As a kid I wanted to be so many things. A doctor, an actress, an artist, a chef, and the list goes on. Looking back, not much has changed. Although I am not particularly interested in wanting to pursue any of those paths anymore, I am always looking at how I can include some of my interests in my career and the opportunities I take. In this age of technology and digital media, it is hard not to want to be so involved or be interested in many activites. We are fortunate to live in a day in age where we can do and be whatever we want. In the spirit of this, I have decided to try something new, something that will take me out of my comfort zone. I am going to try my hand at being an aspiring influencer.
In light of this, I know I have a long way to go before I get to where I want to be. I sat down with a fellow aspiring influencer and dear friend of mine, Laura Ramirez (you can find her on Instagram @lauraramirez___), to get some tips and insight on what it is like to be an aspiring influencer. One of the things we talked about was the process of getting started. I found myself relating to her struggle to get started when she talked about starting her YoutTube channel, doubting her own ability, and being scared of what the world might think of her. “That helped me build my confidence because, you know, it’s not like Snapchat, there is no filter. So it did help me just kind of step out, and be more confident in who I am”, said Ramirez.
In the past, I have recorded many videos trying to start a YouTube channel, yet I never had the confidence to put my raw and natural self out into the world. As someone who does use the occasional Snapchat filter, I can see how not being able to filter the way you appear to others can make you feel vulnerable. After talking with Ramirez, I realized that pushing past that initial fear of judgment is probably the hardest part of having an online presence.
When asked what struggles she has faced when creating an online presence, Ramirez claimed, “To be disciplined. I’m not as in touch with it as I would like to be, and a lot of that has to do with the fact that I am very busy with everything I do. So that would definitely be a struggle, time management.” Being a full-time college student, who is involved in different organizations, I felt that this was a really important aspect to highlight. As much as we want to be and do everything, finding the time and energy can be a setback, and I know it has been for me in the past. Something I have learned these past few years is how to manage my time so that I can tend to my health and wellness, as well as the things I want to pursue, through careful planning and scheduling. In the end, a big part of that is becoming organized and continually practicing organization, which is something that doesn’t come naturally to me but I work at it daily. Going into this experiment, I am keeping that same mindset in perspective.
Something that has held me back in the past from pursuing social media in a greater capacity than I am currently is my own perspective of social media. Previously I had viewed social media as this time-consuming feed of filtered profiles that weren’t authentic to real-life experiences. But recently, I have come to think of it as a platform that is what you make it. Although I feel like there will always be those filtered portrayals of life, which I have taken part in in the past, I think social media is an opportunity to engage with others in a unique way. “I think you should just focus on being a good human and being a good friend. I feel like when you do that then people will see you more than just for your fame or your appearance”, said Ramirez. It’s an opportunity to share your singular experiences, both good and bad. It is also an opportunity to spread positivity and inspire others, encourage others to make a change, and keep yourself accountable for doing the same.