I’m going about my normal routine of casually reading my style blog feed as I unwind at the end of the day, following along like a loyal fan, interested in all the changes and plans X blogger has for her fabulous wardrobe, admiring her great taste, nodding my head in agreement with what she’s writing, and then, all of a sudden, she refers to herself as an “influencer”, (in all seriousness and without the quotation marks!). I cringe. It hits you like a truck and everything changes. There’s a visceral reaction of disgust. I stop reading, unfollow, close the tab, and move on. I’m OK with the term “influencer”. There’s legitimate meaning in that term. But, a blogger who has risen to the status of influencer need not call herself an “influencer”. That label is best left up to other people to use in reference to her. But, using that term self referentially is arrogant and insulting to readers. Wouldn’t it be more humble and gracious to say something objective like “I’m a blogger, I just love sharing my passion with other people and feel so lucky to make a living from doing this.” An influencer gets called an “influencer” by others but should always disavow that title. Akin to how a firefighter who saves a child’s life might disavow being called “a hero”. She might say with humility, something like “I was just doing my job”. Maybe that analogy is too far out. It’s more like a successful actress calling herself “a star”. The moment an influencer calls herself an “influencer” it feels as though her ego has grown too big, and worse, that her primary agenda is to make money off of her readers, and that might very well be true if we are all being honest, but it’s a big turn off to readers when that becomes front and center. Can we at least pretend it isn’t so? There’s a Man Repeller article
about why the term influencer feels “icky”. The comments section is very much on point.