I’m not trying to sound like an old man, but this influencer culture really bums me out and I don’t get it.
I suppose it’s been going on for a long time in different forms, but people just want to be famous…for nothing…
But what are these folks really like?
Folks on AskReddit shared their stories.
1. So weird.
“Got a friend with 75k subscribers on Youtube in a language other than English.
It used to be about their weekend getaways with nice drone shots. It was interesting.
Then, gradually became about their lives (how interesting). She’s get her phone/camera out at sometimes random moments, which could get annoying.
She got pregnant. Baby everything now.”
2. Really trying.
“I have a friend who has recently started trying to become one. It’s SO DUMB.
She posts half naked pictures of herself with captions that have nothing to do with the picture. She spend hours getting ready for her iPhone photo shoots and has little time for anything besides content creation.
Being an influencer is pretty much against everything I care about and stand for, so I envision us slowing drifting further apart. That s**t is stupid.”
3. Not gonna work out.
“I went on a date with one and it was just frustrating.
Pleasant enough girl, but she was on her phone a lot.
I had sympathy since it’s her job, but I felt ignored a lot of the time we were together.”
4. Slow burn.
You watch them slowly mentally degrade.
Always ends in full blown narcissistic personality disorder or them having zero self confidence.
Their goal is to meet artificial metrics in terms of likes/views/follows. For a lot of them, that’s their definition of success/ goal in life and if they’re not hitting it, they have failed as people in their minds.
So they go one of two routes. #1 is thinking that they’re really not good enough and don’t deserve to be liked which leads to a total lack of confidence and them becoming a shell of the person they were.
#2 is narcissism, where they come to the conclusion that they’re the best person ever and no one else knows what they’re talking about, and every single flaw, fault, or mistake they have/ have made is someone else’s fault.”
5. Hates it.
“My cousin is a moderately successful instagram model and she absolutely hates it. She hates her fans, finds them all cringey and pathetic, hates the drama and how PC it all is (she’s very conservative/traditional).
Only does it because it’s the only way she can make money. She dropped out of school and endorsing products and taking pictures of herself is the only way she knows how to pay rent.
She’s basically the complete opposite of the happy bubblly ditzy girl she plays online and we often laugh over some of the messages she receives, including proposals and women angry that their sons/husbands are following her.”
6. Cool, but…
“He was cool but at the same time difficult.
Get him alone and he was ok, but go out places with him and he started unnecessary drama and was super emotional. I ended up not being friends with him after a convention we went to he caused a lot of trouble for me and my friends.
It sucked cause I was the one who intervened and allowed him to stay and all of my friends were super upset with him, so I felt like I allowed a lot of the issues.
Hope he’s doing ok though.”
7. It’s all ridiculous.
“Two of my distant cousins, they’re sisters, and are relatively well known YouTubers.
I remember the first time I met them, I was 9 years old and saw that one of them was fiddling with a program on her laptop. I asked her what it was, and she showed me her editing software (thinking back, it was probably iMovie) and basically told me about how she records videos and posts them to YouTube, and that she had about 5,000 subscribers.
She was really passionate and excited about it, and it seemed like she could go on and on for hours. I don’t think she got paid a penny. I thought it was cool at the time but didn’t think much of it. Just a hobby, I figured.
Fast forward almost 10 years and she has nearly 9 million subscribers, lives in a beautiful house in LA, and makes more money than anyone else her age could dream of. Her sister graduated college, but she saw her success and fell into the same “influencer” trap as well, because that’s where the money was/is. So they both “influence” full-time and have a whole team of people to do editing, assistant work, PR, managing, etc.
I would say the most obvious thing is that the first sister I talked about seems to have lost touch with reality, simply because she’s been doing this for SO LONG.
She acts much younger than her age to get views and maintain relevancy, and she’s gotten very used to living a privileged life, so much so that she frequently complains about “how difficult her job is” when there is no doubt in my mind that, if it were to all disappear tomorrow, she’d be like a deer in headlights working something like a 9-5.
Considering she doesn’t even edit her own videos or set up her own camera, she has hardly a thing to complain about, especially sitting in front of your vlog camera and crying to the people who are watching your videos and essentially paying your bills about how stressful your job is.
I mean this girl literally has an assistant to fetch her coffee and salads (as if she has no time to do it herself, maybe having an assistant is just an “influencer” or “status” thing to do??). She lives a very spoonfed life, and seems to frequently forget it.
Fortunately the college-graduate sister is very down to earth, and even she seems to acknowledge the ridiculousness of the whole thing. But at the end of the day, they’re doing very well and I will always wish them the best. I just find myself wondering how much longer it will last for them.”
8. Sad and tiring.
“Sad. In the beginning they started because they got offers from brands because they were so popular on Instagram and it was a lot of fun for them.
Now they don’t ever post pictures or videos without a filter. Rarely ever like a picture on the first try and don’t you dare post any pictures of them without getting their approval for it.
