When I was younger and wanted to know how to do something, I would seek qualified and knowledgeable people in that area. For example, as a teenager curious about the proper shade of foundation, I would visit the Clinique counter in the department store at my local mall. (These days, of course, I turn to my Madison for all things beauty-related.) If I needed to know how to properly cook chicken, I looked in a cookbook or called my mom. If I was curious about the most comfortable and affordable jeans, I either asked my close friends or went to the store to try them on. And as a young mother, when I had a question about child development or behavior, I looked in a book written by experts, called my doctor, or relied on the knowledge and experience of my mother and grandmother, women who had spent their lives successfully guiding young children to adulthood.
Where am I going with all of this? All over social media today, young women and mothers are bombarded with advice from Influencers, people who use their platform to persuade others to purchase the products and follow the ideas they promote. In many cases, this is fine. The problem arises when an influencer is not an expert or is not experienced in the field she is promoting. Too many people I see as I scroll through social media platforms are haphazardly promoting products and ideas they are not experts in or even experienced enough to influence others.
I see a mother with very young children telling me that I should make my child responsible for the household chores like scrubbing the toilets and mopping the floors in order to "raise capable kids." I should have my young child earn money to buy necessary items like sneakers to appreciate the value of money. I should make chore charts that my young children must complete before they are rewarded with screen time. My issue with this? First off, how does this particular mother know that these things will indeed raise capable kids when her oldest is only ten or eleven? What basis does she have for encouraging young mothers who watch her channel to have their little ones clean bathrooms and wash dishes when they can barely reach the sink?
This same mother promotes an organizational system that she developed to run her household efficiently. She encourages mothers to purchase her planner and program, yet her entire online presence is unorganized and chaotic. Her shtick, if you will, is highlighting her crazy and hectic life. "Look at me! I am a mess! But oh, by the way, buy my planner and be organized! Make sure your kids are scrubbing toilets because that will teach them to be capable later in life!" No mention of the fact this allows her to spend all day filming, editing, and posting on social media.
Other influencers will gladly show you their makeup application and skin routine, and of course, give you a "code" to shop the products they directly benefit from. Are the majority of these influencers certified to give this advice? No, most are not. They will tell you to buy makeup, hair products, clothing items, and kitchen appliances. All because they will make money from your purchase and your interaction with them. When the influencer asks a question like "What is your favorite memory with your kids" or "Tell me what television show you are watching because I really need a new one!" it most likely isn't because she wants to know. It is because platforms like Instagram feed on engagement. In other words, the social media influencer needs to prove that people are seeing and commenting, and liking her content to keep her relevant.
Why do I care? Some say I should simply stop reading and stop watching. I can, and I do. But I am compelled to share my feelings here in my little space to remind younger women and mothers that they should not be easily influenced by so-called experts. They should rely on their own instincts and the knowledge of those close to them for advice. Just because someone has a platform does mean she has the knowledge or experience to tell you how to dress, or run your home, or, more importantly, raise your children. When I see this mother encouraging others to have young children complete chore charts and scrub toilets and mop floors, I am reminded of one of my very favorite quotes from psychologist Jean Piaget, "Play is the work of childhood." Maybe these social media influencers should think about this, put their phones down a bit, and play with their children. They will be grown and scrubbing their own toilets in the blink of an eye.
Well said and I couldn't agree more!!!ReplyDelete
I've never really "got" the whole influencer thing, I know it's a way for the bloggers to make money but you have so many valid points there. Personally, I stop reading the minute I see something about a post being "sponsored." Love the quote you shared at the end, Maria Montessori has a very similar one: "Play is the work of the child"ReplyDelete
Pretty new Blog Header!!!!ReplyDelete
But, the rest, is too hard to deal with. Please don't be mad at me for saying so....... But I feel that bloggers want to know, how their blog 'looks' to Dear Readers. I ask at times, for feedback on this. So I hope, you too, will appreciate feedback. -smile-
For me, a straight forward blog set up is best. Header followed by latest post.
Other than this, I get confused.
Now I am old and may be the only one. -smile-
Perhaps you could do a post, asking, how your new set up, appears to all you Dear Readers? that way the too polite and too sweet ones, would be able to actually tell you... If they were not as pleased. -grin-
Whatever! It is your blog! And each of us, has the perfect right, to have our blogs, as we choose!!!!!!
