The Gap Between Authentic Connections + Influencer Craze

1.31.2019 Fresno, CA


It's taken me a few days longer to get this post out than I had expected. Part of me was trying to be mindful of the tone that this message presented to make sure I wasn't offending anyone, especially considering people get defensive over influencer talk and then the other side of me reminded myself that this is what my blog is for to touch on topics inspired by life as I know it. So here we are.

Can I be transparent for a second? When I first started this social media stuff it was for kicks and giggles (during my high school years). Twitter was a way to follow my favorite celebrities and Instagram allowed me to connect with my friends and share the fun moments we experienced together. As I grew with the internet my own passions developed and led you here to this post. How we use this space is so much different than it used to be...and I find myself missing certain parts of how things were back then. Social media has changed the game in how we get our crafts out. It has also been a segue in developing some amazing relationships and friendships too. I have personally been afforded plenty of opportunities in the past thanks to my little space on the internet and I love that we live in a digitally sound world, but the more we grow with the constant upgrades of social media, things become more... inauthentic.

It's great to find a community based on your interests outside of the friends you have because although they support you, sometimes they just aren't going to be into the same things as you. Which is fine, no shade, it's just how it is. Everyone likes what they like. However, I've been noticing how making connections with others in terms of blogging and entrepreneurship is a little lackluster.

A lot of people see Instagram as just Instagram, which it is, but it's also a platform full of opportunities. I understand the focus of building your brand to be more appealing to your audience, I do, but finding more bloggers and entrepreneurs to connect with on a more personal level doesn't seem to be an interest anymore. In my honest opinion, it seems as though Twitter is more laid back, easier to connect creatively and has an openness to bond over people's work. It seems all people really care about on Instagram these days is becoming an influencer, and there is no harm in that. However, I guess my perspective on influence is quite different than others.

Instagram is known for being a visual app and people have become even more hooked on the imagery; which makes some go to great lengths to replicate what draws people in. When I first stepped into the blogging world, there were so many articles I read, filled with advice on how to help my blog grow on social media; Instagram as the main focal point. To make money you have to do this, make your brand look like that and I soon realized after falling in the trap that, I didn't want my brand to be a replica of the thousand other bloggers on the internet. I wanted it to represent me and my authenticity, in true form... and I had to ask myself.. how authentic am I vs. the illusion I feel I need to produce for "quality content"? 

That question alone changed my whole approach to my brand and blogging "career" completely; if you want to call it that. Instead of having the mindset of "content, content, content" I realized what was best for my brand and I find so much comfort in that. It's unfortunate that everything has become so numbers focused. There's an extensive amount of fake engagement going on and what seems like tons of following to unfollow, and for what purpose? Seems like everyone wants to be an influencer without really knowing what they want to influence for other than a perceived social status. It’s even sad that you can tell who may or may not be willing to connect with you nowadays or the fact that if your feed isn’t perfectly put together your quality of work must be mediocre. Feeling that certain people are too out of reach to connect with based off their following is ridiculous, but that's how it is. The mindset is trash. You have people who have smaller platforms who have the power to move masses. However, even smaller influencers are doing the same tactics to establish their Instagram standing, and I get it. It's easy to want to conform and do what it takes to enhance your platform.. but ultimately that would mean I am the one being influenced. Right? 


I can’t wait until we can get back to the times where we get over this infatuation with being influencers and public figures to monetize popularity that brings no real value to peoples lives. Granted, there are a handful of people who impact lives in a positive way who didn't ask for the influencer label, but I’m not sure if anyone has noticed how bad it has gotten collectively over time. I would like to see people getting back to the root of why they do the things that they love, to think for themselves and build off talents, gifts and what makes them unique— not what everyone else is doing. I need people to really start asking themselves what is it that they are influencing people to do? Are you making people want to be like you? Follow you?.. and if so, what are they gaining out of that besides pretty feeds and personal boasts? How are you helping anyone want to achieve where you present to be? I hate that I look into matters for tangibility but it’s something that really needs to be thought about considering the lack of substance within the community.