Imagine trying to get a group picture with all of your friends for your birthday but having you take almost one hundred shots to get one that your influencer friend is happy with.
Also in the beginning I would like and comment on all of their posts but now that’s not enough. They expect me message it others, share it on my stories and my page (something about new rhythms and likes not being important anymore). I hate posting stuff to my page but I do it any way to be supportive.
It is so tiring. They do get free things sometimes though that they sometimes share with me. Not worth it.”
9. That’s depressing.
“My sister has tens of thousands of followers. We used to be best friends in high school and she was my favorite sibling (I’m number 7 out of 8 kids in my family, I know my parents are crazy).
Now I feel like I barely know her. It’s like she’s this shell of the person she used to be. Seriously I’ve never met anyone who could make me laugh as hard as she used to make me laugh.
Now I just sort of want to blow my brains out when I’m around her. She’s just so obsessed and fake now. It actually makes me really sad.”
10. Fooling people.
“One of my best friends dated a really insta-famous guy. He invited us to his house for a Christmas party and this is when I realized how fake social media was.
The guy didn’t have the car he paraded on social media. He he leased it, took several photo shoots with it, then gave it back. His house was in a different city than he claimed.
I don’t think it was for security reasons though. He said he lived in a very rich city but his house was in a more modest place. He asked me to send him the videos I took at the party, posted them, and didn’t even tag me because I “didn’t have enough followers”?
The worst part was that all the social media people at the party just kept yelling over each other trying to make the next big joke, but none of them were funny.
Dude has millions of people fooled.”
11. Not cool.
“Not friends with any anymore, but I used to work in San Diego nightlife and I had to rub elbows with a lot of these types.
I’m talking 1-6m follower type girls who were brought into the club as promoters, back in ~2016 when 1m followers was a big deal.
The girls themselves aren’t that bad. Some are crazy entitled, but for the most part they’re there for business and SD is a small enough town that reputation matters.
The worst were the subsuckers. Other girls who had fewer than 1 million followers, who hung around to try and soak up subscribers and make contacts in the industry.
Think of them like small-time actors who think they’re a big deal just because they have a few pilots in production. “I’m not big now, but you should kiss my a** because I’m the next big thing” types.
These girls would literally do nothing but take pictures all night (or all day, depending on the club) and demand free bottles, extra service, and other garbage without ever tipping.
12. Complete sham
“If look at my friend’s social media, you’d think she were a supermodel millionaire. She’s actually chronically unemployed, and makes about $10k/yr.
Her boyfriend makes about $60k/yr which is enough to afford them a very nice 3 1/2 bedroom apartment, and she has tons of props she uses to make each room look different from day to day so it seems like she’s always in a new, exotic place.
They take two trips a year to fun, tropical places, in which she takes many photos, and posts them as different places throughout the year.
She’s a very kind, considerate, sparkling personality, but whenever we hang out, I tend to be a shoulder to cry on as she laments about her lack of success in life.
It’s quite sad, honestly. But with her creativity and personality, I think she’ll achieve her dreams eventually.”
13. For show.
“I dated one. Not super popular but followers in the 100k range last time we spoke.
I remember a lot of getting ignored and only receiving nice gifts/acts of kindness when they could post about it. Asking me to go to nice places (they didn’t drive) only to leave me on a bench somewhere while they took pictures.
Huge strain on the relationship, especially when they started to get bigger and there was more demand for content.”
14. All about her.
“She hasn’t come to anything I’ve invited her to in 5 years because she only goes to events that “further her business.”
Regularly says things like, “we’re all using each other for something.” Sometimes she texts me the same exact thing word for word over a couple of days, and it’s obvious she just copy/pastes the same thing and sends it to all of us and then forgets who she has sent it to.
She still reaches out to me multiple times a year and claims I’m one of her best friends, but it sure doesn’t feel like it. I’ve told her as much, but she just says “this is my life now, my business comes first and if you can’t accept that, then I guess you’re not a real friend.””
“I worked with Youtube influencers in my last job with an agency that paired sponsors with these ‘celebrities’.
I basically did the grunt work like ensuring hotels/plane tickets, getting coffee, running errands and meeting with the talent to ensure they were where they needed to be (e.g., events, conferences, trade shows, parties or whatever).
Over time you make friends with others who are in those positions, especially when you’re running errands for some entitled pseudo-celebritiy.
The nicest Youtubers were the animators – always calm and understanding.
The worst were the family vloggers – I’ve met all the big ones & I never met one that wasn’t a completely different person off camera. The kids are always spoiled and no one disciplines them so they’re running around breaking things or acting like idiots, and no one can yell at them lest their influencer parents find out.
Close second is makeup Youtubers.”
“I post travel photos and have about two hundred followers. 200, not 2,000 or higher.
My friend somehow thought that was influencer status and decided to copy me – except she quit her job so she could travel more and “grow her own brand”.
