Icarus crashing and burning: Where are the social media “influencers” now?

Back in the day (just weeks ago, before COVID-19 came to be regarded as a force of social disruption to reckon with) the familiar social media “influencer” call to action would echo out into the social media ether on late Friday afternoons: “Weekend starts NOW!” Today that call to action would sound quaint at best, sad at worst.

The economic Icarus, Consumption, after daring to fly so close to the sun for years is now coming down for a hard crash. Its feathers, social media “influencers”, can be seen flitting down in disarray right behind it. The wax that kept these feathers fastened to Consumption’s once glorious wings are all but melted by the sun’s heat.

Like their snowflake cousins that float gently to the ground from the sky, Consumption’s feathers will come to a soft landing as well, fortunately for them. The frame of the wings that held social media “influencers” together and kept them flapping in unison so that irrational spending could soar to greater heights — the advertising and marketing industry — will crash hard into the ground along with Economy’s Icarus.

What then happens to these “influencers” once they alight in the real world that once served as a mere backdrop to their carefully-crafted fitness- and virtue-signalling selfies? After almost two decades sustained by money skimmed off the milk yielded by the consumption cow, these social media “professionals” may have to seriously consider a career change — and find themselves real jobs.

The trouble is, this pandemic is redefining the world and the very notion of “real jobs” itself is being rethought. When it comes down to what is essential in a business enterprise, for example, there are job roles — and entire departments, for that matter — that clearly could disappear tomorrow and not materially impact the core operations that keep a business’s lights on. Scale that out to society at large and the outlook becomes even more stark. A “lockdown” scenario on national scales we see today reveals which organisations are essential too. At the top of the pyramid are the so-called “frontliners” that comprise these organisations — health workers, police officers, soldiers, farmers, carpenters, butchers, plumbers, electricians, and machinists among others — who provide the basic products and services. They keep people fed, care for the sick, maintain order, keep the lights on, keep water flowing in and out, and build stuff. They are the final engines of an economy.

Social media “influencers” are at the extreme polar end of a spectrum at the other end of which society’s true frontliners toil. They are parasites that now scrounge around for relevance in the new — hopefully, temporary — world we now live in. What to do with them when they no longer make compelling personalities to “follow” now that the beach resorts, fashion labels, designer jet-set lifestyles, and chi chi restaurants they hawk no longer fill polite conversation in households where happiness has been reduced to a stash of toilet paper?

Scratch that last question. It is a question about a community who are no longer relevant and are paying for the irrational exuberance and conspicuous consumption they helped spin into a storm that had achieved a perfection that is resulting in its own downfall.

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38 Comments on “Icarus crashing and burning: Where are the social media “influencers” now?”

  1. 1) There is no downfall just a temporary lockdown becuase there is a once in a milleniumn event.

    2) Another example of a useless job – blogger

    3)Just because you’re too plain-looking to monitize your face dont hate on others who are able to

    4) You dont make policy based on a exceedingly rare event. Remembr in 2018 you predicted doom for social media influncers due to peso depreciation? Wrong prediction they thrived and made more money than us.

      1. LOL @greengrinatroll

        @greengrin makes very good points. Youre the troll for not offering up any good logic / fact based counter-arguments.

        Just like your chi-chi boss benign0, who is known for making things up with NO DATA to back him up. Even his “logic” based arguments are substantially flawed and go against kindergarden level common sense and economic theory.

        I mean how can he know anything about the Philippines and the situation of the country when he is based in AUSTRALIA?!?! He is spitting out mindless MARCOS / CHINA propaganda because he is paid to do so.

        And Sheep like you @greengrinatroll and @hayden, lap it all up. LAP it all up. No critical thinking whatsoever. Blah Blah Blah aquino Blah Blah Blah yellow Waaaa Waaa Waaa we should have “discipline”

        Don’t be jealous of influencers just coz they are pretty ;p

        1. @Darth the YellowTard:

          I do not lap on anybody’s blog. I never even mind your blog, if it is with sense or nonsense …it is yours to keep.

          You are a nuisance here…why not find a real job and earn your living ? Anyway, YellowTard trolls are financed by the oligarchs and the Aquinos…

  2. Nothing is permanent in this world of ours…this is a world of change. What maybe the most important job, person, or thing today, maybe useless tomorrow.

    Social Media influencers, also have their good times…the same as “prostitute journalists” , “fake news journalists” , propaganda machines/media of politicians , and all kinds of “human rights wannabees”. They had their times, and theyl soon shall fade away…

    As our civilization is ravaged from pandemic diseases, like the COVID 19..we hope that we shall become better people. That terrorism , and religious fanaticism, shall soon end and soon be remove from the face of this Planet Earth. That , useless and corrupt politicians and “”swapang na oligarchs” shall soon be things of the past…That the Filipino Mafiosi, headed by the Mafiosi Don : Jose Maria Sison , masquerading as CPP/NPA, and their front line leftists groups, shall soon crash like “Icarus” – we don’t need them anyway, they are nuisance and parasites of our society.

