There’s been something on my mind recently that’s been bothering me. A lot.
And given the point of having a blog is to use it as a platform to share a point of view - here goes: I absolutely loathe the word, ‘influencer.’ There, I said it.
Yes, I see the irony of it all. But I don’t have to accept it, because I actually don’t define myself as an influencer, despite the brands and PR companies I work with who continually label me as such.
Do I have a point of view? Yes. Does my point of view matter more than the million other points of view out there? I have no idea, nor do I really care. I simply use my platform to express a particular point of view, which I don’t judge one way or another whether the person reading it agrees or disagrees. A democratic society is built on the foundations of discourse - and by definition that means a discussion of a variety of opinions.
But the way that mainstream media paints social media with a broad brush - is that our opinions matter more, because we have a certain number of followers. I find that so naive, irresponsible and repulsive. Every time someone calls us ‘influencers’ I literally snicker.
I write, so I guess you could call me a writer. I also take lots of photographs and getting better and better each day. While I wouldn’t consider myself a photographer, I’m definitely a creative. Maybe that’s it. I’m a creative, an artist. A voice. A parent, sister, lover and child of Gen X (and that may explain my cynicism).
I’m all of those things - maybe an ‘entrepreneur’ even - because I get paid to create content. Why? Not because I’m an influencer but because I am able to tell the story in a very authentic way. I create content around things I love and am passionate about. It’s an art form and something I’m fairly good at. So it’s more of a talent, shall we say.
I also loathe the term ‘public figure’ and don’t understand why some bloggers or YouTubers select it as their descriptor on Instagram. It just feels too self-important to me. These days, it seems like anyone can label themselves a ‘Public Figure’ without actually understanding the definition. Oprah is a public figure. X random blogger is not. Unless you’re Chiara Ferragni - and even then, Google defines her as a ‘business woman’ first.
So the net here is that the average blogger and YouTuber you see online - myself included - we are not public figures. We are regular people creatively doing stuff, sharing things with the world because we love it. And for some of us, we’re lucky enough to get paid to do it - but let’s not forget that it’s a skill, and not a checkbox on Instagram.