Wednesday, November 21, 2018

To Be an Influencer & Links a la Mode November 22nd

Social media and online presence is ever changing. Undoubtedly, it never goes away. Everything you do is archived. Somewhere.


But how we engage, who we follow, or like, where and how we comment and what that means and how we do it all, is always changing. Its dizzying, really. And always frustrating. Anyone who's trying to use these platforms to engage with other bloggers, brands, etc has a story about how algorithms have made things challenging. It's part of having an online presence or being a blogger. And it can suck the life and fun out of what we're doing.


Okay, not using this post to rant, I promise. What I also wanted to chat about was how labels are always changing, too. I wrote about this before when I noticed that the term fashion blogger was reserved for those professional bloggers with a far greater reach than I had. At this time, the term style blogger emerged and it seemed far more accurate a term for me.


At that time, the term influencer was starting to be used, too. I hardly gave it any thought really because I didn't see how what I was doing was going to influence anyone. I write because it's a  hobby, essentially. I love playing dress up and expressing myself through my clothes. I have a lot of fun with it.


A few weeks back, I was invited to attend The Runway Hong Kong's annual fashion show highlighting local labels at The Hive in Kennedy Town. I'd also recently taken part in a little shoot with Redress HK as part of their promo for their upcoming pop up shop. I was invited to take part as an ambassador. It was in these weeks that I realised that the term influencer was being used to describe me. And, as I reflect on it, I guess my experiences do sound similar to those of other influencers. Catherine of Not Dressed as Lamb wrote about it here and I found her post really relatable to my own work, especially as she described the experiences of 'hobby bloggers'.


So, the real question that I began to ponder (always having these bouts of introspection) was this; if I'm an influencer, how am I influencing people? What do people who follow me understand about what I value? What do I want to encourage people to do? To be honest, it felt suddenly very daunting.


I don't know that I have the answer fully, but I will share this. At the core of what I do and who I am is a teacher. It's my nature. It's how I nurture my children. So I use this platform here (and my classroom and being a mother) to help people learn to be confident in their beliefs and in who they are. To find ways to express themselves and not to be afraid of mistakes or failure as they learn to do this. I want them to understand that the choices we make impact our future generations, especially those related to our environment. So we need to do better. 

It's a little known fact here on my blog that what I spend most time doing these days is digging in the rubbish and recycling in order to teach kids about recycling. Or talking to them about the value of a secondhand wardrobe and upcycling along with the consequences of fast fashion and over consumption, etc. Of all the things I do lately, this one feels most important. 

I hope that I'll be able to use my influence for this most of all.


Links à la Mode, November 22nd, 2018

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