After a brief dinner party conversation with my next door neighbour over a bowl of homemade pasta about what ‘the blogs’ are, she begged the question why would people want to share so much with the world? I knew my answer, but it did leave me wondering why so many people do do it. It is an odd concept, and even weirder to explain… So, this week I decided to interview some pretty cool kidz (added the ‘z’ because that is obviously what cool kids do) about what drives them to share their lives with complete strangers.
1 / I would say that there is a lot of confusion and misconception about what an ‘influencer’ is or whether it’s a proper job. What is it that makes you an influencer, when did you begin and how and why do you do it?
Maggie: To be quite frank, I don’t really like the term influencer – I think it can insinuate that followers are mindless, sheep-like or easily influenced. But I guess Instagram allows people to showcase their life, educate or entertain their followers. That’s how I would I could describe what I do. I began Instagramming four years ago when I was 15. I grew up with Tumblr and Twitter and was always invested in social media sites. I love Instagram because it allows me to showcase my fashion and my photography and connects me to all these amazing people globally. And to be honest? I just love the whole process of picking an outfit, finding a location, shooting and editing photos. I find it therapeutic.
Denilson: I mean I never realised I was an influencer until later. I never knew anything about being an influencer (but I was always into fashion), until I met a friend of mine Tara Chandra. She was one of the biggest influencer when it comes to fashion I mean she was an iconic. I never used to post photos of me, I was always used to takes photos of places, people and nature stuff. It all started when I uploaded a photo of me with an outfit and I realised it starting to get more likes than my previous photos. I did it because I felt like i would be able to get to meet people/hanging out with the same vibe that I was into.
Tara: I think influencers are essentially any people online that have the ability to sway the actions or decisions of viewers of their content – this could be through their purchasing decisions, lifestyle actions, or way someone dresses. I started my social media nearly 5 years ago, but probably didn't start properly doing influencer work till around 1.5-2 years ago. I do social media as a hobby, but influencer work is something I do on the side which helps me create new outfits and be more creative in a business-minded aspect.
2 / Everyone has their own style when it comes to blogging / instagram / youtube etc and some people portray more of their life online then others. Do you ever find it weird sharing where you are, what you’re thinking or even eating to complete strangers? Or are you more self conscious about other things?
Maggie: (This is a great question btw) I totally know that I overshare online but we’ve grown up with social media playing such a heavy part in our lives that it’s almost second nature to me. I’m pretty desensitised to it all and am happy sharing parts of my day with my followers; I think being open and genuine is really needed in an industry that typically showcases one’s ‘highlight reel.’ As with anything, balance is key. There are things I don’t share either. In terms of safety, I don’t usually post in my Stories where I am at the given moment, rather I’ll post it later when I’m not there… justtttt in case.
Denilson: I personally think it is weird but at the same time I feel like that’s just how it is now a days - everybody has their own perspective.
Tara: I think it has become normalised to me - whether this is a good or bad thing, I'm not sure. I share what I want to share and I don't share what I want to keep personal or private. Social media will never capture the full picture of someone's life - so no, I don't get self conscious about what I post, because I consciously posted it there for it to be seen. I like sharing these aspects of my life because it can see another country that someone may not ever visit. Using social media as an outlet for my thoughts creates discussion - and sharing food is a way of inspiration for other students making food or places to eat 😊
3 / Has instagram become more comparison and copy rather than compliment?
Maggie: Yes and no. Some days I reckon majority of influencers look exactly the same and are shooting the exact same content… But honestly, I think it can be a really positive and uplifting environment where people do genuinely compliment and boost others.
Denilson: Yes, unless you’re a celebrity then it’s a complement if that makes sense.
Tara: That's a really interesting way of putting it. I think there is a large part of Instagram that is focused on comparison and copy – but for the most part there are a lot of people on there who are doing their own thing and what they want to be doing. However, nowadays - everything is a copy.
4 / Do you ever feel as if you need to watch what you say or how you portray yourself online?
Maggie: Yes, for sure! There are times where I stop myself from posting because something’s quite personal or confronting or I’m worried about how others will view me too. I’ve gotten better about not caring over the years, in high school it was way more difficult.
Denilson: I always do because it represents myself offline, and also because I’m bad with captions.
Tara: Yes, mainly for the sake of the wrong eyes seeing things. But for the most part, I'm not that scandy so I don't have to do this too much.
5 / Would you say the way you present yourself online accurately represents who you are offline?
Maggie: Above all, I always try to accurately portray myself as real as possible. In person and online, I would say that I’m a very happy-go-lucky gal. I try to spread that positivity through my account. That being said, everyone has their shit days – and I’ve had my fair share. Without ranting and raving to my followers, I’ll sometimes share the lower moments too. It’s important that people know that life isn’t as perfect as it appears in these little squares.
Denilson: No, I’m totally opposite when it comes to represents myself on online. I’m more myself when I’m offline than being on online
Tara: Yes I definitely do think my 'online self' represents my 'offline self' to an extent. I am definitely more outspoken and confident online because it's a space I have curated for myself to fit in. In real life, you're constantly placed in situations you can't control which is where I think my reactions and ability to respond to situations are different.
6 / Lastly, what has been the best thing that has come out of social media for you?
Maggie: Oh, so many! The friends I’ve made, the opportunities it’s given me. Without a doubt, it’s helped me to the position I’m in today. Getting into my course, getting internships and jobs… I definitely owe some of the credit to social media.
Denilson: Meeting the coolest people around the world with the same mindset. Getting the opportunity to collab with my favourite brands such converse / all star - it was one the biggest and coolest brands to represent, and a few independent brands from around Australia.
Tara: The opportunities and people. I would never have imagined working with the brands I have, or making best friends for life through social media.