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.

Holy headache Batman

The past week has been exceptionally trying on my physical health. At first, I had what I thought was a pinched nerve in my neck. My mom made a recommendation that I go see a Chiropractor, and though I was reluctant, I agreed.

See, the headache I have has been so bad that I’ve been having troubles seeing straight. When I stand up, if it’s too quickly, I feel as though I’m going to fall over. I have troubles turning my head. I’m afraid to drive. Honestly, walking down stairs has been quite difficult.

The visit to the Chiropractor was the wrong decision to make… mostly because the issues I’m having were not related to skeletal alignment. So, after another 2 days of suffering, I went to the doctor.

I’ve been dealing with sincerely debilitating pain for a few days. Now I am seriously contemplating going back to the doctor, or to the hospital. I seem to not be getting any better. It might be my anxiety doing the talking, but I feel like I might be getting worse.

The last time I can remember my head hurting even remotely close to this bad was a point in my life where I’d suffered a severe concussion after a physical altercation with a friend’s ex-boyfriend. (Honestly… a story for another day) Part of me, though, is wondering if the movements the Chiropractor did created concussion-like symptoms.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do. There’s not much the doctor can do for me right now. That’s pretty much the only reason I haven’t gone back.

If anyone has any suggestions to help with debilitating headaches, I’d gladly take them.

Ugh, my head hurts.

30 lessons to live by

While I believe there’s truth to the statement ‘you learn through experience’ I also believe there’s truth to the idea of learning from others mistakes, gaining from others wisdom and becoming who we are thanks to those we surround ourselves with.

Even if they might sound cliche, there’s plenty of life lessons that can be learned from the simple act of listening/reading. In a lot of cases you might already know these lessons. In a lot of cases, it’s just a matter of re-reading it to put it top of mind.

Here are 30 lessons to live by that withstand the test of time:

  1. You are not your parents. As much as people might try to tell you that you’re just like them… you are not, I repeat YOU ARE NOT, doomed to repeat their mistakes or force yourself into the same situations as they are/were in. Be yourself, don’t try to become them.
  2. Collect moments, not things. Memories are the only currency we have that doesn’t diminish in value with time. While tangible objects collect dust and can invariably disappoint over the years, our memories never dim, nor fade. They forever live on in our minds with a bittersweet sense of belonging.
  3. A man is not a financial plan. This one comes directly from my mother. Trying to hinge your bets on living off someone else is an insecure way to live. Make sure that you’re capable of looking after yourself financially, then your partner can add to your life, not control it.
  4. Debt isn’t worth it. Buying things you cannot afford might fix your problems in the short-term, but long term will give you nothing more than stress and anxiety.
  5. Failure is growth. Society tends to tell us that failure is a bad thing and that’s really not the case. So long as you’re learning from your failure, you’re growing as a person. Learn from your failure and you’ll appreciate your success so much more when you accomplish it.
  6. Comparison is the thief of joy. As cliche as it sounds, it’s true. Don’t compare your step one to someone else’s success. [Insert Name Here] might be a billionaire at 20, that doesn’t mean you’re a failure if you’re not.
  7. Change is good. Even when it seems like it sucks. Remaining stagnant in a world where change is all around you is a naive failure to flow with the natural order of the world.
  8. Age is just a number. Don’t ever discount someone because of their age. Age does not tell you intelligence, competence, capability, confidence, or anything about a person beyond the year they were born.
  9. Body positivity has zero to do with what you believe is attractive. Body positivity is a respect for the human body and what it does for a person. What you find attractive in a person has NOTHING to do with treating people with respect and appreciating what your body does for you and their body does for them.
  10. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. There’s no need, reason or excuse for being rude, mean or demoralizing. If you can’t be kind, keep your mouth shut.
  11. Putting up walls diminishes authenticity. Creating a persona to shield yourself from surrounding judgment, or potential judgment, diminishes the integral aspects of who you are. Don’t let your true self fade behind the walls you build.
  12. Exercise contributes to every aspect of your well being – physically, mentally and emotionally. It improves your health and your outlook. It forces much needed serotonin on your brain and can vastly benefit your outlook towards the world.
  13. Giving love is one of the best gifts you can give. Receiving love is one of the best gifts you can receive. Never underestimate the value of love.
  14. You get more from giving more. Success doesn’t come from seeing how much you can take. If you want to live a life of abundance, give with grace and give as much as you can.
  15. Even if you’re questioning whether to let your head or your heart decide, ensure you listen to your head. That tiny-voice inside of you always knows what’s right.
  16. Grudges cause nothing but pain. Allow yourself to move on from the past. Remember that just because you forgive does not mean that you need to forget. You can forgive someone and not carry the weight of the pain they caused whilst remembering so that you don’t ever have to suffer that same pain twice.
  17. Travel makes you more interesting, insightful and an accepting person. You learn when you see how others experience and you become more open to things beyond what you could ever imagine. Travel and travel often.
  18. You aren’t always right. There’s always more than one version to the story. Practice humility and remember that you’re wrong sometimes, too.
  19. You define your life. If you want it to be meaningful, make it meaningful. If you don’t, you won’t.
  20. You cannot control others, only yourself. Make sure that you’re a positive example of what you want the world to be.
  21. Gratitude multiplies happiness. Consciously focusing on what you have, rather than what you don’t, is the best use of your brain.
  22. Please yourself first. Don’t wait for approval from others in order to look after yourself. Just like no one in this world can make us feel as bad as we can, no one in this world can make us feel as good as we can.
  23. Self-awareness is more valuable then personal achievement.
  24. Knowledge is power. The more you learn, the more you earn. The more you know, the more you bring to the table. The more insightful you can be, the more tolerant and understanding you are. Don’t ever stop learning.
  25. If you want something done right, do it yourself. You know what’s right for you. Don’t try to pass it off on someone else if you know you’re more than capable.
  26. Your thoughts are like boomerangs. What you put out into the universe will come right back to you. What do you want coming back?
  27. The easy road is never that. Trying to take the easy way out is like trying to cheat the system. In the end, it’s going to come back to haunt you.
  28. Honesty, even when it hurts, is far better than any lie, comforting or not.
  29. If someone shows you who they really are, believe them the first time. I’ve heard this quoted to Mya Angelou. She’s pretty darn right on the money when it comes to this quote. Offering second chances always seems to show you what you already know/knew.
  30. Make every day count. You never know when it will be your last.