Oh and.. I so agree... Don't be too easily influenced. -smile- With blogs and IG, we have to be constantly on the alert, to not be Influenced by the "Influencers."
🌿🌼🌿"Blogs are little First Amendment machines.🌿🌼🌿
LOL! It is funny you mentioned that! I honestly was thinking about going back to a simpler theme and layout! Thanks for the honest feedback. Now I just have to figure out how to do it. Stay tuned! : )Delete
Love Love Love your "vintage" blogging style layout. It is beautiful and so easy to see your posts. Hope you have a great day & weekend!Delete
Grinning...and thank you my friend...and did I mention I love your new look here, smiles. Have a beautiful day.ReplyDelete
I sometimes watch influencers just to see what stupid thing they do next.Always promoting some product no one really needs. But I love your take on this. Daughter had Kelsa at beach and she had a blow out diaper. Like down both legs and the teenage girls all in there little bikinis were horrified. Daughter said it was the best birth control lesson she could have ever taught. Now that is an influencer.ReplyDelete
I am no longer sure who is and who is not an influencer, but I am glad I am old enough that I do not give a fat rat's fanny what they say anyway. I have seen a couple of Youtube videos where the "influencers" request free merchandise in exchange for a mention in their videos/instragram/Tik Tok posts. It is rather funny to see just exactly how entitled those who "influence" feel.ReplyDelete
Truly a wise post. Social media (except for my little blog) and I have largely parted ways, permanently I hope, due to this very thing. I completely agree with everything you say here. Thank you for an excellent post.ReplyDelete
Great post! I unfollowed several people over this past year. I only want to follow people who make me feel good.ReplyDelete
Well said, Billie Jo. The advantage of getting older is that I am less likely to be 'influenced' by anyone. I do enjoy seeking out great ideas and inspiration from others, however. XReplyDelete
Amen, Billie Jo! I often have to remind myself that influences are being paid and what they say doesn't necessarily pertain to me and my family! And many times, I feel like they don't even believe in or use the products they are hawking!ReplyDelete
Technically I guess I'm considered an influencer, but I don't promote all and every product. Some influencers only get product in exchange for review. I'll always keep it honest in my reviews because I'm not going to promote a product that's not worth the money. As an influencer, I discuss many topics on my blog. I also use my platform as an influencer to raise awareness on social issues. For example this is Mental Health Awareness Month and it hits home for me since I have anxiety and depression. My hope is that I influence people in a way that is meaningful and helpful.ReplyDelete
Yes! Loved your post. I have stopped following some of my favorite "home" sights on Instagram over their hateful comments about people that wear masks. Also, have quit following those that want to sell me things. I am glad you pointed out that influencers "ask questions" to get us to engage with them. I had no idea and will stop taking part. I thank you for that.ReplyDelete
I don't understand the whole influencer trend either. It's just like advertising - of course they are going to gush about a product they got for free or were paid to mention!ReplyDelete
Well put! I use to be a parent liaison at my children’s elementary school and I’d always tell the parents your children need your presence not your presents.ReplyDelete
I couldn’t agree more with everything you said and it feels so nice & encouraging to hear someone I admire write about this! As a mom who is still raising young kids, this is definitely one of my favorite posts you have written! IReplyDelete
hope you write more posts about your perspective looking back on raising children & being a mom & wife. I definitely have limited my time on social media & especially Instagram. I really don’t enjoy it as much as I used to, I once posted my kids and I toasting marshmallows around the fire at night and another mom message me and literally tell me that what I was doing was very bad and that toasting marshmallows was carcinogenic and that I shouldn’t do that with my kids (insert eye roll) Refreshing to read about the thoughts of like minded people! Keep sharing about this because there are a lot of young moms out there who need to read about what you shared❤️
Hi Billie Jo~ I couldn't agree more! I think the best advise is to raise your children by being a good example and influence in their lives. They will most likely do the things they have been taught by their parents. Young moms need to turn to people they trust for advise. I totally agree with you on social media...not my thing. Hugs, BarbReplyDelete