There's a big gap between influencer craze and authentic connections. The supply of influencers has gone up but the relationships it takes to have an impact is short-lived. The thirst for high follower counts is making people feel a lot bigger than they truly are and the illusion has people out here feeling like they aren't doing much compared to those who appear like they are. 

I might get some who decide to read this triggered and I'm sure people will take this as me complaining that I'm not at the heights of my Instagram game like others out here. Which isn't the case at all. What I'm saying is that I feel like I'm the only person left who truly cares about the art of things now, who still loves blogging for what it was originally renowned for. Furthermore, we somehow lost sight of authenticity along the way as the industry grew. The shift has unfortunately caused us to be more visually driven than ever before stimulated by sight which gets us no further than instant gratification and admiration. Causing us to eliminate the most important sensor we need, which is our thought process.

All in all, I just want bloggers, creatives, content creators (etc.) out there with smaller platforms to not feel like their message, or the quality of content is inadequate. It is so easy to get caught up in it all when you want more growth and traction... but I am telling you, your purpose and those assigned to it will come. Validation begins with self. The credibility of your brand is still worthy without the extras. Focus on the quality and forget about being recognized or looked up to and remember, everything that glitters ain't gold. 

I stand true to the lifestyle niche I assigned myself to and my best quality is that I am relatable. I am a regular person, no influencer, seeking to share a little light and inspiration to the world.. and that is exactly what I strive for my brand to represent. I want there to be some normalcy to me. I want people who come to my page to feel like my way of living is obtainable because it's a reflection of what my lifestyle looks like in real life. I may not have many posts but that's because I'm focused on truly building what I'm doing. I lose followers just as fast as I gain them but that's not important. My only obligation to myself and my brand + body of work is to reach those who genuinely like my content. I’m a writer and I’m sensitive about my craft. Anyone who is more visual, I’m just not the account for them. The quality of my content goes deeper than the quality of the picture I’m posting and I know that. I guess my only hope is that we can get away from this craze of looking the part and actually start focusing on the craft/community again.. and stop allowing platforms to get in our head.

That's all.



10 comments

  1. Sis I can't agree more. I have a small following on ig and I know no one wants to collab with me because of that. But then I look at people work like really. I go stay true to my brand and benefits will come when it's time.

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    1. Always staying true to your brand is the best option. Things will look up when you're doing it the right way!

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  2. This is very interesting and something I'd been thinking for a while. Is seems like being an Influencer is the current "gold rush" and everyone wants to be the next "It" girl/boy. You can't blame them tho. I'm new to the game and still learning, but I'm believing that a shift for authenticity is around the corner and you and others like you will be golden. Just keep the faith girlfriend!

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    1. Thank you so much Vanessa. I agree, it is absolutely the current gold rush and everyone wants to hop on the bandwagon which is fine but the lack of authenticity is decreasing. I appreciate your kind words!

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  3. You better tell the truth!
    Talk about a reality check for most of us bloggers, creators, influencers etc
    Sometimes we lose sight of the reason why we started in the first place and get caught up in what the next person with the success we strive for is doing. But your transparency will only trigger those who are already "caught up" -- Thank you for this raw and honest truth that most of us needed to hear. Love you beautiful

    - Mel

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    1. Thank you Mellie for your content support. It is so easy to get caught up and compare if think you're not doing "blogging" or content creation right when that isn't the case at all. Our own ways ARE the right ways. I'm just trying to bring back the purpose in it all and not the popularity.

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  4. This was an amazing piece. I was having a similar conversation with a 'old school' blogger today. With the influence on social media somewhere real truth, authenticity, became lost in what the masses wants. Glad there's still some influencers and bloggers that are standing proud in their authenticity, even though it's like looking for a needle in a haystack, it makes me grateful there's still realness in this world.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! It is very hard to find the realness these days and come across people who are in it for more than just the perspective of things looks. I hope this post can spark more conversation and transition to REAL influence online.

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  5. It can be easy to fall into the "hype" of what content creators should do. I thank God that I don't only have influence on an app but I influence lives every day. This was so needed and I hope people will take the time to really meditate on what you've shared.

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  6. Awesome blog. I enjoyed reading your articles. This is truly a great read for me. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. Keep up the good work. social media

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