Here we are slowly inching our way towards warmer days, and with them some hope for fresh energy and relief. I know that personally being under the weight of the last year has taken a toll on me and those I love. I will say that I have bitten my proverbial tongue in a lot of circumstances where I might not have in the past.
With the social commentary taking place and the long overdue changes to the world coming at us from all sides, there has been a great divide it seems. We’ve polarized ourselves to an extreme that is nothing shy of exhausting, and now we all have a sense of entitlement that allows us to think that our opinion should be online all the time. Here’s the thing, I am not a perfect person, but I really try to help when someone asks me for it. This past year I have seen the ugly side of “influencers” and content creators and I am here to remind you to not be a shitty person.
I know that for many of you reading this, you probably hear the word Influencer and cringe just as much as I do. Picturing some young pretty person constantly on their phone with an over inflated ego and sense of entitlement. And in some ways, you’re actually not wrong in that description. Also not all of us love that word either, but it is what it is in 2021.
I guess it’s because I am quite self-aware that in a few short years I will be forty years old with a blog, a full time job, and if all goes well, I will be Dad with Julio and our new baby. Of all people, I can appreciate the importance of quality content and content creators, but when did it become acceptable to allow them to be shitty people?
I’m not here to name names, because I’ve grown up and that would be petty, but as of late I am hearing more and more horror stories about people who have created an online persona / brand that turn around and treat others as if they are beneath them. I don’t care who you are, how many “followers” you have or if that blue check mark is beside your name – that’s simply not okay.
Earlier last year a friend who will remain unnamed went through a personal challenge and I thought to put them in touch with someone who had a similar life experience that I called an acquaintance at one time in the media. Turns out the person I put them in touch with not only showed their ugly true colours, but in fact was belligerent, condescending and horribly mean to someone I care about deeply. It should be noted that all my friend was asking for was some advise – a meeting which this “Influencer” agreed to willingly by the way.
Or let’s talk about the glorification of bad behaviour as click bait which brainwashed an entire generation of youth into wanting to be an influencer as their job later in life. First of all kids (not that any of you are reading this because you’re too busy trying to memorize some 3.5 second repetitive “dance” or food trend 🙄) it’s not that great as a full time job. It’s inconsistent income, it’s constantly being “on” and not ever having 100% privacy in your life, and it wears on you. Why do you think so many of us barely make it past the first few years.
But I digress.
This I guess becomes an open letter to content creators on all platforms on the internet. You are blessed to do what you do and I know you do it well. You have created something that an audience wants to follow and support. You inspire other creators to be like you and you don’t even know it.
That being said, “fame” does not allow you the social currency to treat anyone as if they were beneath you. You’re not a fucking Kardashian, and even they shouldn’t do it. You’re an influencer. And when this all comes to a changing point – and like all good things it will, will you be known as a good person or that shitty person no one wants to be around?
That’s your choice. Just ask our colleagues at print media who have seen their whole industry turned its head and many talented and wonderful people are without jobs and unsure of where to go next. Nothing in this world is guaranteed, so many remember that the next time you feel you have the right to talk down or talk badly about someone else.
Check your ego and bad attitude at the door because 2021 doesn’t have room for it anymore. ✌
Photos: Daniel Reyes & All Social Media accounts listed above
Don’t forget to be kind & laugh a little more this year, and the next!
I’m Leaving Toronto and It’s Time I Tell You Why Next Post:
Why I’m Okay With My Fifteen Minutes of Fame Winding Down