Being an influencer is hard, but snapping the perfect selfie is not everything.
We talked about burnout before and the constant need to one up your old content as well as other influencers. We should also remind ourselves that we want to stay safe and stay objective to our content. We’ve already experienced over a year of Covid-19 whereby we could not be in the company of many of our close friends and family. As it appears that some of the virus has slowed down and influencers are traveling again, let’s take time to remind ourselves to continue to be safe.
A few recent events have popped up to our attention including the “Hello Grandma Grandpa” sign from the Tour de France.
Most likely not an influencer, but still someone that was hoping for a once-in-a-lifetime ‘gram’ put a sign up during the fabled bike race to say hello to her grandparents. The sign inched a bit too far into the roadway and caused a massive crash. Nearly half if not more of the cyclists went down and a few were not able to continue. Needless to say, this was taking the photo opportunity a bit too far.
During Covid we saw the influencers that wanted to get pictures and videos of them helping to board up stores for the pending potential riots that might happen. That intern was let go. We remember the influencer that destroyed artist Simon Birch’s exhibit in Los Angeles to the tune of $200,000. A number of other art installations have been ruined by selfie seeking patrons.
More recently we learned about Sofia Cheung who was known for taking precarious photos of herself balancing near cliffs and edges plunging to her death after losing her footing. Another woman in India lost her balance and fell into a popular waterfall, all while snapping selfies, earlier this year. Another selfie seeker fell off a high cliff in Turkey after crossing a security fence and slipping. These stories are all too familiar as distracted would-be photographers ignore signs, terrain, and safety in search of the perfect picture.
Despite these unfortunate deaths, the desire for the ultimate picture continues.
Travel influencer couple Positravelty have made headlines with their death defying pictures. Backpackdiariez have also caused controversy with their pictures. The list continues on. Many influencers say that they have used camera tricks in taking the pictures.
Norway has now passed a law saying that it must be disclosed if an influencer or advertiser used image editing software. While the law was passed to dissuade body shaming from unrealistic body expectations, the law could also apply to these pictures that some influencers are risking their lives for. Do you remember the student that traveled the world from the convenience of her own bedroom? (A graphic design student in Amsterdam tricked many of her friends and family by cleverly editing herself into images that made it appear like she was traveling through Southeast Asia.) Photo editing software has made leaps and bounds since then and can help influencers get that right photo, without risking their lives.
As influencers try to shock and awe to gain followers, we need to remember that safety is paramount.
If there is a way to edit yourself into certain situations it probably makes sense to do so. While we sometimes laugh at the ridiculousness of the disclaimer, Hollywood movies, especially reality films like “Jackass”, have to remind us to “not try this at home.” Most of the images you see are probably not real and even if they might be, remember this: there is no point and no need to risk one’s life to get the perfect picture, because that picture might be the last one that you take.