    Share with me this optimism, that most of us will become better !

  3. What a dumb article. I lost a few braincells trying to read this.

    The only PARASITE here benign0 is you. Pointing fingers and they all point back.

    You are a China’s PARASITE to the philippines as you spew your useless commie rhetoric against a country you don’t even live in.

    You are a Parasite to Australia as you live in COMFORT in a democratic first world country while secretly loving dictatorships, martial law and the violation of human rights.

    You suck money from CHINA because its obvious that thanks to me , and pinoy citizen and now greengrin exposing your hypocrisy , your blog readership is going down and all along with all the ad revenue with it.

    The Church has already labeled GRP as a FAKE NEWS cite. Hopefully you get kicked out of Google’s algorithms and join your buddies at 4chan.

    Don’t blame the influencers just coz your panget.

      1. Once again benign0 refuses to BACK-UP his arguments with any data whatsoever.

        Why were you blacklisted by the Church specifically for FAKE news?!?

        You antagonize Maria Ressa and ABS re: foreign ownership , but we have no idea about YOUR source of funding for GRP

        Why did you shit on the late Carlos Celdran for not sticking to his guns by fleeing to Spain , When you yourself are LIVING IN AUSTRALIA benign0?!?!?!

      2. Why were you blacklisted by the Church specifically for FAKE news?!?

        Good question. I don’t know myself. Why don’t you ask them or look around the net for their basis for doing so and the criteria they apply to that conclusion? I’m honestly as interested to find out as you are.

        1. I think its pretty simple why…

          Because you do spread FAKE NEWS.

          But I mean you’re not a journalist right benign0? You’re not beholden to the journalist oath. You’re just a chi-chi blogger? Who gives a shit about “facts” when its all about the *clicks*?

          I’ve asked for your sources before and you said you don’t need to provide them coz your just a chi-chi blogger… way to wash your hands clean and claim *victim* (ohh the irony!) at the same time

      3. I think its pretty simple why…

        Because you do spread FAKE NEWS.

        In short you have no basis then. You seem to be trapped inside your own circular argumentation thread here.

        1. benign0: Says something questionable

          Darth M the wise: hey what’s your source for that? Wanna back it up?

          benign0: Nope , no source. It just is.

          Darth M the wise: What?! How can you have no source? Shouldn’t you check something before promoting it online in a public forum?

          benign0: Nope, not really.

          Darth M the wise: That’s really irresponsible and against journalism ethics

          benign0: I’m not a journalist. I’m a chi-chi blogger. It’s my blog, I do what I want!

          Darth M the wise: If you can’t cite your source or facts, then its probably fake news

          benign0: Waaaaah Waaaaaah. I’m oppressed. FB and Maria Ressa are oppressing me because they want me to follow some basic standards!

        2. Seems someone here is still trying to tell everyone that blogs are ‘journalistic pieces’. They’re not

          You keep on accusing people who had different views and opinions are ‘fake news’. That’s very immature and childish.

        3. @Dilaw M:

          It seems you never answered his question, thus proving his point. And no, what the CBCP did is utterly ridiculous. And that was 3 years ago.

          GetRealPhilippines.com is not a “fake news” site. How can it be when we do not even presume to be a producer of news? What we do publish are opinions. Our work is subject to public scrutiny and our comment threads are open to anyone who wishes to challenge the positions any of our writers take on any issue. We have yet to see anyone successfully debunk any of our views and discredit any position we have taken. Nonetheless we continue to encourage all who find our views disagreeable to prove us wrong. We are one of the oldest political sites in the Philippines. Our longevity attests to the strength of our brand as a trusted source of insights on Philippine society. We were a blog long before posting on Facebook was referred to as “blogging”.

          Further reading: https://www.getrealphilippines.com/2017/10/cbcp-became-source-fake-news-published-list-fake-news-sites/

    1. “Don’t blame the influencers just coz your panget.”

      Ha Ha. argumentum ad pandemicum…

      No offense meant to anyone, but, this last line is infectiously funny it got me into a soft suppressed laugh which brought me straight back to the ephemeral joys of childhood in my state of seriousness and self-quarantine.

  4. Maybe “unreal” jobs have emerged because of an unreal economy. Isn’t technology supposed to make work more efficient? So that nobody gets left behind?

  5. Somehow, SOMEHOW. With the shit show in the Philippines.

    benign0’s and GRPs main point of concern and targets are Vico Sotto and the “influencers”.

