Social Media, Influencers and the Responsibility We All Share

January 24, 2018

There’s a lot of talk on social media this week about each platform, influencers and where the responsibility lies for the onset of comparison, self-hate and perception.

Let me take a minute to put my cards all out on the table. The title still makes me feel uneasy to say, but for all intents and purposes I am in fact an influencer. I write this blog which reaches tens of thousands a month and share my life, writing and creative projects on Instagram which can reach over seventy thousand daily. Because I have an audience, I have the potential to influence this audience and I take that role with great responsibility.

On the other hand, I am a consumer as well. I follow countless bloggers and Instagrammers among my closest friends and family on social media. Last week I actually unfollowed over 100 accounts on Instagram that were no longer serving me. They might have not been particularly inspiring, were hard to connect with or left me feeling less than every time I visited their page. I can acknowledge what these accounts put out there has nothing to do with me. This is certainly not about putting anyone down, but what I do realize is that I am responsible for my thoughts and feelings about the subject and it’s up to me to take it or leave it, so I left it.

That being said, I’ve always had a hard time when people in my life refer to blogger’s lives as not being real, maybe because well, hello, I’m sure as hell real! Creating content is my livelihood and I can at least tell you from my perspective it’s not always perfectly made up faces, clean houses and flawless vacations.

What I have tried to convey, and what I hope is absolutely clear, is that this is a business. I am not trying to pass off adds in some sly way to sell you something you’d never see me use, wear or eat. I am upfront about the work, the mess, and how damn hard it actually is to get photos you’re proud to send your clients. I share my life with you all in a way that I hope provides solidarity not isolation.

Is this a weird job? Hell yes it is. Is the comparison game of social media incredibly difficult to navigate? Of course.

Since I started this blog it has always been in my best interest to take a step back when the waves of comparison come in and really feel what is going on. I try to ask myself, “What is happening in my personal life that is leading me to project this on to someone else?”. After I can really sit with my feelings it’s easier to have a different perspective on social media and imagine what we aren’t seeing through the perfectly curated squares. It’s just a slice.

I am grateful that I have some time before these conversations are happening with Owen, because the truth is I don’t know exactly where I stand on the matter. Social media is a huge part of our world. As a mother there’s part of me that wants to shield Owen from it as much as possible, but will that help him in the long run? Would it be more beneficial when he’s at the right age to have open and honest conversations about the way other’s lives and media can make us feel? Because the truth of the matter is that it’s not going anywhere.

What we do have control over is what we consume. If Household, the blog or the social media channels, have led you to a place of comparison or self-hate I want to invite you to unfollow now. That is not what this platform is about and is in no way the intention behind what I put into the world. Life is just too stinkin’ short for all of that.

What I want to reiterate to you all as that there is a story behind each and everyone of these photos you see on social media. Some folks are better at pulling the curtain back and others aren’t. Some folks with super large followings also feel the pressure from their clients, from the industry and from Instagram to actually have their photos seen. It’s easy to get type casted and essentially post the same sort of content over and over again because that’s what Instagram wants. It takes an immense amount of self-control to keep it real and post what you want and not what you think everyone else wants to see. But I’m stinking to it. It might be a slow and steady race, but I would so much rather cultivate relationships with you all that are meaningful and build a business I am proud of than be strictly number driven.

I really want to open this up for discussion because I do believe it’s an important conversation that affects us all in one way or another. Please feel free to leave your comments below or if you’d prefer to chat in private you can always email me at hailey@householdmag.com.

Thank you so much for reading, for being here and for being part of this community. I am grateful for you and appreciate you.

Leave a Comment

  • Amen sister. Love this Hailey. All we an do is take responsibility for what we put out there, and how we feel about what we consume. It is easy to “blame” Instagram for our insecurities, but it is time that we take ownership of our lives, and in doing so, work on our own hearts and feelings if need be. Thanks for always keeping it so real.

  • Hailey, I Love this post! While broaching this subject recently I was asked some of my favorite bloggers who do an amazing job of portraying real life and still maintaining a beautifully curated page. You were on the top of that list. You have always inspired me on this platform and I think you do such an amazing job of posting the real raw moments along with the gorgeous photos of your family. Thank you for being so thoughtful always and using your platform the way I wish many more could. You truly lead with grace and it doesn’t go unrecognized.

    • Thank you so much for reading and commenting Carly! & thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kind words about portraying real life and beauty. So thankful for folks like you!

  • Jacqueline

    Thank you for facing this “social media revolution” head on. During my unfollowing spree, I chose to continue following you without a moment’s hesitation. You are real and your thoughts consistently resonate with me. I am a young, working, mom with a two-year-old son and a relationship that has had its ups and downs. It follows that I feel like you are easily relatable and are often a source of comfort to me with that reassurance that I am not alone in this! In addition to killer style, growth mindset, and taste in music, you consistently emote empathy, and I admire you without envy. Wishing you and yours the best, and I look forward to being privy to more of your journey in the future.

    • Thank you so much for writing here Jacqueline, it really means so much to me! I’m so happy that what I’ve shared here has been easy to relate to and has helped you to feel less alone – we’re all in this thing together. Thank you for following along and for taking the time to comment. I really, really appreciate you!

  • This is all so true, comparison is a losing game. I like to think that when my babies are old enough I’ll share what I love about social media, especially the inspiration and explain why the rest, the ugly stuff does not serve us. Love the honesty, love follinwing along with you and your little guy! Xo

    • Thank you so much for reading and writing here Nina and of course for following along! It truly means so much to our little family.

      Comparison is such a losing game, it’s true. I’m on the same page with you, I really believe there are ways to find balance with it, and that it’s our responsibility as parents to open up that dialog.

  • I went to check out that app and got distracted by….social media. (If I was still on my phone I’d put the eye roll emoji here. ugh)

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