Reasons Why We Never Want To Be An Influencer: The Dark Side Of Influencing

By Lynsey 7 months ago

It can affect your mental health

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Becoming a social media influencer has become the latest craze and popular career aspiration. The trouble is that the constant scrutiny you get from being an influencer can lead to severe cases of anxiety and depression and can negatively impact your mental health in the future.

You lose privacy

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Of course it shouldn't be a shock to think that once you start posting your life online, you won't have much privacy. However, many influencers struggle with the realities of this: either being recognised constantly when you're out and about or simply having people question you about every aspect of your life.

You may experience trolling

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Social media can be a cruel place. There are many people who think being a 'keyboard warrior'  is their idea of a good day so you can find yourself at the receiving end of their hateful words, whether you deserve it or not. Facing such a barrage of trolling and constant abuse can be extremely exhausting.

There's pressure to maintain an image

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When you find yourself living online, you can find yourself feeling an abundance of daily pressure. That will be the pressure to post at least once a day; the pressure to look and appear a certain way; and the pressure to display a certain side of you that your followers are there to see - a tough act to keep up!

It's exhausting

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Having the demand for content can leave you feeling exhausted. Constantly being on the go and not only producing the content to be published online, but also thinking about what to do, being creative and making sure you post something fresh can be draining and take up much more time than the 3o seconds it takes to upload.

There's no financial security

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With being an influencer, you are unfortunately only paid for the content you produce. This means that unless you are guaranteed to post something each day for a brand throughout every day of the year (VERY unlikely), then you won't be receiving a regular salary. Instead you'll be getting paid sporadically depending on brand bookings and the needs they have to meet.

You may receive fake engagement

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There are a lot of programs that create AI bots to like your posts and engage with your content. Although these initially seem great, they in fact ruin your online presence as you are paid due dependent on your true engagement. Some people even pay bots to increase their followers but be careful as if you're found out, this can lead to you being blocked!

It's not authentic

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Unfortunately, the nature of social media means that you'll end up posting to meet the needs of your followers rather than posting what you want to share with the world. This can lead to your content not being a true representation of your real life - that whole 'Instagram Vs Reality' business is real!

It'll lead to you feeling insecure

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Living your life for the likes you receive on social media can leave you feeling insecure. It will leave you watching other posts and questioning why they are getting more engagement than you and make you feel as if you need to be better, lead a more interesting life and look prettier to ensure your content is being liked by as many people as possible.

It's short-term fame

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On of the hardest things about being a social media influencer is that you may rise to fame quickly, but it can also be taken away just as quick. If you aren't meeting the demands of your followers or they simply get bored of you, you can find yourself out of the limelight before your post has uploaded!

There's lots of online drama

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Being online all of the time comes with a lot of drama. It might be the drama you get sucked in to by watching everyone else's social media pages or the drama you create by posting your content. Either way, being involved in any drama online is sure to ruin your reputation and subsequently, your career.

There are overwhelmingly high expectations

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When the general public turn to social media, they want to see unrealistic worlds that they can lose themselves within. Occasionally, some people will want the raw, unedited truth of life but even then, they'd like it filtered. Social media is used as an escape and therefore you will feel a lot of pressure to help others do that.

You may experience legal issues

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Unless you become savvy with copyright laws, FTC guidelines or contracts handed to you from brands, you can expect to find yourself in a lot of bother legally as a result of the content you have posted. It's best to take the time to get clued up and potentially pay someone to help you if you're unsure.

The algorithms are a nightmare!

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Everyone is ALWAYS talking about the algorithms! There apparently is actually no way that you can tap in to them to help your social media posts reach the audiences you need them too. So when you're paid by your reach statistics, this can be incredibly demoralising and highly frustrating.

People may impersonate you

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At the moment there are a lot of fake accounts lying around. These accounts seek enjoyment from impersonating social media influencers and running competitions to fool your followers into giving them money. People may also impersonate you to claim your likes and followers which is annoying and undoes all of the years you have worked hard to be where you are.