    * How about all the politicians that got VIP treatment and jumped the line for covid testing?!?
    * How about all the PPE stuck at customs desperately needed by philippines medical staff
    * How about Alan Peter Cayetano and his ilk refering to themselves as “front liners”
    * How about Koko pimental endangering everyone’s lives….by having a positive test result and galavanting around. No punishments here.

    None of these issues deserve merit worth talking about?

    No benign0 targets the influencers. Damn those influencers ruining the philippines right benign0?!?
    And you want martial law? These politicians should be put in charge even more? Commandeer private businesses?

    Yeah damn those oligarchs right benign0?!? I dunno that oligarch , Manny “MVP” who owns Makati Med. F— that guy right benign0? We should nationalize Makati Med, and put politicians like Koko Pimentel in charge!

    Take your head out of the AUSTRALIAN sand you China loving commie.

      1. LOL. Typical benign0 response.

        You portray yourself as an intellectual who has a solution for the Philippines problems. BUT YOU KNOW NOTHING!

        When confronted with FACTS and counter logic you cross your arms like a petulant child.

        benign0: ” Pinoys need to strive for excellence , be less emotional and more logical”
        also benign0: “*Waaaaah I dont need to provide facts coz I’m not journalist Waaaah* It’s my blog I can write whatever fake news I want Waaaaah”

        Shut the f up about the Philippines! Take your dirty dirty Marcos money with you and have a nice life in Australia

        owned.

        1. Maybe you should shut the fuck up about everything because you’re placing your hatred at almost everything because only kids like you think that the whole world revolves around them.

          Perhaps to you, opinions are ‘facts’. Seems you never believe about free will and thought that everyone should have the same thoughts and beliefs as you, since you’re the one here who is stating ‘facts’.

          You’re already owned. Especially when you put your Anti-Chinese, anti-Duterte rants in a Glitz and Glamour section. That’s stupidity at its worse.

          You’re just like the leftists/commies in the US, whining about Donald Trump. Instead about learning their lesson about shutting down people or silence them, they double it down. Now you’re doing the same thing.

        2. This comment was done by a five-year old who doesn’t know the difference between fact and opinion and treated any blog as a ‘journalistic piece’.

          You accuse the author being a China-loving commie while you refuse to admit being a commie yourself. Don’t tell me the noisy activists outside the streets are not commies. News flash: they are.

      2. Lol. So funny benign0. SO FUNNY…

        Your response is basically a
        “Eh di wow! Ikaw na!” response lol!!!!!!!

        The hypocrisy is funny. I guess the so-called intellectual falls back on the typical pinoy response he hates so much.

        E DI WOW!!!!!!!!!!

        1. @benign0
          I wasn’t laughing “with” you

          Typical Dilaw M response. Everything you’ve said is “spam”. Until the author is done with you, enjoy it while it lasts.

  6. I don’t think there really should be an issue. I would rather these so called “influencers” shut up at this point in time as they could “share” wrong (medical) information or wrong advice that their followers will believe, hook, line and sinker.

    But, I don’t think they are going to go away. On the contrary, I think it will just make retail stores/malls less frequented in more “connected markets” (online shopping will thrive more). The influencers will still end up getting brand support, albeit later after the companies that do provide them marketing budgets manage to get back up and running.

    The shuttering of retail locations will continue as the market continues to evolve where they have started evolving. Instead of retail, your assistants will be more in the warehouse/storage facilties/distribution centers of your orders.

    With the shift to automation as these companies would want to lower their expenses with operations (manpower), even those jobs are in danger of being cut. So the danger is actually for the blue collar jobs.

    The influencers are currently going through a downturn in their income/revenue stream, but you could also see that as ad revenue of youtube/vimeo/kindle unlimited authors for their page read revenue as it tends to happen. Though this case of downtrend in income is a big deal, it affects not just the influencers, but everyone.

    I do appreciate some of your articles here in GRP but I don’t quite get some which seem to just have a vendetta against a group of individuals or specific “names”.

    I will still continue to read here as you provide your perspective, but I do hope this type of article is avoided.

  7. Mainstream products haven’t really improved. A lot of them are redundant and substandard in quality. Probably because of the need to mass produce… or the lack of good material.

  8. The reference to the story and concept of Icarus’ f/plight isn’t just limited to these so called social influencers either. To ignore beyond just that blogsphere of influence is likely to put a blind eye to the striking parallel, the striking resemblance of arrogance to that continued deception in public service.

    There are officials, in a desire to push an agenda, simply can’t wait for their due recognition from the people that they will have to go out of their way for its fulfillment. They are no different, as far as, when it comes to their complacency and hubris is concerned.

