I don’t mean to sound like a grumpy old man, but this influencer culture really bums me out and I just don’t get it.
I guess 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. 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.”
2. 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.”
3. 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.”
7. 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.”
8. 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.”
9. 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…”
12. 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!