It’s no surprise that these are the times for social media influencers to thrive. It’s 2019 and the internet is the place to be if you want exposure. Everyone and their mom has some form of social media, including Instagram. Speaking of Instagram, there’s a trend that I’ve been wanting to address for quite some time now. I feel like I already have a consistent “unpopular opinion” if you will when it comes to the platform as a whole. I don’t fall into the “more, more, more” market, I don’t advertise a maximalist lifestyle. In fact I don’t really do anything in regards to excess consumerism. Have we worked with brands? Sure. Have we shared product that companies have sent in exchange for a post? If we 100% stand behind it, yes. Did I receive compensation? Not at all, and even if I did that was never our ULTIMATE goal for our community building plan. I digress…

Every time you log onto Instagram you’re bombarded with incessant ‘swipe up’s’ and excessive amounts of un-boxing stories. Before I continue I want to put it out there that I am in no way, shape, or form bashing influencers. We will be the first to cheer you on when you’re supporting your family, putting food on the table, and stashing away a few bucks into savings. HOWEVER, I want to touch base on a shift we believe needs to take place across the board to ensure we are living full lives that don’t feel like a never ending infomercial.

We all crave authenticity and honesty, but sometimes when money is involved, that can create a detour in our original plan and vision. Our morals are pushed to the side, and ‘selling ourselves out’ if you will takes precedence over valuable content.

I’ve said it once, I’ll say it a million times on This Minimal House; Consumerism is OUT.OF.CONTROL. If you’re not buying the latest and greatest, you are behind in the game. We live in a society where home decor is being swapped out monthly just to keep up with the Target shelves. I have specifically noticed several influencers that add items for you to ‘swipe up’ on that they never even purchased. Read that again guys, NEVER EVEN PURCHASED. THIS is the shift I’m referring to that needs to happen to put our values and morals back in place. If you’re not personally using these items in your life and home, why share them to begin with? Want to know our opinions on the latest Instagram trick? Swipe up’s with a blank screen ‘raving’ about an item not shown until you “swipe up”.

That is hands down one of the most deceitful ways, in our opinion, to convey yourself as an influencer. Whether you’re doing a blind swipe up on a piece of furniture, a pair of shoes, over priced clothing…what is your goal. What is your purpose? At the end of the day how did you contribute to making the world a better place than it was yesterday? Our personal goal as micro influencers is to ensure you are getting the most out of your life, mostly in the form of sharing our love of minimalism. Speaking of minimalism, if you’re new here make sure to check out our “Journey to Minimalism” post, which goes into detail about why we chose to pursue this lifestyle.

To us it’s absolutely INSANE that anyone would just blindly recommend materialistic items to make a few bucks. I want to jump into the audience that these influencers are marketing to. They’re marketing to stay at home moms, younger to middle aged women who might be a little bit more easily influenced to ‘fit in’ to what everyone else is currently loving. As a nation we wonder why the debt to income ratio is so astronomical.

“Are you a bored stay at home mom that is feeling lonely scrolling through Instagram?” Well then, why not buy this new purse or pair of pants someone threw on their ‘swipe up’. Are you a blogger trying to fit in with other bloggers that have a larger following? Why not start buying everything they’re shilling out to ‘prove’ you’re just as worthy? You home and wardrobe will be on point, no doubt, but will your heart be as full?

Let’s just into some cold hard facts…

In November 2017, the Federal Reserve announced that our revolving debt, which is mostly credit card debt, reached an all-time high of $1.02 trillion, soaring past the revolving debt Americans held in April 2008, right before the recession.
— https://www.studentdebtrelief.us/news/average-american-debt-2017/

That’s just referencing credit cards, you still have to factor in auto loans, student loans, and mortgages.

So why are we still caving into the pressure of ‘more, more, more’? Our personal opinion is that we’re battling a mental health issue and the cure is taking shape in the form of materialistic items, aka shopping, aka a temporary band-aid of happiness. Here’s a hint, the high you get from shopping and spending is always short lived and ultimately full of emptiness. There’s always something greater than your recent purchase waiting around the corner for you. It’s a game you’ll never truly be able to conquer.

Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.—43.8 million, or 18.5%—experiences mental illness in a given year.
— https://www.nami.org/learn-more/mental-health-by-the-numbers

We firmly believe that if companies would shift their morals they would have the opportunity to make a larger impact. Instead of focusing on monetary gain, why not focus on how something in this world could be improved. Make every step you take serve a greater purpose.

One company that This Minimal House recently partnered with was Sol Organics. Sol Organics is a certified organic non-GMO bedding company that also offers bath towels and select baby items. When they initially reached out to Scot and I we did extensive research on their company and what they stand for. There’s absolutely no reason for us to accept a product from them if they don’t offer something positive to this Earth. One HUGE deciding factor that encouraged us to partner with them is there fight to completely eradicate child labor! I encourage you to read more about their values HERE.

Another company we recently partnered with was Bisou Natural. They sell all natural bamboo activated charcoal air freshener bean bags. When they initially reached out to Scot and I, we once again looked into their product and what they stood for. Could we benefit from this product? Absolutely! Did we love that it was all natural and toxin-free? 100%! BUT we don’t want to accept a product unless it will be making a greater impact on this planet. Bisou Natural plants a tree for every single air freshener bag purchased. Guys. That is so amazing and commendable.

Let’s get back to our original thoughts on ‘What kind of influencer do YOU want to be’! These companies we have worked with are making a difference, therefore we feel 100% about sharing these products and companies because then we are contributing to making a larger positive impact. Money is always the icing on the cake when it comes to financially supporting your family, but I urge you to look at the bigger picture of what we’re dealing with here. Shift your media kits to reflect that need and desire. Put your heart before the product and paycheck if it isn’t going to be fulfilling. You have the opportunity to make a DIFFERENCE, and that difference CAN change the world. Next time you partner with a brand, make sure your values align and you are 100% CONFIDENT in promoting that product/brand.

Ask yourself what kind of influencer you want to be! Don’t stray away from your values and morals for money. Trust me, you’ll feel emptier than you did to begin with.

*If you loved this post, or related to this post, or know someone that is completely blinded by the ‘more, more, more’ mentality, I encourage you to share this post on your social media. Tag them, share your own personal thoughts on this topic! Spread the word so we can start shifting the playing field of social media.