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Not Dead, But Dying
It's time to sell out and get out.
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The internet’s greatest shitposters are unmasking themselves in major media outlets, the surest sign ever that Twitter - the poster’s platform - is nearing its end. What does it say about a place when those who have built identities on anonymity, trading in the ludicrous and ridiculous, realise there’s only so much time left to make the most of it. The odds have been in their favour for a long time, but this slot machine is broken.
I won’t waste time on who Dril is, or ramble about how their identity has been known for a while. This is not the issue. What is apparent, though, is that the game is up. Souls are all for sale on Twitter, now, because there’s no point in saving face. Everyone has a book to publish; a newsletter to drive subscriptions to; an OnlyFans to raise cash flow. Whatever Twitter used to be is long gone — now it’s all about getting what you can from it. And that’s healthy. There used to be a certain amount of shame to it… Hell, things should’ve started that way. A bit more intelligence and self awareness about Just How Much these billion dollar platforms take without giving. We have a term for something that divides without control already: cancer.
Well I’ll try not to spend too much more time on that. It’s Friday and it has been a long week. I knew a millionaire, once, who was very open about it. And it was terrible.
Speaking of rich: looks like we’re hitting the latest news cycle around reclaimed and recovered Influencers. I read this profile with a certain amount of trepidation, because I knew what you all know deep down, too: none of these words really make sense. A friend in marketing once told me it doesn’t matter what it is, it matters what you call it. Yes, there are plenty of people who made a living on the internet, all looking to disconnect their own identity from it. But that ain’t nothing new.
We made a lot of mistakes in the 2010s, and one of those was how we talk about all of this. Influencing very quickly became a catchall to define anyone who made content for cash. Writing, taking photos, social media… Looking good. That has been a thing for a long time, kiddo. The truth is that Influencing has a lot more in common with Kim Kardashian and around one percent of the rest of That Class than it does with most of people given the label.
We are going to see Influencers move out of The Industry to do the same work, full time, for companies, and that is because the work they were doing and have been doing has always been just that: work.
There is life after Influencing as much as there is life after social media. It is all part of the same ugly pie, and it has never been more unbecoming to ask for a slice.
Look after yourselves, be kind. There is beauty everywhere. Life goes on.