‘Life influencers’ are only influencing people to think badly about themselves

December 3, 2021 — by Shaan Sridhar
Photo by @texasbrownie on TikTok
TikTok influencer @texasbrownie posts about her academic schedule, waking up tips and dating advice.

As a student in the thick of junior year, I find it almost impossible to stay organized. You can be as prepared as possible, but you’ll still be stressed. You can be as efficient as possible, but you’ll never be done with all of your work. 

The grind is never-ending, and with that follows a disastrous lifestyle. For some of us, it’s controllable or manageable. 

For most of us, myself included, it’s a catastrophic nightmare.

But that doesn’t mean I want the imperfections of my schedule shoved in my face during my limited leisure time. 

That leads me to social media “life skills” influencers — people like @texasbrownie, @emilymariko and @aatraining on TikTok. The bottom line is that they are not a fair standard to compare ourselves to — and it’s all fake anyway.

These influencers post videos of themselves waking up at 5 a.m., making a nutritious breakfast, going to a coffee shop to work distraction-free while sipping a goat milk latte, making a kale salad for dinner and miraculously going to sleep at 9 p.m. I’m also talking about the people who manage to reorganize their entire house every day. And, the people who somehow keep their bodies in peak fit condition at the same time.

But let’s face the truth: Most of these influencers do nothing but post these videos day and night. Their entire lives revolve around having a perfect schedule, aesthetic house or workout routine. 

They earn their living by showing off their desirable lives.

If I was paid to sleep on time and had no other responsibilities, I would. If I was paid to workout every day, I would. If I was paid to keep all my clothes perfectly folded and labeled, I would.

But I’m not. 

My full-time job is being a high-school student with a mountain of expectations from parents, classes and colleges. That job does not include perfect schedules, organization skills or workout routines; oftentimes, it works against these things.

 

Frankly, the only thing I’ve ever gained from watching these videos is an unhealthy dose of self-recrimination. I kept wondering: If these people can organize their lives so well, what’s wrong with me? The answer is that nothing was wrong with me, and nothing is wrong with most people.

To be fair, I can probably work on being more productive and more organized. I can probably achieve more of my goals if I prioritized things differently. But that’s independent of the “perfection” that life skills influencers preach. And most people don’t even need these perfect life skills — it’s OK if your closet is a little messy, or if you miss a gym day.

So, to all people who watch these videos, remember the difference between the influencers and you. Remember it’s not your job to appear perfect. Remember that everyone’s daily life is drastically different, and that it’s impossible to have a perfect daily life. And make sure to stop holding yourself to the standards of those whose primary job is to have that perfect daily life.

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