Instagram vs Reality

Instagram is a tricky beast. I love sharing photos and I love looking at photos, whether they’re of people, places or things, but I am also abundantly aware of how fake the platform is.

There are some incredibly creative people in this world, people who quite literally share their talents with the world thanks to Instagram. But, for the most part, the platform seems to be a beauty worshiping pit of vanity. So I have always been hesitant to share photos for fear of feeding the beast.

A few days ago I stumbled about an YouTube video made by someone from Vancouver who spent nearly 45 minutes going through her perfectly curated Instagram feed to talk the truth behind the beautiful photos and catchy captions she’d been posting for years.

With 2.1 million Instagram followers, hearing the truth behind her photos was actually quite shocking. As much as you know people aren’t truthful with their Instagram accounts, you tend to just envision people’s lives as perfect because… well because that’s what they want you to think. But her life, well it’s far from perfect. I was quite shocked about how far from perfect it was. But I found myself respecting her so much more after knowing the actual truth behind her photos.

I’ve decided that I’m going to start sharing some photos on Instagram and, in the comments, sharing two captions. Firstly, I’ll share the caption I would write if I were trying to make my life look perfect, and secondly I’ll share the reality of what was going on at that point in my life when I took the photo.

And, if anyone else wants to include this ‘Instagram vs Reality’ captions on their photos too, let me know and I’ll follow your Instagram.

Honestly, while I think my life is far from interesting, by any means, I do live in Canada and this entire country is basically the equivalent of a ‘Wish You Were Here’ postcard. So, I do have some pretty beautiful photos. But, as with all things in life, there’s two sides to every story…. Instagram versus Reality.

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.

Twitter and Instagram

I would like to boost the morale of my Twitter and Instagram feeds through finding new and exciting accounts. The feeds of both have been a tad down lately, with everything that’s going on in this world, and I just want to find some new accounts to brighten up m feed.

If you have a Twitter or an Instagram account and wouldn’t mind if I checked it out, please leave a comment with your username.

I just need some more sunshine in my life. You know what I mean?

(Oh, and if you want to check mine out, I am @ohmillennials on both Twitter and Instagram. Just in case you see me creeping your instagram stories)

Applying for jobs is a frustrating process.

I miss the days when you could walk into a place of employment and ask for an application. The wonderful soul working there would hand you a piece of paper and you could fill it out. That’s it, that’s all. And then, your ability to get an interview was measured based off what was listed on your application.

Those were the good ole days.

Yesterday I spent one hour and fourteen minutes submitting an application for ONE PLACE. ONE PLACE. They had my resume and cover letter submitted through LinkedIn. Once that was submitted I was sent an email exclaiming that I needed to “apply” and that those who applied had a 60% higher chance of getting an interview.

I thought that I had applied – silly me.

Nevertheless, I bit the bullet, clicked the link and started to ‘apply’. What followed was more than thirty minutes of every question that could, and should, actually be asked during a job interview. What would you bring to our team culture? If we have a staff game night, what game are you bringing? What is your biggest weakeness? And on, and on, and on.

This got me thinking… if you’re asking these questions to candidates during the application process, what do you actually ask during a job interview? Or do you even host an interview? Maybe you just make candidates jump through so many hoops that whoever is left standing at the end, you think ‘yeah, they put up with all that shit, we better hire them’.

Following the thirty minutes of job interview questions that I had to fill out, I thought ‘I’m done. Thank goodness’. I went on to researching more positions I’m qualified for and just a few short minutes later heard my phone beep with the email noise.

It was this company, again.

‘Please complete the pre-interview cognitive assessment test’, the email read. ‘Candidates who complete this test prove they’re intelligence and ability to work and therefore have advantages over candidates who don’t complete this assessment.’

Well, shit. I don’t want to have gotten this far into it and not completed the application now. So, I caved… clicked the link and started the test.

What I got was thirty minutes of infuriating math and pattern questions that have nothing to do with marketing, communications or public relations. My ability to determine what symbol comes next after a row of 20 symbols, that’s going to make me a better public relations specialist? My ability to remember the ‘FOIL’ technique to do timed math equations, that is going to make me a better marketer?

I don’t understand this company. I don’t. An ability to answer math questions or complete pattern recognition does not measure my culpability in an office environment. It does not tell you if I can write press releases, it does not explain whether or not I can handle stress. It tells you that I paid attention in math class when I was in school.

Job hunting is infuriating. When did it get this why? Why did it get this way? What is the point of even having a resume and cover letter anymore if all that really matters is how well you can jump through these hoops for a potential employer? What is my actual education and experience worth right now if pattern recognition is what makes me a beneficial employee to an organization?

I’m ranting. I know that. I know that I just need to suck it up and deal with it. I swear though, I swear right now that if I ever become a hiring manager or have a role that involves being a part of the hiring process in an organization EVER, I will make it simple. It will be basic. We will measure candidates for their qualifications and their education and we will be efficient. I’m not going to waste the time of job hunters. That pisses me off. I will do it better.

Okay, I better go back to my job hunting now. Crossing my fingers that it’s a little less infuriating today.

Side note – is instagram down right now? I can’t get on mine at all today. Or perhaps, maybe my account got blacklisted? I don’t know.

Okay, bye.