As a former photographer, I like to think I can spot digital manipulation from a mile away. I’ve used Photoshop and GIMP for years to edit photos for clients. I have spent thousands of hours using those apps to train my eye without me being completely aware.
There’s a brand of lipstick I really like and the color on the model looked fabulous. In my cart, it goes! Imagine my surprise, no, SHOCK at finding out the model, who has a huge Insta following, was not a real person. Shudu is one of the first digital supermodels/influencers in the world and I couldn’t tell. I felt a little duped.
I was squarely seated on my high horse until logic knocked me off. There was no difference in what I did as a photographer. I took photos, people paid me, I edited the photos and presented them with enhanced images.
I removed pimples and moles from senior photos.
I slimmed the mother-of-the-bride.
I filled in the hair of the proud, but follically-challenged dad.
I was an influencer (Pearl clutch.)
Here’s the definition: An influencer is simply someone who influences others’ buying decisions…In marketing parlance, an influencer is someone who causes others to make specific consumer decisions. (https://www.commpro.biz/what-it-means-to-be-an-influencer/)
I want to be clear. Being an influencer is not wrong, not underhanded, nor is it unethical. I start almost every class with the words, “Everybody wants your money BUT it’s up to you where you spend it.” You can’t fault influencers for simply doing their job but you can be savvy about how you spend your money. Here are some guardrails that may help you stay on track.
Just before bedtime is when people tend to be highly suggestible. If it’s been a particularly challenging day, and/or you’ve made a lot of decisions and just feel like you need a treat…watch out. Don’t be sucked in by infomercials, shopping channels or the “Buy now because we’ll be sold out of the green velour pajamas with purple polka dots any minute” hard sell tactic.
I’m from Philadelphia and was missing home when I bought a soft pretzel maker and dough mix at one o’clock in the morning. Fours years later when we were packing to move, my husband found it (still in the box) and asked, “What’s this?”. I mumbled something and ran to another room.
Ahhh…okay, then you’re safe. NO, YOU’RE NOT! Scrolling is how I found the amazing lipstick. A line from the documentary, The Social Dilemma; “If you’re paying for the product, then you are the product.” Algorithms are learning your scrolling and shopping habits and can sway you in scarily precise ways. Scrolling seems like an innocuous act but you’re building a habit, strengthening muscle memory. Things you can do rather than scroll? Read a book, call someone you love, and one of my favorites, look at old family photos. Whatever will redirect your focus from spending money is fantastic. Find your alternate happy place.
I know, I know…I bang this drum a lot but I’ll continue to do so until the whole world (an ambitious goal) repeats this mantra with me: Use a budget!
Make a budget, maintain your budget, update your budget and stick to your budget. Budgets can save you a world of hurt when you follow them. How do you ask?
Knowing that you are being influenced every day is the best weapon to hold onto your precious coins. If you need help with money matters, we are here. Contact us today for a free financial assessment with one of our certified credit counselors.
Consumer Education Services, Inc. empowers people to overcome their financial challenges and lead financially-healthy lives.
CESI is NOT A LOAN COMPANY