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  • Writer's pictureTiffany Marlink

Fake followers & real life

I watched the movie Fake Famous and I can't stop thinking about it! It's a social experiment where they make 3 people Instagram famous. They purchase followers, likes and comments and stage photo shoots that make these individuals appear to be influencers.

The crazy part is that it works! Well, for one of the individuals it works. The other two opt out for different reasons. The one girl who starts living the influencer lifestyle receives tons of cool freebies and perks. It's amazing, mind bending and disheartening at the same time.

I switched to Insta as my social media platform of choice a number of years ago. When I first started, I purposely didn't follow any friends. I didn't want it to be like FB. I followed photographers and world travelers because those were the images I wanted to see. IG was my place to be inspired and I loved it!

Then FB took over. The greedy bastard decided Insta should compete with Snapchat and YouTube so Stories and IGTV were born. Then came Reels because everyone was loving on TikTok. Seriously FB?! Stop trying to be like everybody else and stay in your lane! Let IG be what it was originally intended to be!

Woah! Woah! Woah! Did I just whip out my old lady card? Put that thing away girl! No one needs this to become one of those stories about wishing life were like the good ol' days. That wasn't even what I was planning to write about.

Focus Tiff. Back to Fake Famous.

Watching the movie made me wonder how many followers on IG are even real. It has me questioning the numbers in profiles and on posts. It even has me looking at my friends and wondering if they've ever paid for followers. Is any of it real?

I spent the better part of my business's baby years being suckered into playing the game. I believed I needed a large social media following and I stressed over the slow growth I was experiencing. What I'm realizing now is the woman who started her business after me and quickly surpassed my tiny following may not even have real followers! She might, but she might not and that tiny bit of wiggle room is actually a huge relief for me.

Maybe I don't actually suck at social media. Maybe the goal my mind got suckered into isn't for me because I'm not buying into the game or playing by the rules! I came here to live my life, not spend my days taking pictures of it so other people believe me. I want to be engaged in meaningful conversations with people and hold space for real growth and healing. Being an influencer who's playing the social media game doesn't check the boxes I want to check in this lifetime.

The more I tune into the ridiculousness of it all, the more free I feel. I don't need a huge social media following for me or my business to be a success. Yes, it's advertising and it could help me spread my message. But there are a lot of other ways to reach people that don't require me to play a game that I don't even want to win.

Every time I take a break from social media, I feel happier. Every time I come back, I notice there's a small group of people that I really do miss. Perhaps this means it's time for a mass unfollowing so I can focus on cultivating the connections I do appreciate. Perhaps I can find a way to be on the platforms without falling prey to the pressure for more. Or maybe it's a sign to walk away all together and use my time and energy to connect with people in real life.

Real human connection and a life truly lived. Isn't that what I'm really here for anyway?

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