Brands except a lot from you

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Brands have goals and targets to meet too in order to hit their marketing briefs. This means that they have to be pushy and request a lot from you, even if this is at an extremely low pay scale. Social media influencers believe you have to take those jobs in order to get anywhere in the online world - buckle up!

There's no added job benefits

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Unlike with a typical 9-5 job, there are no added employee benefits when you're a social media influencer. That means, no extra coffee breaks paid for, no health care and no staff parties etc etc instead every hour you put in earns you money so having any downtime seems costly.

It's all about an online reputation

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Knowing that your career is all about your online presence not only is an anxiety ridden thought but also one that is exhausting to try and maintain. When a post doesn't get as much likes or engagement as the past, it can leave you questioning your online presence and if you're being received how you want to be.

There's no work/life balance

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Being a social media influencer is more than a full time job and instead will consume every aspect of your life! It eventually will be difficult to define what is normal, vanilla life and what is the fast-paced, superficial life of an influencer - an essential skill to know when to leave work at work and take nothing home.

The struggle to stay relevant is real!

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Keeping up with the latest trends and ensuring you are relevant is an exhausting part of being an influencer. You'll find yourself juggling the balance of sticking true to what you want to produce Vs producing the same, monotonous content that eventually becomes boring to your viewers.

You'll experience superficial relationships

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When your life is on social media, it can be easy to fall in to the trap of superficial relationship. Be that friends or new love interests, you'll find the foundation of the relationship to be about how many followers you have (or used to gain new followers!) and what items, places you can go to to showcase on your instagram to make your life look that much more exciting.

It's a competitive industry

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In this current day and age, everyone wants a go at being a social media influencer. That means that the competition levels are extremely high, adding to the pressure of producing content that stands out from the crowd and gets you noticed- no one wants to see the same content on 10+ pages so if you want to make a living, create something unique!

Not everyone is trustworthy

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You may think you have a lot of friends being a social media influencer, however you'll soon find that not everyone in your life will be trustworthy. Some brands might take you for a run, some people you meet might only want to associate with you for your products or followers - be sure to have your wits about you and don't trust everyone you encounter.

It takes up a lot of your time

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Being a social media influencer is not a simple 9-5 job. The reality is that there is in fact no downtime as you're constantly producing, creating or even thinking about your next post all day, every day. Especially if you see others posting, you'll experience the anxiety that your stuff isn't as popular and you'll want to post again - it's non stop!

You may experience online harassment

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Unfortunately, not everyone own the internet has the best intentions and often the keyboard warriors are out in full swing. You may experience trolling from those who are jealous of you or you'll experience harassment and potential stalking - your entire life is out there for everyone to see so be careful.

You'll start to prioritise life online Vs life offline

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For some people in the media world, the ability to switch off from the online world and be present in the real world, can be super tricky. If you're not careful, you'll find yourself lost in the virtual reality of social media and you'll find that it starts to affect your relationships and lifestyle in the real world.

You will feel like you have to overshare

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When you have so many followers and people invested in the life you post online, you'll find the ability to overshare becomes easier and easier and soon you're telling them all of your secrets. This feeling of friendship can be detrimental if there are no boundaries so maybe keep some things about yourself close to your chest.

It's all about trend setting

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Trends, trends, trends! They come as quick as they go and it can be hard to keep up with what's the latest. You might find yourself just about to hop on a trend and it's suddenly not a trend and you've missed out. It can be knackering and very stressful to try stay ahead of the trend curve, trying to be one of the first to post about them when they appear.

There's lots of pressure to be creative

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Nobody wants to create boring content and usually it's the more creative individuals of the world who end up on social media, desperate to express their identity and show off their work. This said, even the pressures of social media can get to those creative beings and they can find themselves questioning what they are producing - go with your gut and be a natural!

The pay isn't amazing

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For some social media influencers who make it big, the pay can support you and your family living a life of luxury. However this is not a reality for the majority of average Joes who try to make it big in the online world. The reality is that often the work is unpaid or paid poorly, so maybe don't give up the day job just yet!