    In these times of threat of Covid-19 pandemic, while real frontliners attend to our needs and the people rally in support behind them, we have clowns who doesn’t want to be left behind for attention. We hear them brag about it, loud and clear.

    Either to have themselves compared to actual COVID-19 frontliners and/or to address future electoral winnability even when it’s still too early for political campaign in 2022:

    “Together with doctors and frontliners, we went to work for you, so please stay at home for us.”

    “We are the only local government unit [that] came up with the Infectious Disease Center. It was done and planned to address future viruses.”

    (It’s funny, when according to news reports, other LGUs have done that ahead of them! So that LGU’s not the only one.)

    It is not that difficult to discern, that it can escape one’s attention, provided we approach it with a wide and open perspective and without personal bias. This tragic theme of failure (in public service, even in opinion blogs) at the hands of hubris, is alive and real.

  9. that’s why these frontliners should have higher paygrade. they are the backbone of every economy. I can also say that im proud of my WFH because i work for a BPO. It’s good we have the “Business Continuity Plan” activated. I continue to work to earn money and pay tax for the economy which will be used for funding hospitals (hopefully not to fund the pockets of these politicians).

  10. @Don Revie
    ” the strength of our brand as a trusted source of insights on Philippine society”

    LOL what “insights”? You have no data to back anything up. Nothing scientific or logical about your thinking. Just a decade of endlessly spewing bullshit.

    Freakin Marcos money is able to support GRP with under the table money. How can you have multiple authors when you barely have any views?!?!

    Glad to see the sheeeeeeeep come in defense of master dummy benign0.

    You remind me of Joma Sison’s die-hard followers. Your boy is lapping it up in Australia. While all the dumb brainless sheep suffer the consequences of his stoopid ideaology

    1. You’re more of a sheeeeeeeeeeeep than the people you’re talking against. Time and time again, you’ve proven that you’re just a whiny little bitch who had the mind of the five year-old who thinks that there is no such thing as “opinions”.

      And where’s the ‘Marcos money’ that you’re talking about when the majority of their assets are frozen. You have to admit: you also receive ‘Aquino money’ every time you’re doing this spam bullshit. I say this because ‘Aquino money’ is much more bigger, just like the amount of money he borrowed in a span of 6 years, which is USD 89 Billion. Your point?

      You remind me of Joma Sison’s die-hard followers. Your boy is lapping it up in Australia. While all the dumb brainless sheep suffer the consequences of his stoopid ideaology

      Look who’s talking. Leftism and communism go hand in hand. You’re no different to those Joma Sison’s die-hard followers since all they do is to attack people for raising their opinion or even worse, shutting them down or silence them. Like those people, you never believe in the exchange of ideas and you never believe on different views and different opinions. That, son, is stooopid.

      Set your priorities for once, hypocritical leftist sheep.

    2. Why don’t you admit that you’re also one of Joma Sison’s die-hard followers, you leftist cuck? Heck, those student activists on the streets are also his sheep. Kabataan Partylist, Akbayan, KMU, SCMP, Bayan Muna, etc. you name it. Don’t tell me these groups aren’t.

  11. I don’t know but I find myself checking some of the “lifestyle and travel” influencers on youtube right now. Watching them makes you feel some sort of relief and freedom.

  12. Honestly, benign0, a bit too hyprocritical to be enraged at bloggers when you yourself is a blogger. I mean no disrespect, and you have a lot of insightful ideas, but I believe there is a lot of stereotyping here. There is so much I’ve learned with the ins and outs of tech as a software programmer that it is much more complex than you think. Not all blogs have to do with shallow things such as posting “selfies” of fashion you wear, or showing off expensive things like cars, it is much more than that.

    Here are some examples of other types of blogs :

    1. Physical health blogs made by certified doctors who give advice on certain diseases, especially the ones such as cancer or heart diseases.
    2. Mental illness blogs made by a certified psychologist or someone who’ve experienced the same symptoms before, that prevent a lot of suicidal people from taking their lives.
    3. Free technical information online on subjects such as science or math that teach education to people who cannot afford a place to learn it that is more expensive. There are even free textbooks as ebooks online.
    4. People like the GRP blog here who also mention a lot of their opinions on politics from research.
    5. Parenting blogs sharing advice on how to raise children, without abusing them, but not spoiling them either.
    6. Financial blogs on how to save as much money as possible, and get a job if you’re consistently unemployed. This is great advice for those with a lack of money.
    7. Various blogs made by non-profits dealing with causes such as racism or poverty.

    And so on and so on. As you can see, there are limited ways to use social media for good things. It is simply that people overuse it or use it for completely shallow ideas.

    1. Thanks for the stocktake on the blogosphere. Do agree there are many sorts of bloggers who blog about different topics. My article refers primarily to those who blog to influence purchasing decisions.

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