To influence = the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself.
These days they are everywhere. Influencers, paid by the brands they try to sell us, or they sell themselves like many singers and other celebrities do very successfully. Social Media Influencers with Millions of followers.
Is it influence or manipulation? When I looked it up I found the following:
That clears it up. Celebrity influencers are manipulators, because they do it only for their own benefit, while social media influencers, or so-called Lifestyle influencers, fashion and beauty influencers, get paid by the brands they asked us to buy.
Manipulation! It sounds too negative and perhaps it’s never manipulation when we let them willingly influence us?
A trendsetter! That’s what it was called when I was young. So I looked it up.
Turns out a trendsetter has expertise, and knowledge and is above the influencer. The things I learn just because I am curious.
So if I go outside in my houseshoes, without my pajama pants, because I forgot I wasn’t wearing them, and someone does the same the next day, does that promote me from the crazy lady to trendsetter?
Tempting! Very tempting!
Are bloggers influencers?
Turns out, that many bloggers are influencers, but not all influencers are bloggers. Some Bloggers manage to become Influencers through their writing, but Influencers don’t have to have a blog.
Do I follow influencers? No, I am careless. I don’t care enough what others wear, buy or do.
Why do I write this post? Because I don’t like the way we use the word “Influencer” these days. Lifestyle influencers, media influencers, fitness influencers, there are so many, and all of them just try to sell us something. They are salespeople. New name, same game!
In my eyes, if influencers provide sponsored or carefully managed content, they automatically lack authenticity. I like my life to be authentic. It’s mine, not a copy of someone else’s.
Have I met influencers? Yes, many of them, and they weren’t famous or rich, neither did they sell anything. They affected me and my life in various ways and I am very grateful for the lessons they gave me. They truly had an impact on my personality and my character. They have often forced me to reevaluate my behavior and they have opened my eyes about the influence my actions can have on others -good or bad.
The impact they had came through the spoken word, their actions, and the sharing of their experiences. One could say I have been under the influence! In more than one way.
I have met so many interesting people in my life, without them I wouldn’t be where -and who I am today. Under normal circumstances, family is the first and biggest influence in one’s life but my circumstances were different.
The lack of my parents was never an issue for me, there were so many others who took over and stepped in without being asked to do so.
The nun in boarding school, my favorite SISTER, the one who most kids feared and who I adored. The teacher, the old guy on the bench. Charlotte, a neighbor who feared her husband, a ballroom dancer, a butler.
With the lack of family, the door was wide open for others to take over and I have decided to write about them. I want to share the memory and the experience with my readers, like an homage to the special men and women who shared their wisdom and their knowledge about life, with me. Some I only met for a very short time, others stayed in my life for a while.
I liked them! I loved them! I adored them! I admired them! Women and men, of different ages with various backgrounds. They were waiting for me, all over the world and when I needed them, they were there, or was I looking for them?
I truly was influenced and I am very grateful!
So there is a new category on my blog, one that has been long overdue: