How Should We Trust Influencers?

How Should We Trust Influencers?

I've been browsing my social media apps with a half-dead poker face, feeling like everything tastes bland and repetitive. Why, I wonder, does everything in social media today tastes like billboards?

Following the rise of gaining attention via social media, we call these people with the biggest number of followers and viewers 'influencers.' They are everywhere — youtube, instagram, facebook, twitter, the list goes on. With each passing day, I've come to terms that I no longer can trust influencers as much as I used to. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that these people are liars. All I'm saying is that, I'm doubting the truth behind their choir of praises and sing-songs on a product — or a service, whichever you prefer.

Let's start with the easiest and most notable nest known as Youtube. People are aware that you can go there and make money out of a channel. Sponsored videos, excessive product placement, constantly boasting about a particular product, brand or service only to move on to the next one in a span of less than a month and bam, you get yourself the views, subscribers and (if you are lucky) fame too. In short, Youtube has become a place where creating art comes second, third or maybe last. Similarly, this is what I feel towards blogs and the blogging community in general. Why, I wonder, is it difficult to trust what we watch and read today?

Slowly, I find myself unsubscribing to more and more pages and channels. I'm not protesting about this because it's a decision I made on my own, however, it's the realization that the blogging community no longer feels...familiar that kind of upsets me. I don't remember the last time I actually believe a review — okay, I lied. I do believe in some people (or influencers, if you must) but most of the time I just don't. Most of the time I just find myself reading posts and watching tube videos like they are boring instruction labels on my shampoo bottle. Other times I scoff at the video I'm watching or the blog post I'm reading and think 'seriously though, how genuinely do you actually love that product or are you just saying that every month so you can fill up a monthly favorites quota?' Worse case scenario when it comes to controversial lifestyle channels, everything they say sounds suspicious and contradictory to the point of trying a little too hard to be loved, especially by brands.

I know how unfair this post sounds and I know what you're thinking — girl, if these blogs and youtube channels are not your cup of tea, move on and find something else to vibe with instead of setting them on fire! Here's the thing, I am not here to bitch about anyone's blog. All I'm saying is that these days, with the rise of influencer marketing, it's not easy to trust what you read and watch. The level of suspicion is high and the level of fake reviews is even higher. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying generalizing every blog and influencer out there. I get it, these people are trying to create content and originality is not an easy thing. I am also aware that some of these influencers probably do love the products they boast about and believe in the brands they had endorsed. I believe in passion and I do support that. I guess what I'm trying to say is that, I somehow miss the old days where we don't have to doubt a content or the creator behind it, second guessing whether what we have was real or scripted. I also miss the days where posts like '10 ways to gain social media followers' or 'how you can gain brand sponsorship' did not flood my feed. These days feel like most of what we see are tips and tricks on how to be famous and somehow, that's just...tasteless.

Or maybe I'm not looking in the right direction. Maybe the blogs and channels I followed were never my cup of tea and I'm just acting like I know what I'm saying. I don't even know where this post is going, just that I have this irregular ball of thought hiding in my mind and I needed to spill them out. Perhaps what I'm feeling towards today's social community is one in a million thing or just something caused by me feeling uninspired and down. In the end, I'm not even sure as to where or how we should draw the line.