I will admit, being a social media influencer is a day dream of mine. I would love to create content for brands that I love and inspire people all over Instagram. However, becoming a social media influencer is hard. If you have over 25k followers and you post a story saying, “I have no idea how I gained this following” you’re a bullshitter. You have to put in a lot of effort, strategically plan your posts, use trending hashtags, sell your soul, or show your ass to acquire that following. And that is why I don’t think it’ll ever happen for me. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve tried, and I like to show my ass if the booty lookin’ bomb; but I just can’t fully commit, and here’s why:
First things first, I do not have the skill— the precision— for FaceTune. You know what I do when I take a mirror selfie, or a photo with a friend on the beach and forget to shave my armpits? I leave it. Listen, I really couldn’t care less if my armpit hair is showing (and maybe that’s the problem), but don’t think I haven’t tried to smooth out my underarms. I literally want to throw my phone at the wall every time I try and blur them out on FaceTune. I have to zoom way in, almost use my fucking nail to blur out the precise spot and then, when I zoom back out, theres a fucking hole in my arm pit. I zoom back in, but can never find the eraser tool, so I have to hit undo 20 times to fully remove the blur. I repeat the process twelve times, but by then, the perfect posting time has passed, so I quit FaceTune and upload the original photo 1 minute past prime posting time with my fucking arm pit hair still there for everyone to see.
Speaking of posting time, if I’m eating my breakfast at 11 am, and it A) tastes delicious and B) looks “instagram worthy” I’m posting the damn photo at 11 am. I don’t care if that means I’m only getting 72 likes, If you’re on Instagram and you see a bowl of oatmeal on someone’s feed at 6 pm, you’re telling me you don’t question that shit? The only time I’m posting a photo of a delicious ass bowl of oatmeal at 6 pm is if I’m having #BreakfastForDinner. Also, I’m sure as hell not waiting to post the breakfast I ate today TOMORROW. You think I have the patience for that? I am an impulsive bitch, I get tattoos the day after I have the initial tattoo idea, I am not going to wait 24 hours to post a photo of my breakfast and act like I ate it today when in reality I ate it yesterday. I’m not even patient enough to take a photo of my oatmeal before I take the first bite. Like, there’s always a chunk missing from the almond butter swirl, ya know?
My lack of patience also means I don’t have a good experience with hashtags. Editing, thinking of a caption (more on that later), and posting the photo is enough work on it’s own. Listen, I used to have a list of hashtags in my notes app with the ten dots already there so that you didn’t see the hashtags on your feed until you clicked read more, but I came to a point where I couldn’t be bothered. I could not be bothered to change the hashtags I used depending on the photo I posted. I could not be bothered to copy and paste them from my notes to a comment on my own photo. Not only that, I couldn’t even think of great hashtags. I would literally always resort to #OOTD or #TBT even if it was a photo of my coffee. And if I ever hash tagged the city I was in, for example, #NYC, I would get likes from random restaurants or a follow from a flat brim hat company based in New York with 3,000 followers. Like, you were literally the last people I was trying to reach with that hashtag.
Following people is a whole other story. I understand the concept of you have to spend money to make money, however, I don’t get the whole “you have to follow other accounts so they’ll follow you back” thing. I’ll scroll through my explore page every now and then, and I always end up liking 3 or 4 photos of healthy breakfasts or views from a hike. Next thing I know, I have 3 new followers that are usually accounts that are pretty similar to mine and the photos I just liked. These accounts are always something like “eatslikeemily” or “fitgirlkate” and don’t get me wrong, I get you. You’re into wellness, you like matcha lattes, you go to farmers markets— I am you. But you know what, I don’t really want to follow you. Just because we post similar content or enjoy the same things it doesn’t mean I care about you, or what you post. I don’t need my newsfeed to be 47 consecutive photos of celery juice and post-workout snacks. And I know you might be thinking, well that’s why people probably don’t follow you, you’re just another girl who likes fitness and health. Sure. You’re probably right! But why? Why do I have to follow other accounts like mine if I want to gain a following? Why can’t people just follow me because they like my content without getting butt hurt over their ratio, and me not following them back? I’m not saying my content is better than yours— actually, I want to be a social media influencer, so I must be a little narcissistic— okay, that is what I’m saying. Follow me @mandadimarco, but don’t expect a follow back unless you’re cool shit.
Also, I don’t scroll through my feed enough, so I don’t establish enough commenting relationships. Not familiar with commenting relationships? This is the term I use for situations like this: you just start following someone and you aren’t sure if you can comment on their posts yet. Then, you get drunk and comment “babeeee” on a cute photo of theirs. You’ve crossed into that unfamiliar territory. You’ve established the fact that you’re here to comment on their shiz. From there on out, you know you can count on them for a comment and vice versa. I have about 6 of those relationships. But if I’m going to be an influencer, I need that number to be around a solid 15. Truth is, as creative as I am, I am extremely uncreative. Unless you post a really cool photo and you’ve truly captured my attention, 9/10 I’ll throw you a “beaut.” If you’re reading this and I’ve commented “beaut” on one of your photos, I promise I meant it (I took the time to write “beaut” out, so that’s how you know). But commenting “beaut” 26 times gets old and I am over it; so for that reason, my commenting relationships will probably remain low and therefore, I will never amount to anything close to an “influencer.”
I was going to talk in depth about having the perfect feed aesthetic, although writing about feed aesthetic makes me want to smash my head against a window, so I’m just going to move on.
Let’s talk about captions. Listen, I appreciate a clever caption. Every now and then there’s a photo I want to post, but I’ll only post it if my caption is fire. Sometimes, it’s needed. Although, 9/10 I just want to post the photo because I like the photo. I already spent time thinking about taking the photo, actually taking the photo, picking the 1 photo out of 34 that I want to post, editing it, and now I have to come up with a borderline taboo, but equally trendy and politically correct caption for it because you can’t throw a like if there’s nothing to read? I bet you haven’t read a full book since you were 12, now you want a sentence or two to make ya giggle on your way to class? No, @peacelovevegan. That’s not how it works. Sometimes, I take a photo of my coffee and just want to say “this coffee was so tasty and it actually made me shit, so it was worth the $6.72.” But if I want to be an “influencer” I have to tell you where I got the coffee, why I got the coffee, how YOU can get the coffee, and you know what? I don’t wanna. Sometimes I just wanna drink my coffee, take a shit, and upload a photo of it because it makes me happy inside.
Another reason why I think I’ll never become an influencer is because I don’t know how much is too much or how little is too little. Sometimes, I’ll post one photo on my instagram story of the mountains outside of my house. Other days, I’ll upload 12 stories within the 15 minutes it takes me to drive from my house to the grocery store talking about some new realization I just had about the female body. I’m not consistent. I don’t know if you want me to post photos of my breakfast and what I eat in a day, or if you hate when I talk about poop and getting a colonic. I never can tell if I’m engaging too much or engaging too little, and I don’t want to take the time to figure that out. Sorry, not sorry.
Here’s the thing: I care, but I don’t care. I don’t care if my skin looks smooth in every photo, I don’t care if you can see my leg hair in that bikini picture, I don’t care if I’m posting at the right time, I don’t care if I get 80 likes instead of 300+, I don’t care if my feed doesn’t match and I really really really don’t care if someone doesn’t like the content I post. I want to inspire people, but it’s not my goal to cater to or please others with my content. I am opinionated, I am honest, and I will post whatever I want. I am me, and how I present myself on social media is me. If that isn’t enough to make me an influencer, then that actually really sucks because I could really use the free tooth whitening kits and 50% off ambassador codes.