Although I enjoy Instagram for the visual expression, I can’t stand all the “influencers” who want to tell me what I “need.” Typically they’re 20-30 years younger than I am, which doesn’t do much to “influence” me at all. They promote products that I either can’t afford or I just don’t “need.”
Even the celebrity fitness influencers want to tell me that I need to buy THIS brand of collagen powder. Really? We weren’t taking collagen powder 30 years ago. Why do I suddenly need this? And why do I need to spend $20 more on the product that YOU’RE promoting? Just so I can help pay for that multi-million-dollar house of yours? No thanks.
And then thin, pretty “influencers” want to tell me that I “need” this type of scale. Why? So I can achieve some nebulous weight ideal perpetuated by others like you? I put away my scale years ago. My clothes still fit just fine.
Influencers then tell me that I “need” this skin care, makeup, hair product, or clothing. Most of them are overpriced. No thanks. I get my skin care at Marshalls. I haven’t been wearing much makeup since I have to wear a mask everywhere I go. I’m losing my hair as I age, so the only hair product I “need” is one that will keep the hair I’ve got. Don’t tell me how much I “need” caffeine in my shampoo unless you give me a peer-reviewed scientific study that tells me how caffeine stimulates hair growth.
So influencers—let me tell you what YOU need. You need a conscience. You get these products for free or at a discount so that other people have to pay full price for them. What if they’re struggling financially? You’re making them feel bad for not fitting in. That’s what your message tells us—that we won’t be thin enough, pretty enough, or stylish enough to be accepted by people like you.
You also need a new center. When influencers promote what people don’t need, they’re perpetuating capitalism on steroids. Granted, it’s important to make enough money to pay the electric and rent, but are we taking more than we need? Are we centering ourselves in materialism? Are influencers telling us that material goods are the key to a happy life? If so, they need to re-center themselves and recalibrate.
Life is more than what we have. Life is about what we have to give.
As for the rest of us, we can stop liking, commenting, and sharing posts from influencers. The more we do, the more they’ll pop up on our feeds, and the more they’ll try to steer us in a direction that serves them, not ourselves.
The most valuable things in life are indeed free. You can’t place a material value on wisdom. You can’t put a price on inner peace. A relationship with God has no cost.
Influencers don’t want you to know that.