About Instagram: Real Talk

Hi everyone thanks for returning to my blog. I delayed posting this because I wanted to take some time and make sure I have said everything I wanted to say in this blog post, thanks for your patience. In this blog post I am going to share with you some personal thoughts and updates about my life and how I envision using social media in the near future.

So to begin, let me just first say that I doing well and I am not announcing to the world that I am taking a break from social media, but rather I want to raise some awareness and share with you some of my thoughts about how social media has affected me personally. Many of you know I created an Instagram account in high school as a mere joke but I have turned it into a platform where I can express who I am in a creative and expressive manner. However in recent weeks and months I have been getting an increasingly uncomfortable feeling with using Instagram, specifically as it relates to influencer marketing which is really beginning to shake the traditional business and advertising industry. In fact I believe that influencer marketing is on an all time high and will only continue to grow in importance and influence in the world. However with all of that being said, I think there is something hidden within all of this that I find very troubling, and it has made me question a lot of things about what I am doing. For one, there is a a lot of unchecked power that goes on between some influencers and brands, I have read and seen this myself. There is a growing census within the social media influencer field that some influencers are abusing and misrepresenting their status and platform on social media for their own personal benefit, and I am honestly sick of it. Take for example this, an influencer with over 100K followers makes a deal with a clothing brand to feature their products in exchange for a monetary amount. However let’s say that about 50% of their followers are not real human followers but simply bots or paid followers who are either automated accounts or accounts that rarely engage with Instagram. Now think about this, an influencer negotiates with the brand based on the reasoning that their account has a considerable reach and engagement, and the brand takes the bait. That is awful and it seriously sickens me to know that this sort of trickery happens and will probably continue to happen as this is an easy cash grab for those that can play the game. I am certainly not capable of fixing this broken system, but I am going to start the conversation and say that this needs to stop now.

Need another example? Go ahead and look up any popular Instagram account right now (100K+) and follow along with what I am saying. Check out one of the recent pictures and look at the number of likes and comments. One obvious indication that this account may have bought fake followers or is using an automated like boost is if the number of likes and comments is incredibly low in ratio to his/her followers account. So if their account has 100K followers but they only get around 500 likes and 2 comments then perhaps not all of their followers are real. Now you could say that Instagram’s algorithm is messing everyone’s engagement and that this is the result of this, but I wouldn’t just blame instagram for this issue I think this goes a little deeper. The people who work on Instagram are not blind to the fact that influencers have tried just about every option to increase their engagement and reach, they know this and I think they have implemented measures within the algorithm to almost punish those that misuse the app. Yes my engagement has gone down I will admit that, but I will also say that I do not buy or automate my account in any way to increase me engagement. I truly believe in establishing genuine connections with my followers, and I am extremely happy and grateful for the relationships that I have established to this today. However I also need to step back and realize my position in all of this, I am also an up and coming influencer. This brings me to the question: What is my role and how am I representing myself on social media?

I decided a few months ago to decrease pitching brand collaboration requests because I felt that something just wasn’t quite right with pouring out sponsored content after another. I realize now that I need to create value to not just myself but to my audience and people that follow me, I didn’t just want to make myself look to be all this when I am not. And more recently I switched my Instagram pictures to black and white. I did this because I needed a break personally to get away from the noise and saturation of content and just be me for once. Most likely I will go back to colored pictures soon but I think people need to realize that it’s totally ok to change things and just be themselves, the world doesn’t need more copiers but individuals and creative minds. Switching to black and white has made me realize just how sucked in I was to all the sponsored content that I forgot in a sense who I was and just how creative I could be. Well I have decided that I will not settle for anything less than the best that I can do so I have been inspired from this process to produce even better content and to not be afraid to share who I am with the world.

While I have been thinking about everything going on with Instagram I have also been thinking about my blog and what that means to me and to you. I am letting you know that I going to be publishing blog posts every first sunday of every month now. I have decided that I want my blog to be a reflective narrative of my life and so I am giving my words and ideas the time, and also the time for myself to say things that will mean something not just for a day or week, but in future years and I can go back and read these blog posts and still learn something. I am sincerely thankful for everyone who has helped get me to where I am today, and I am grateful for those individuals who have pushed and challenged me to believe in someone greater than myself.

Thank you for reading this.

-Johnnywhatagentleman

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