INSTAGRAM INFLUENCERS… ‘LOVE THEM OR HATE THEM?’

Please, please please can we abolish the dreaded Instagram Influencers?  They are just so boring! Yes, I admit I have an account myself, but I only use it to share news about new blogs, or photos I sometimes take whilst out walking and never ever anything personal. My account is private, I don’t have a ‘blue tick verification’ (don’t want it), I only follow those I know, and only allow people I know personally to access my posts. But in some or other way, these blasted ‘influencers’ seem to creep in at all times and the majority of them, I am definitely not following at all. We all know that computer system algorithms access absolutely everything. Just look up one simple thing on Google and you will see that all your sites, Instagram, Facebook, and such like are then inundated with advertisements.

The thing that really irritates me about these ‘influencers’ is that maybe they begin in the right way, like a person for instance who is calling themselves a ‘travel blogger’. In the beginning they tell interesting things about where they are traveling and give useful tips and tricks, but then they start to send totally boring messages far too much and far too often. Like ‘Good Morning Friends’ every single day of the week. Within no time you are in their life big time, and did you want to be in the first place? Of course, the easy way to duck out is to delete all people you are following, but as I said some people are posting interesting things.

Here in The Netherlands the biggest Instagram influencer (and by this read earner) is a man called Bas Smit. I started following him as he used to post really funny stories about things, he was testing from the cheap online sites like Ali Express, Wish, Light in the Box etc. It was amusing; ‘was’ being the main word in the sentence, because now it no longer is and he has become so deadly dull, I stopped following. Not out of any malice but it just got boring the same old posts about his enormous collection of ‘Croc’ shoes, walking the dog, down the same pavement, a weekly dance routine with his personal trainer and so on.

The thing most people may or may not realize is that a major Instagram Influencer is paid big time. Either in freebies, or in money. If you are an influencer, say promoting the Boss campaign then this is literally earning you big bucks. However, unknown names who then become big influencers and this usually means that more than a million people are following them end up having so many freebies, it is totally ridiculous and out of all context.  I will use one example but not mention names. It is not my style to use names in my blogs, out of some form of journalistic respect but this is such a good example of how utterly stupid being an Instagram Influencer has become. And basically, it is all our fault.

I just happen to know of a young woman who is a big influencer. She posts every single day and several every day, beginning with the ‘Good Morning Friends’ crap. Then during the day, you are totally subject to every single event, about where she lives, about her child, about her parents, about the free products she is promoting (and therefore offering you a discount if you buy too) and then all the luxury holidays she goes on, supposedly as a travel blogger, but to be honest I have never ever read a proper blog with useful information. On the contrary, it is all stories about upgrades on planes, because no way is she going to travel economy class, only business and then the viewer is subjected to copious stories about how the child was sick on the way to the airport, how he didn’t sleep on the plane, how irritated other passengers were… should I go on, or have you fallen asleep by now?

If I was writing about an all-inclusive, five plus star holiday blog, giving advice to others then that is what it would be about. For instance, about the accommodation, the food, the services, things to do and such like. I would not be posting up stuff of a personal nature and in these times, I wonder why people do? But at the end of the day (or blog in this case) my readers would have had a useful piece of information telling them a lot of facts they could consider if they were thinking of taking the same or similar trip themselves.  Mine would be a piece of written text and not stupid Instagram stories, which by the way disappear after 24 hours.

The person I am writing about does not, sorry she does not. It is all totally boring posts and stories about the glamorous lifestyle, but that wasn’t really the point was it. Being an influencer is not a free ticket to bore your ‘public’ with the same old b.s. again and again and she does that. Since last autumn, never ending series of trips to places that the majority of us have on our dream ‘bucket list’. The top-class accommodation and continual upgrades, and I seriously wonder, do they have a real life at all? Or is life one long posting session, keeping up appearances, making content for us poor sad ‘guys’ (as she says) who are stuck at home, or at work, or can’t afford such luxury. Do we really want this rammed down out throats 24/7? No, I guess not? And as long as there are huge numbers of followers, the story continues and never ends. And as I said it is so totally boring, well I think it is. I don’t want to keep on seeing the same old promos about some food substance they are promoting, like gummy bears for my skin and hair and offering me a discount. In fact, I am capable of thinking for myself, and I don’t need some obscure influencer to tell me. Any fool can find literally anything on the internet these days and wouldn’t actually be more fun to find out for yourself. And to be blatantly honest I am not at all interested in her relationship with yet another boyfriend, lovey-dovey shots with sunsets, hundreds of posts of the child in the pool. Not at all.

And don’t think for one minute I would contemplate ever following this person, because I wouldn’t but it is surprising how much ‘content’ manages to seep through the cracks.

This is not any form whatsoever of ‘sour grapes’ even though you may be thinking that reading my words. Not at all. I am just glad that I have other things to think about and do, and not allow myself to be ‘influenced’ by such rubbish. But there are some very vulnerable young people in the world who really look up to these people and, sorry about this, is that the people they look up are basically very shallow. A lot of people are easily influenced; that is my point.

In this day and age and under the current circumstances in the world today, isn’t it time that we all had a think about these influencers and stopped following? Seriously! The more followers the more space they have to indulge themselves (not you) in totally luxury and spend their days literally lounging around in one luxurious resort to another, just because we follow them. And we all know that advertisement is big business and expensive.

The absolute ‘bloody limit’ I thought was the offer of an all-inclusive 5-star stay in one of the villas in the Maldives (where she is for the umpteenth time, the only change is the man friend who has tagged along too).  She is offering that to her followers. All expenses paid including airfares. What got me about this was the gal to even suggest that she was offering us poor souls a holiday as a thank you! That was the moment when I ensured once and for all, that she is so definitely blocked from my own account that I seriously hope I never ever see another post again (or story for that matter). And, what prompted me to write this blog. And by the way this free giveaway earned her another load of followers too! So read here, even more money!

But Instagram Influencers will continue to make big bucks and get so many freebies because we follow them, or not in my case. The fact that we do, and this earns them, the difficult to obtain ‘blue tick status’ which is based on the number of followers and the only gain is theirs and theirs alone. It is so boring, compared to other Instagram users who have a message or story to tell. Who share interesting things about their life? Or who give us useful information about things. 

The action we need to take, is that we need to be choosier because it is up to us, who do you want to follow (apart from the obvious, like family and friends). One thing that I noticed is that a huge amount of these influencers come from Germany. The comments to such stories and posts are enough to make you reach for a bucket… 

I wonder why this is the case, but it is just a fact I noticed.

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Jill Kramer

Hi! I'm Jill and I'm a passionate author of books, short stories, columns and blogs.

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