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Something stopped me in my tracks. My bank balance was getting low and I didn’t know where all my money was going.
Who had I become?
The Rise of the Influencers
Influencer, we all hate the term coined by the sneering media to describe the decline of print and their own iron-fisted views over our hearts and minds.
Deborah Ross wrote in The Times Influencers should be called Detestable Freeloaders.
Is she right though?
Whether you’re a Blogger, Vlogger, Instagrammer or Snapchatter you’re going to be called an Influencer however much you deny it, and it’s become a lucrative industry to the point that 60% of kids leaving school now want to be an Influencer.
I admit, I’m from the generation that’s just getting a hang of this social media stuff but I grew up without it.
Computers were just gaining prominence in the 90s and I wasn’t allowed my first mobile phone till I turned 18 and about to enter University in 2004 (Gosh that makes me so old!)
Now kids are getting mobiles at age 11 and don’t want the basic Nokia model we were all happy with. No, they want the latest iPhone model that costs more than £1,000 at times.
And then we wonder why this generation is growing up feeling so entitled and having zero imagination.
They can innovate in the tech sector for sure, but other sectors like art, music and sciences are being left behind in favour of these digital entertainment devices in our hand.
To be fair, the Terminator films did warn us of this problem, but it’s not like we really listened did we?
How Influencers can cause you to spend too much money
I realised quite recently I was falling into the trap of buying whatever these I
Now Alhamdulillah (Praise be to God), I’m working and I can afford it, but I recently posted up a negative review on Instagram about a product that a certain blogger had influenced me to buy which was, to put it politely, terrible.
The product did not work and nearly damaged my skin too.
Even with a discount code, this product was £56 including shipping.
The Dark Side of Influencing
I also followed another influencer in the cleaning niche, and before August, I cleaned my space but didn’t clean like a crazy person.
I kid you not, I spent over £150 on cleaning products that this person suggested I MUST HAVE to clean and maintain my house.
My husband thought I was crazy!
Poundland and Home Bargains (which I’d never been to before in my life) became my new home.
I couldn’t go down the cleaning aisle in the supermarket without picking something up.
It became an obsession!
To be fair, at the time I was going through an awful time during that period, and yes my house became super clean afterwards but the cost to my wallet, and later as I found out, to the environment was not at all worth it.
Joining this Influencer’s fan Facebook group was a bad idea.
The amount of hate, bullying and negative comments towards the person itself was just toxic, and people kept asking the same questions over and over again, so I left nearly a month later.
I’ve since found cleaning influencers that do not expect me to buy something at the drop of a hat and are not walking talking adverts.
The community they nurture is much more respectful and thoughtful which is a welcome relief!
Why it’s tempting to make Influencing your full-time Career
Influencing has become a full-time profession but does the person responsible end up selling their entire life to become an “Influencer”?
Yes, they do.
Tempting as it may be, this really is the path to being successful.
To become a successful Influencer you need an aesthetically pleasing person (the thinner and fairer skinned the better – yes Influencing is also very prejudiced), a flair for drama, products to sell and an audience who are willing to spend money in order to be entertained and you have a cheaper marketing strategy than traditional print or media adverts.
My problem came to a head when I looked around my home and found that so much of my skincare and makeup collection were featured by so many influencers that I had been following.
I had become brainwashed, and I didn’t like it one bit.
How I’m controlling who I am Influenced by
Now I’m in recovery mode, I’m very protective over who I follow and how they influence me.
I’ve also realised half the cleaning products I recently bought are not cruelty-free or recyclable which is why they’re so cheap, and some of the skincare and makeup products are just gathering dust because who needs 5 open face masks at the same time?
I’m now focusing on saving money, doing a tonne of research for myself, waiting for a sale and only buying if I REALLY NEED IT, which let’s be honest, 99% of the time is not a necessity, just a want.
How I Will Influence Going Forward
Being a Blogger and having 700 followers on Instagram doesn’t mean I’m an influencer!
I refuse to be called this word and prefer to be called a Writer and Blogger because that’s how I began.
Secondly, I am very aware of who my audience is and how they react to something I recommend and what their personal budgets may be, but I do not let this stop me from recommending items that may be more expensive and out of their range because, at the end of the day, the page is for me and the things I enjoy and find delight in or are useful.
I’ve tried running a page with the audience in mind with my previous blog, Money Savvy Muslim, and it backfired and I didn’t get as much interaction as I have on Simply Humaira.
From now on, I will be more mindful of my own recommendations, try and have fun and focus less on the consumerism side but more on building a community.
This is really hard when you’re a Blogger and review products, but I’m more about testing products over a long period of time and providing honest feedback to my readers, whether that’s good or bad.
When you’re hammered from all sides to buy something and this will change your life for the better, it can be overwhelming and confusing, but I’m now trying my best to follow Influencers and Bloggers who inspire change and to be the change I want to see in the world.