I feel like it’s been quite a while since I’ve done one of “those” posts, and by that I mean a post that isn’t about anything to do with an outfit or product but a post that is slightly controversial and one that will hopefully open up a dialogue and discussion. The world of blogging has changed a lot over the last few years and frequent conversations with other bloggers and content creators has lead to me thinking that we are at the precipice of a crisis and over saturation.
Everyone is vying for the same jobs and press trips to luxury locations and everyone is vying for more likes and engagement. This has lead to the recent furore and the realisation that many of my peers (no good friends I might add) have been using bots to up their following and engagement. This has astounded me, if people are using and paying for a programme to like and comment on their behalf (and follow and unfollow) in order to accelerate their growth does that leave me (and others like me) feeling proud of their integrity or a bit of a fool who’s not “with the programme”. I’ve stayed relatively steady in my growth and that is something that has irritated me at times but never upset me. I get the opportunity to work with wonderful brands and I feel like I have a loyal, genuine and engaged following. However, it still irks me when another blogger gets an even better opportunity because they have over 200k followers when it’s easy to see that around 150k of those followers have been acquired from using these sites.
It’s a little bit like being a small business owner selling cakes and noticing that the guy across the road with a competing company is both undercutting you and selling his cakes to faceless robots who don’t even eat them, but his surge in sales gets him more attention and he’s seen as the more successful business owner. It’s essentially meaningless but the value these people get from the perceived growth is where the issues start. The blogging world has baffled me for a while and I feel that year on year and month on month things are ramping up.
People are now over editing their photos to oblivion and altering their bodies to make them look taller/leaner but what projection is that showing the rest of the world? And what good can that have on that blogger’s mental wellbeing. I’m all for face tuning my acne scars and smoothing out my limbs on my Instagrams, and I’m always down for a good VSCO filter, but I would never go beyond that. It makes me question what audiences will start to look towards, as bloggers become just as unattainable as model’s in magazines who will the new influencers be? I think the tides are turning and we will see a rise towards the less edited and the more “real” girls, brands like Glossier are already championing a new type of beauty and the Instagram queen Kim Kardashian lost a shocking 100k followers in a day following the release of un airbrushed images of her most famous asset (no pun intended) leading her core fans to feel betrayed at the photoshopped images they’d seen prior.
The realisation that perfection doesn’t ever truly exist and that filters and fillers will only get you so far is certainly starting to seep in and I am intrigued as to what will come next in the weird and wonderful world of the internet and what will happen when the bot sites are eventually closed and Instagram does a recall of all the falsely acquired followers…what will the landscape look like then?
Out of interest I’d love to hear your thoughts whether you’re a content creator or a bystander and which bloggers/influencers you look up to and enjoy?