So I have a confession to make. I'm not Anna Saccone. Phew, I'm so glad I got that off my chest.
Okay, so most of you who read my blog already know that and you're already well aware of my being a completely separate person from Anna, however, it seems as I have gained followers on Instagram and Twitter, well, a lot of people tend to confuse the two of us. Maybe because we have similar names and are both blondes, but that's kind of where the similarities stop. Anna is probably about 30lbs lighter than I am. She's also mega-rich, has two children and over a million followers on Instagram. Me? Well, I'm just me...yet the fawning messages for Anna Saccone keep coming in on my Twitter and Instagram and have got me thinking a bit.
So, I forgive people if they are following both of us on Instagram and see a random photo on their feed with no people in it and suddenly think it is Anna Saccone. I mean, realistically, she would have far more likes on a picture in a matter of seconds than I would altogether, but since most of her fans are quite young, it seems that thought process isn't really a thing for them. Okay, I get it.
But sometimes it is just downright scary how much her fans want to believe they're on Anna Saccone's Instagram:
This has also happened to me on Twitter, but not as much as on Insta. And the fawning makes me slightly uncomfortable, even though it's not directed at me.
Once, I opened a direct message I got on Instagram, which came from a young girl thinking I was Anna Saccone. It read like this:
"I love your videos you give me insperation to make videos of my own tell emilia she is really cut and i get to no you even better when I'm older I won't to be thank you for showing me what life is like [name redacted] xxx" (sic)
Looking at her profile, I saw immediately that she was an 11-year-old girl who was clearly enamoured with the lifestyle of the SacconeJoly's. But what struck me the most was not that she felt like she knew them, that's rather common with these bigger YouTubers, but that she thought she would be getting to know them one day and that their life is normal. In a way, YouTubers and bloggers are normal folks who happen to live extraordinary lives, but the way that they live is by no means a "normal" existence. This isn't to put them down, as I do sometimes enjoy watching their videos, but do we, as social media influencers, have an obligation to show kids that how the SacconeJoly family lives is likely not how they will live one day? That going on holiday all of the time at fancy hotels isn't really normal?
The way kids idolize bloggers and YouTubers is a bit strange, if I'm honest and makes me feel a little bit uncomfortable. I've already had a few young kids telling me how much they love me since my Instagram got a little bit bigger (AFTER clarifying I wasn't Anna Saccone), and I wonder why? I have written books and am in the midst of getting a PhD, yet no child has told me they love me for that. Instead, they love me because they think I am pretty or because I run a blog and an Instagram--skills which anyone can learn...
What do you guys think?