The struggles of creators in the digital space: Ankit Agarwal, Founder, Do Your Thng
Every influencer, at some point, ends up struggling for air in an ocean of haters and trolls because of their content, writes Ankit Agarwal, Founder, Do Your Thng
The digital natives who don’t depend on social media for their bread & butter can’t even imagine the world of pain content creators face. Navigating the digital space mean running into roadblocks, several of them.
Covering all the challenges in a one-page article is impossible; even attempting it would be hubris on our part. That said, there are a handful of struggles that every creator in the digital spaces faces.
The Trials Of Working In The Creative, Online Industry
When you are continuously in the public eye, it takes a severe psychological toll, especially when social platforms are your primary source of income. There is enough evidence (read: #StatusOfMind report) of the impact social networks have on influencers to fill a warehouse.
The Consuming World of Social Media
Facebook envy and Instagram anxiety are real. When work (and pleasure) revolves around networking sites, the urge to pick up a device and scroll through the feed is near-constant. Oft-times it is done unthinkingly. This compulsion is the tip of the consuming world of social media. Dig deeper and you see a force field around the content creator that gives birth to the unending challenges creators grapple with every day.
Struggles Of Influencer Life
The first type of struggle creators come to terms with – the online space is predatory. Bullying, teasing and rudeness are an inherent part of it.
Every influencer, at some point, ends up struggling for air in an ocean of haters and trolls because of their content.
When someone (or several someones) are disparaging your work, night and day; it leads to anxiety, insecurity, loneliness and, in severe cases, depression.
The additional effect:
It’s not just others that disapprove of an image you posted or video you made. A creator’s own mind is also not a safe space. How did their beach photos come out flawlessly? How did they get a collaboration with a brand? When will I get as many followers? These are questions that run like a ticker-tape.
Let’s say the creator has learnt to handle or ignore the first challenge. They now stand against the fight for recompense.
Two forces come into play here – a flood of content on the internet eroding the value of creative work and brands thinking they can skim on payment with impunity.
As an influencer, you struggle to pay monthly bills because you’re either working for free or peanuts. How many do you think can afford to continue a career till it achieves gainful momentum?
Lack of Time
The influencer is now working with sufficient, paying brand and the digital space decides to throw the next test - time.
At a particular stage of influencer life, the creator is up to their eyeballs in work. Since it’s the brands which bring in the moolah, they can’t afford to put the work on the backbench.
Your own content gets pushed back - content that is unique and extremely valuable because it attracted your followers in the first place. The insufficiency of time breeds the biggest challenge for creatives in the digital industry – plummeting creativity.
The final effect:
In the race to create for a brand and yourself. The focus shifts from what’s true to your identity to let’s-make-something that simply earns money. It’s here when the very last struggle rears its ugly face – an absence of authenticity.
Avoiding The Toxicity Of Social Media
Social Media is not the content creator’s enemy. It is the people who inhabit the digital space who make it toxic. Fortunately, that’s people like you and us. It implies that as long as everyone uses social media with positive intent, it can become a better place.
While struggles like getting recognised for your work and managing time get better with experience, the challenges unique to social media require a special touch. If you’re facing a crisis online, these are some more strategies to de-stress your socials.
Beyond The Social Media Struggle, Lies A Supportive Community
Denying the obstacles creatives face, especially on social platforms, is foolish and imprudent. But it is not all of it. Once you cross the Rubicon, you’ll find that the digital world is a community of supportive people ready to help find your self-expression. It is your intent and how you use the space that defines the outcome.
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