You May Have Contracted the Lethal Influencerza

(Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash)

There’s no cure

The world is in the grip of a silent but deadly killer. This new disease is the latest entrant to the ‘lifestyle disease’ category (literally), and it prides itself on always being the newest and shiniest virus on the block.

It is everywhere you look, if only you know what to look for. Do not listen to those telling you these symptoms are just normal ‘teenage’ behavior; it counts amongst its victims all age groups from toddlers to the golden oldies. Once you see it, you can’t unsee it — be that as it may, your fondest desire (beware the itch to scratch out your eyes and your brain all at one go).

So, what are the symptoms?

Though the disease has many variants (listed subsequently in order of perceived importance), there are some common symptoms that can help in early detection:

  1. You automatically introduce yourself to other people using your follower count (that has been obsessively checked three seconds ago): Miss. Tiffany, 5.32K followers on Insta, 3.12K on Snap, and 300 on Twitter (because why not).
  2. You have an ‘aesthetic’ for your ‘grid.’ If you understand these terms, it’s already too late for you.
  3. You are intimately familiar with tagging etiquette. #ootd #instapic #babesofinsta
  4. You own at least three square frames in shades of peach with Hallmark sayings written in cursive.
  5. You only know 30 seconds of each song, but hey — they are the best 30 seconds.
  6. You couldn’t recognize your unfiltered face if it stared back at you from the bathroom mirror — it’s been a while.
  7. Your new best friend is handy with a camera. They also have their own #photography page. The two of you define symbiotic relationships for the next decade.
  8. You don’t just go out to malls or restaurants; you ‘location hunt.’
  9. You think ‘exposure’ is the biggest currency, much trendier and more valuable than bitcoin. Why won’t people just accept it as a currency and not run behind actual money??!!! Just can’t with this greed.


The virus has mutated into various recognizable variants. Some of the most prevalent ones are:

  1. Mom Blogger: As the name suggests, its victims are newly minted moms. Specific symptoms include an itch to feature cute babies, whether owned or rented, and a proclivity to reproduce at the drop of a hat.
  2. Family Blogger: This is a double mutation of the mom blogger and affects both partners in a marital union. Apart from the symptoms associated with the mom blogger, watch out for two surefire signs that you have been infected with the deadlier mutation — you have more than 2 kids younger than 5, and you plan for certain days to represent the perfectly organized yet relatable ‘days in the life,’ struggling to but always achieving the delicate balance between fatigue and gratitude (for the camera of course).
  3. Food Blogger: A very different variant, this one manifests as a tendency to buy charcuterie boards and crockpots. Beware of flying chef’s knives aimed at your head.
  4. Fashion Blogger: If you find yourself using the drapes as a summery blouse and your underpants as a fascinator, you may be a victim. If you start looking further than your closet though, for example using drinking straws as earrings or chocolate as a bronzer, you know you’re a goner.

But where did this disease come from?

As for all good things, you can blame the Romans for this one too. It turns out that sexy strappy sandals are not the only major contribution the Gladiators had — they were also the first known victims of this disease. Really.

The next known recurrence of the disease came amongst another famous group of people, the celebrities of yore, the Royalty. It was a simple tea-set, but which transformed into ‘Queensware’ for the marketing campaign.

And once the sturdy Gladiators and the stoic Royals have fallen, what hope did the rest of humanity have?

How does it spread?

Thankfully, this disease can only be spread in four known ways. The mode of transmission of the Influencerza is by forcing people to:

  1. Watch friends mutate into Influencers with 300 followers, tempting you with free diapers and shampoos;
  2. Be asked for something in exchange for ‘exposure’, thus forcing you to pay the loss forward;
  3. See Reels and Snaps devoted to the jerkiest dance moves, luring you into proving you can do it better (IT’S A TRAP!);
  4. Read about it.

You are now infected.

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