An influence…?

What does it even mean? Thinking about it, the meaning of the word has been diluted. I’m going to provide an explanation from the Oxford Dictionary for clarity, just in case you didn’t know.

“The capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behaviour of someone or something, or the effect itself.”

That’s interesting, right? ‘To have an effect on the character, development or behaviour’ who said anything about this being a positive effect? An effect is a spectrum of positive and negative effects so who out there said that being an influencer was a damn good thing. I’m pretty sure Adolf Hitler was a pretty good influencer but there’s only negative there.

In the most part, it’s thanks to the world of social media turning any man, woman and their dog (preferably a French Bulldog) into an influencer because they’ve got an opinion. An opinion in the traditional sense that would have totally been ignored. Opinions are bullshit, man. Most people’s opinions suck.

Now if you have a couple of thousand followers on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter then your word is considered worth some weight. This upsets me. You scroll through Medium or any other type of publication and articles now appear how to work with or be an influencer. What a load of bull shit — when did the world become so short-sighted? Now the younger generations take a preference to listen to and adhere to a person on Instagram more than anyone else.

I’ve got a good starting point — build a fabulous brand. Produce beautiful products, have a story to tell, fight the good fight, stand for something and hope to change the world. Don’t just have an opinion.
Don Draper would be turning in his grave. If he existed.

What’s even more frightening is that there’s absolutely no truth in any of it. An influencer on Instagram can be bought and from an advertising budget point of view, they aren’t very expensive. The products they peddle are just a monopoly of who pays the most money and their lifestyle is a veneer. A set in which they live their lives — each post carefully curated and produced in a way that fits their ideology.

Let’s face it, peer to peer authority is always important. You trust what your friends, colleagues and loved ones say and it seems that people now extend this trust out to their social media audiences and who they follow. We can blame reviews which kicked off this trend of wanting to know what Joe Bloggs said about the product in question rather than a critique or publication and that’s great — often this can be considered a more honest take on what’s going on. But that’s now been diluted?

Influencers, working from anywhere, accountable to no one, peddling whatever they want to, or who pays the most is a fundamental flaw in society.

I’m writing this to spark something — I want a conversation about this?