I also don’t want to be on it. I don’t want to give any of these people more clout. And I know I’m just one person – but seriously, James Charles gets away with a lot of shit and operates with this ‘holier than thou’ attitude. It’s bonkers.

      Like

      1. You’re smarter, my dear big sist. I prefer you to be an influencer with this kind of deep and thoughtful writing than those influencers who just show us the useless content.

        Like

  14. While not the same, I am really starting to dislike bloggers who claim to be the authority on places. Wannabe influencers, if you will. Headings like, “Top 10 Places to Visit in Paris!”, and the post simply reiterates what every other post about Paris online insist are THE places to visit. Like the Eiffel Tower. Or the Louvre. There’s nothing new shared, no interesting facts and basically only places to visit to take your Instagram photos at. Even worse are the posts that promise to provide “hidden” or off the beaten track places to visit.. and then proceed to share every tourist heavy place that appears on every damn list. Perhaps it’s a sign of the times? Perhaps people don’t pre-trip research as they used to? Maybe it’s indicative of people having short attention spans with interest only in highly filtered social media worthy filler? Ugh.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree with you!!!!!

      When I go to a new city, I often look online to find a place to see or a restaurant to go to that’s not… what everyone does. I want to find the ‘hole-in-the-wall’ kind of place, the one that home-towners frequent because it’s so damn good but it’s relatively unknown. I rarely find bloggers that can give me that. Even in the cities I’ve lived in, I’ve looked up Calgary, Vancouver, Victoria, Toronto, and I haven’t found a blogger who comes out with anything new. It’s always the same 10 places.

      When I go to Paris, I’m not going to look onine, I’m just going to ask people on the street – see what they have to say. I feel like they’re better than overly-saturated blog posts that all share the same thing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s so frustrating. Even for Vancouver. As soon as people catch wind of a place there are lineups down the block. I refuse to stand in line for waffles, thankyouverymuch.

        Like

  15. “I dislike the term ‘Influencer’. I dislike promoting ‘Influencers’, but I will talk about a couple in this post, or examples sake. I just don’t think they deserve the publicity they get”

    Preach. That’s one of the words that I cannot stand. It’s really scary how fake people are nowadays. No originality and they just live for likes and “fame”.

    Great post ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. YES! You’re absolutely right here. I mean, all they care about is how many followers they can get or how many likes they can get, because more followers and more likes makes for more money and more sponsorships!

      Thank you for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. It’s like people who buy designer t-shirts with the brand name / logo on display. Okay wait, let me get this straight. You paid $700 for the privilege of being a walking advertisement for them. Shouldn’t they be paying you?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. OH YEAH!!!

      And People that pay $700 for a T-Shirt need to shake their head. And when I see ‘Influencers’ wearing them, I just can’t help but feel as though they’ve lost all touch with reality. A T-shirt is a t-shirt is a t-shirt. Under zero circumstances is it worth $700

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Except if it is covered in real live kittens doing a choreographed dance routine. Because then I’d probably pay more. Oh wait, did I just say that out loud? 😆

        Like

    1. Thank you! Famous for being famous – these days Anyone can be be it if they want to be. And when there’s zero accountability on the internet, it blurs the line between what’s real and what isn’t.

      Like

  17. Ugh…I feel all these feels! The more I found myself ‘consuming’ the content on YouTube, the more discontent I began to feel until I realised that it’s all for the views and its fake and promotes an obsession with materialism. I am not here for it. These days I try to filter all the ‘crap’ out which is more than half of the content on YouTube today so I can stay sane. So thanks for this. Another great one, V.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I commend you for filtering out the crap. Honestly, it’s so tough and I think it’s something that a lot of people, even I, struggle with.

      Youtube and social media are filled with so much crap, it’s hard to feel sane when you’re consistently subjected to it!

      Thanks for your note and for reading my rant ❤

      Liked by 2 people

      1. My only bookmark for YouTube is to my Subscriptions feed. That way, I only see the channels I want to see. Going the YouTube’s home page tends to bombard me with crap. I also recommend turning off the autoplay feature in settings. That way, you’re less likely to get sucked into a YouTube wormhole.

        Like

    1. I don’t condemn them all. It just seems like as soon as someone becomes large enough that they start claiming that ‘Influencer’ title to their name, they stop being genuine… it just seems like they’re so much more disingenuous because all they’re doing is chasing the money. Which, I’m all for making money – get that pay check. But, I just wish they wouldn’t be trying to screw us out of ours in the process.

      I’m rambling and I don’t think that makes sense. I guess it just means that I prefer people with small youtube channels. People doing it as a hobby, I trust a lot more than someone being paid six figures to talk about something on youtube. Hope that makes sense.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. PS – If you do know of an ‘Influencer’ in which they do come across as genuine and seem really genuine and honest, please share with me. I’d love to find one that I feel like I can trust. Or a couple if there are that many. So I’m always open to discovering new people.

      Thank You!

      Like

  18. The term ‘influencer’ really is a millennial crisis! I agree with so many of the points raised in this post and commend the much needed call out. Let’s be honest, I dislike influencers too.
    Although, I think we are currently experiencing the result of toxic influencer culture, where younger users are so caught up in gaining popularity that they’ll even consider buying likes to become more relevant. But ‘selling out’ is not a new phenomenon and aren’t we all aware of the public backlash that most often ensues?
    We dislike how influencers gain their fame and publicity through disingenuous content but don’t stop to think about the advertising companies, who have been continually profiting off the commercialisation of everyday life or the social media platforms, who charge per click. I think that the lack of authentic influencers is attributed to a shifting digital economy and the destructive loop of corporate greed. I find the recurring cycle of consumerism an ironic phenomenon because at the end of the day, influencers are the product that’s being sold to the advertisers. After all it’s true, ‘if you’re not paying for the product, you are the product’.

    Like

    1. Oh, you’re so right. I have a really hard time buying products from companies that are the big ‘culprits’ of paying for these Influencers. There re entire brands that have been built on the backs of ‘Influencers’ telling us how to spend our money. And so many people think that if they buy these things, they’ll be a friend of the Influencer. I have a really, really hard time buying products if I see it promoted a whole bunch through influencers…

      Like

  19. Great post. You have some valid points. But I would like to point out that I absolutely love Influencers. I love the fact that they aren’t afraid to put themselves out there. As with any career path, there are pros and cons, good and bad, etc. I like to focus on the good ones because there are several out there actually inspiring, and wanting to inspire. The awesome thing about social media is that it gives them a platform; whereas, back in the day you had to try and get put on tv. The hard work has been done, the new generation is being creative and helping us see a new way to do things – those are true influencers. Review on products are cool, but I believe the true influenecers are the ones with a voice to tell their story in an effort to inspire, and sometimes a product does that for the person promoting. Again, great post, it’s interesting seeing it from this point of view.

    Like

    1. Thanks for your take on the subject. I appreciate it. I agree, the people who are actually influencing the way people think, see and feel life are the important ones. I just don’t think those people are the ones who get the notoriety they deserve. Do you know what I mean?

      Liked by 1 person

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