Good Friends

I’ve always been a firm believer in the distinction between friends and acquaintances. And, though over the years I’ve qualified some into the friend category that really didn’t deserve to be there, or belong there, I’ve learned my lessons and I think I have a sincere understanding of those that cultivate my inner circle.

See, good friends don’t want things from you. Good friends don’t put stipulations on your friendship. Good friends are just there for you. Good friends help when they can, listen when they can’t and call just to genuinely see how you’re doing. Good friends add to your life. And you, if you’re a good friend, do the same for them.

Good friends are good people. And you know who are good people and who aren’t.

When you really stop to think about it, you know who your good friends are. Like they say in the song, ‘somebody’s gonna drop everything, run out and crank up there car, hit the gas to get there fast and never stop to think what’s in it for me… or it’s way to far’.

Are you a good friend?

Do you have good friends? Is there anyone you’ve categorized as a friend who is more of an acquaintance?

Can you be a better friend?

How can you be a better friend?

Stay away from negative people. They have a problem for every solution.

The time, 11:49 pm. The mood, content. The setting: perched at the edge of the couch, watching the sun dip behind the trees, saying goodnight to another peaceful day.

I’m reaching the end of the week that I dubbed my week of positivity. It was my goal to, for the week, all week, stay positive. And let me tell you, it wasn’t easy. It definitely wasn’t. I consider myself a realist by nature, so staring down the barrel of some particularly crappy situations and choosing to not let it get the better of you, it’s tough. But, I’m here to say that it is do-able.

As mentioned in a post earlier on this week, my mom’s healthy. Which that, that is reason enough to be eternally thankful.

Other positive things that happened this week? I’ve been babysitting my brother’s dog for the past couple of days. He’s actually done a lot for brightening my mood. I was trying to pin point why this dog was making me so happy and it was really my brother that hit the nail on the head with why Jaxon (the dog) is so nice to have around.

“Jaxon is really growing on me!” I texted him.

“Yeah, he’s a pretty great dog to have around. He listens well and he just always seems to be in a good mood.” He texted back.

That’s it. That’s it right there. This dog is always in a good mood. He’s always got a ‘dog smile’ on his face. He wags his tail like he’s excited to be everywhere and involved in anything. He loves attention but he also loves when we leave him alone. He prances around like he doesn’t weigh 100 pounds and he’s totally unaware that there’s anything bad in this world. I realize that I sound crazy as I’m talking about a dog in this way, but it’s just… so heartwarming to be around him. I truly believe that pets make us better. And this dog, he definitely has made me better this week.

One thing that has been an extremely important mood booster to me this week was all of the introductions that I got to read on my blog. Making a post asking for introductions, I wasn’t really sure what I was going to get. Honestly, I was expecting maybe five-to-ten people to respond, tops. The responses that I got were really overwhelming. It was so special to me to be able to read about so many of you, and to learn more. Thank you, thank you, thank you. This space, this wordpress world, has been such a safe space for me over the past six months. My mind is truly blown with how many wonderful people I’ve crossed paths with on wordpress. Honestly, if I could go back in time, I would tell myself to make a wordpress account a lot sooner than I did.

Another moment that was extremely important during my week was taking my niece and nephew out for slurpees. B and V (she’s V too as she’s named after me) went to get slurpees/screamers, and as we were walking to the till with their cups full of sugar, B patted me on the arm and said ‘Auntie, thank you so much!’ Naturally, I asked him why he was thanking me. His response: ‘Because you just make things so much better. You make me feel better and you make everything better. It’s so nice to have you around. And I’m not just saying that because you’re buying me ice cream’. I nearly teared up there in the store. I didn’t, because he’s 10 and would totally make fun of me for that. But I wanted to. Such a nice compliment from a ten year old kid. If he get understand that now, at 10, imagine what he’s going to be like when he grows up!

There’s definitely been some negative things happening. There’s definitely been some things that made me anxious and scared. But, overall, I would say that I made some serious headway in being able to deal with those things, cope with those things or completely see past those things.

The power of positivity is real.

I’ve decided that I’m going to start leaving notes about things that I like about myself on the end of my blog posts. Why? I’m trying to boos my own self-esteem, so I want to think of more positives. I also think that it’ll be nice, when I look back on these posts one day in the future, to be able to see that I ended each post with a positive note. So, here goes:

I really like my eyes. They’re a really nice ocean-blue colour and I get complimented on them a lot. I don’t mean that in a cocky way, I just mean that of all the things people can be complimented on, I’m frequently complimented as having beautiful eyes. They definitely are attention grabbing when you see me.