Did I Become an Influencer?

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You may have seen me use the phrase or hashtag “Not an Influcer” in some of my social media profiles. Over the past year, however, I think I may have become a Christian influencer. I’m not sure I’m ready to embrace that moniker, even though I’ve been podcasting and using social media even longer since 2005.

As much as it pains me to admit this, I’m an influencer. I may not influence many people or even influence the right people, but, I’m an influencer. More specifically, I’m a Christian influencer.

Merriam-Webster defines an influencer as, “one who exerts influence or a person who inspires or guides the actions of others.” More specifically, it’s “a person who is able to generate interest in something (such as a consumer product) by posting about it on social media.”

If I’m being honest with myself, I’ve been doing this for 18 years through podcasting and social media. Truth be told, as Christians we should be influencers. We are to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16) but does that extend to convincing other Christians to buy certain products?

I don’t think it does and that’s why I’ve always felt uncomfortable calling myself an influencer, especially a Christian influencer. While capitalism has done great things for the world, it has also created a culture of greed and exploitation. I think “Christian capitalism” falls into some of the same traps.

It’s easy to get stuck in the Christian ghetto and think everything that’s labeled as “Christian” is good and valuable. I’ve done it too many times. Christian music, movies, podcasts, pickleball paddles, clothing, and more fill my timelines.

These peddlers of products reach out to me from time to time asking if I’ll join their influencer team. I was once part of an influencer network but had to bow out because it was clear that honest opinions weren’t what they were looking for.

I was never asked to change what I posted but I did notice that I was sometimes not included in some promotions after a not-so-stellar review or commentary.

Even the influencer network I’m in now sometimes sends me promotions that I don’t want to participate in because the product looks mediocre, at best.

I continue to struggle with this label of influencer but for now, I’ve decided to embrace it. And much like some musicians and writers, I’ll say I’m an influencer who is a Christian. That’s a compromise I’m happy with for now.


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Music: “Loopster” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License

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Music: “Loopster” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License

John

Husband, Dad, Podcaster, Blogger, Writer, and Speaker struggling every day to follow Jesus.

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