"I'm realizing that a lot of people want 'influencer' perks but they are not ready to take on the responsibility of being influential." - Marcus Troy

Do you know what it’s like to be an influencer? I mean, "Influencer" with a capital "I" by the way. Matter of fact, you may have influenced someone. Like that time you influenced your friend to drink so much he thought it was a good idea to get arrested so as to level up his ratchet points. But I’m talking about influencing on a grand scale—incepting youth all across the Internet with grand ideas of dressing like a homeless  Japanese man whose last paying job was as an extra in a made for TV adaptation of Of Mice and Men. Do you have this power? Can a few sustained weeks of tweeting, Instagramming and cryptic posting on Tumblr equate to a successful product launch? If not, you’re not an Influencer, bro, you’re just some dude on Twitter.

Not following me? Are you unsure as to who Sosa is and why bitches love him? Do you even know the prime hours to post something on Tumblr to maximize notes? Let me explain: Influencers have been around forever. Before the Internet they were known as cool kids, which generally meant rich kids who looked like poor kids, but got to travel because they were still rich kids. And, yeah, kids who were lucky enough to have rad older siblings. Basically, when social media sites started really popping off and everyone had a .blogspot.com domain, companies realized that by quietly giving a select group of people stuff for free they would get an insane amount of free advertising. So PR companies started looking for, like, the first girl at Catholic school to wear her skirt super short and convince other girls that anal didn’t count towards virginity. Then they gave her the hottest, new plastic bracelet. She wore it all the time, taking photos with captions like, “THANKS SO MUCH #SLAPONSLAPOFFBRACELETS. THE COLOR IS GORGE!” And pretty soon, all the other proto-influencers were like, “Damn, that bracelet is cool.” AND BOOM, SLAP ON SLAP OFF BRACELETS JUST MADE A FUCKING KILLING. This happens in menswear too, bruh bruh.

You probably think this kind of thing is awesome. Who wouldn’t want free stuff? EVERYONE LIKES FREE SHIT. Even rich people. Who wouldn’t want people to respect their opinions and co-sign cellphone photos of airplane wings and their shoes? Who wouldn’t want to be king? Well, you are mistaken my friend. You don’t understand the responsibilities, fears and stresses associated with influencing people via the Internet. This shit is not a game. Even when that cross is patchwork seersucker and madras, it's still a heavy one to bear. You’ve heard the folk songs about the laments of sailors and miners, right? Well, this is The Plight of the Influencer.