In 2020. She lost her apartment, her car, and still hasn’t found a job, but calls herself a professional influencer all the same.”
Everything needed to be documented in specific ways, so lots & lots of photos, even if it took away from the moment.
But the strange part was how, when she’d share things, the captions always told a slightly different story than what actually happened. Like just off enough for me and my other friends to say, huh, that has a weird quality to it.
Fast forward a couple years, and she gets engaged. Boom. This was the catalyst for the worst of the influencer mentality to come out. I was in the bridal party, and it was a nightmare. No gratitude, just demands.
Demands for expensive trips and expensive parties and all kinds of things that were above and beyond the means of her closest friends. And all the demands were because she had a “following” and had certain expectations to meet.
It was really heart wrenching to witness someone belittle their best friend and maid of honor for trying to plan a sweet bridal shower because it wasn’t going to be at an expensive restaurant or art gallery. It reached its peak for me when, after the in-state wedding became an expensive destination wedding, there was the demand for an out-of-town bachelorette party a few weeks before.
I was honest and said I couldn’t afford the bachelorette (mind you, I made about a thousand sacrifices over those months to afford what I could), and was promptly bridezilla’d and told I ruined the whole experience and that I was an awful, fake, inauthentic person.
It got so bad that the bridal party fractured and disintegrated, she lost two of her best friends (myself and the MOH didn’t even attend the wedding after all her behavior and blow-ups), and we’ve barely spoken since. All so she could have an instagrammable wedding that would look good for the few photos she ended up sharing of it.
And, true to the weird strange re-written reality ways she had, she published a public “apology” on her blog for her followers and family that completely distorted and rewrote what happened, painted herself as the victim, and got her the sympathy points she was looking for.
People really lose themselves when they create an artifice for social media. I learned a lot from her.”
18. Never living in the moment.
“Friends with a high profile athlete who is pretty popular on Instagram.
He is always on the phone… never lives in the moment. If we are doing anything fun? well, it basically didn’t happen unless the world knows about it.
Its just annoying …I cant imagine living for the approval or satisfaction of others.”
19. This would drive me insane.
“This was my ex gf.
I couldn’t eat before she took a dozen picture. We went hiking and had to turn around less than a mile in since she spent an hour taking videos and posting photos. Service connection wasn’t good enough so we went to the trail head.
She had to post or else “people are going to think I’m broke or depressed and they need to know I’m traveling.” She lived her life though her phone.”
20. Dominates everything.
“It’s annoying AF.
One of my buddies is constantly filming everything we do and posting it. It’s to the point where people walk up to me on the street and ask me about him because they’ve seen me in his posts…i have no idea who they are.
It dominates everything he does, and has severely impacted his personal relationships. He can’t keep a GF and it’s clearly related to this obsession of his. He does occasionally get some cool stuff out of it though.
After pretty much kicking him out of my life because I do not want to be continually posted online, we’ve come to the understanding that when he’s about to take a pic or video, he hands me the phone so I’m not in the shot. Works OK for me.”
“I know a wannabe influencer.
She will reply to her own posts from her husband’s account praising herself.
Then she will reply to those posts as herself thanking him, it’s hilarious, like inception for Facebook.”
“So incredibly annoying.
I actually ended up cutting her off because everything had to be a photo opportunity. We could never just go out to lunch, or see a movie without it turning into a photoshoot.
She never did anything with our friend group unless it was ‘aesthetic’, and even then, she was so focussed on getting us to take photos that a. she didn’t get to enjoy the activity, and b. it started bringing everyone else down because they couldn’t participate either.
And this sounds so petty, but she could never just show up in a t-shirt and leggings (because photos, obviously). Like even sleepovers and movie nights had to be a big production and sometimes you just need to stuff your face with popcorn and look like a slob! It’s good for the soul!!
She’d also complain a lot about how hard her job was… Our friendship group at the time consisted of an EMT, two nurses, a teacher, and me who was juggling university, tutoring, and working retail.
Like, I’m sure she had challenges and all jobs are hard sometimes, but… girl…. you get paid to take selfies with free stuff, and show up at events looking pretty…”
23. It’s all fake.
“Everything is fake. The attitude the mannerisms, everything.
It sounds stupid until you realize they clear close to 7 figures a year.
One time we vacationed with them and when we were out to dinner they said to us “one second we need to go film a bit” and they went from our friends who are calm and nice to the “HEY GUYS WE ARE IN THE BEAUTIFUL SOUTH OF FRANCE”.”
“I was with a guy at Coachella, he has a pretty good following on IG.
He posted something while we were watching a concert and could not look away from his phone. I asked him when he’d eventually put his phone away and he said he would when he got over 1,000 likes.
I couldn’t believe it.”
Have you had to spend any time with influencers?
If so, tell us all about them in the comments.
We’d love to hear from you!