As if I needed proof-positive that the whole world is going down the shitter, I discovered just now that ‘social media influencer‘ is actually an occupation. Yep, I am that out of touch. This radically rewrites the script for anybody wanting to update Caddyshack (1980) for the new millenium: the world doesn’t need ditch-diggers anymore! Or lawyers for that matter. It needs more celebrity bloggers, apparently. Stupidly, I always thought you just accrue followers, friends and/or subscribers organically because you want to share interesting ideas for free; if your blog is just a front for embedded advertising, product placement or subliminal marketing, then isn’t this a contemptible fraud, not to mention a fundamental betrayal?

But social media influencers, I am told, are different because they aren’t usually formally contracted for commercial purposes like their professional competition, the ‘social media advocates’. They are, nonetheless, the slippery tip of a new form of marketing, and all these ‘instafamous’ bloggers you hear about are probably hoping to receive that golden phonecall from their favourite multinational pharmaceutical company anytime soon now. Paid to do what they were previously doing for free? Awesome, right? Let me put it another way: if you shag people because it’s fun and you’re good at it, then the worst thing anybody is likely to call you is a bloody champion slut. Start asking to be paid for shagging, though, and what do you reckon they’ll call you? Employed, is what. You become the employee advocate of every company you are promoting.

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People need paid work, I understand that. If the hair pills Kim Kardashian is selling are as efficacious as her ass pills, then she’s going to make a fuc*ing fortune. Anyway, people have to make a living, and sometimes putting words down in a blog is bloody hard work for very little reward of any type. While it’s laughably easy to drop a few words in comment, it’s even easier to lurk. That’s why the efficacy of social media influencers is not worth much in real world wages. People in real businesses look for audience ‘engagement’ (likes/follows/comments/shares, etc), so a social media darling with a million followers who only gets 100 likes per post is no more influential (or valuable) than some crusty troglodyte whose 100 subscribers comment on every post, every time. Luckily, my blog/echo-chamber experiment here doesn’t suffer from any of these problem …

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Anyway (wiping away my lonely tears) it makes me glad I’m not out there struggling to find paid employment. The amount of work (and I’m hypothesising here, obviously) that would go into building a robust audience-base for a social media thing must be effing enormous. Just imagine: posting most days, being up with all the new … um, things, trying to sound upbeat and cool, working out which side of your face looks less unattractive, wearing clean clothes every day, all that shit. Ugh. Kill me now. At the end of the day, I suspect it all gets too hard and, like all those unsuccessful novelists who end up teaching English or coaching volleyball or something, we get day jobs we don’t totally hate, and life goes on.

At worst, look at the sort of backstabbing bitches you attract as fair-weather friends during your ascendance to instafamousness. I don’t know if careers like ‘social media influencer’ are here to stay, or whether they are just the latest in a long line of new media fads, but I for one am not buying anything any of them say. And spare me the crocodile tears Ms O’Neill, I’m not buying them either.

 

 

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