If you want to be an ‘influencer,’ then influence people

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I guess it should come as no surprise that this is what society has become. Ultra-vain social media snobs resorting to fraud to impress their many followers who fawn over their every picture and word.

A story earlier this week called out one of these millennial “influencers” for using the exact same sky background in multiple images while depicting her glamorous travel lifestyle.

Tupi Saravia, a Buenos Aires Instagram star, amassed 292,000 followers. As a “travel blogger,” she delights her fans by documenting extravagant experiences around the world. She puts her well-shaped, scantily-clad body on display in one fabulous location after another for everyone to enjoy.

Oh, how people wish they could be Tupi. She has it all, doesn’t she?

If her life is so glamorous and so perfect, then why would she need to Photoshop pictures to make them appear absolutely picture perfect?

Matt Navarra, a social media consultant, thought something seemed strange with images lucky Tupi was posting on her account. He noticed many of them depicted the exact same cloud pattern.

It appears Tupi is so influential, she can even influence weather patterns!

Another story today took aim at an influencer for promoting a swimwear collection in a tribute mourning relatives who had died. After all, she says, if they were alive, they would really want to know where she got her bikini.

Hardly a week goes by where the news media isn’t reporting on the shenanigans of social media stars, whether they are fabricating experiences or being caught shaking down hard-working business owners for free things in exchange for exposure to the star’s audience.

I think people are starting to grow tired of the nonsense pushed out by these so-called influencers. relayed a story of a British photographer who recently pushed back against an influencer who demanded two-years of free work in exchange for “exposure” to her 55,000 fans. The influencer also demanded the photographer discount his services by at least 25 percent with a special package to fans.

The photographers responded back asking if there was a missing zero in the stated number of followers. He noted 55,000 was hardly influential enough to demand thousands of dollars worth of free services.

That statement was deemed “appalling” by the social media darling’s publicist who announced the photographer was no longer considered to be “contenders to shoot what would have been a very lucrative wedding.”

Somehow, I suspect the business owner still slept well that night.

We’re all influencers

The truth is that we are all influencers. In everything we say or do – or don’t say or don’t do – we are subconsciously impacting people within our circles of influence. It may be our kids, our spouses, our friends, our co-workers, the folks at church, people on our sports teams, or our neighbors.

Many times our actions convey more about us than our words. We are constantly being watched and judged by others. So, shouldn’t we use our influence for good?

The problem with promoting a perfect lifestyle is that it’s unbelievable in the first place. Nobody lives a perfect life. Everyone struggles with something.

People don’t want to know that we’re perfect. They want to know that we are real. They want to know what we’ve faced and overcome. That way, because others know we overcame a challenge, they know they can, too.

For those people who truly consider themselves to be influencers, don’t they have a responsibility to influence people in ways that really matter, not just entice them to buy more junk they don’t need?

Be real. Seek justice. Promote truth. Inspire people to overcome challenges. Encourage others to be stronger. Ignite them to do the impossible.

That’s the type of life-changing influence people need to have on others. Not using influence to encourage broke people to spend money they don’t have to buy overpriced products just to make them “feel good.”

Look back on your own life. Of all the people who have positively influenced you, can you list a single celebrity, journalist, blogger or politician among them?

Yet, those are the very people constantly exalted for their ability to “influence” others. Their 15 minutes of fame should have ended years ago.

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Greg Gerber

A native of Wisconsin who moved to Arizona in 2009, Greg Gerber is a DODO -- Dad of Daughters Only -- to three grown daughters. He worked as a journalist for many years before pursuing a career as a faith-based writer, author, coach and speaker. Greg is the author of Pornocide: How Lust is Killing Your Faith, Stealing Your Joy and Destroying Your Life.

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