As more and more people receive the COVID-19 vaccine, Los Angeles is attempting to return to pre-pandemic conditions and maintain a sense of normalcy. Although many in Los Angeles are excited to go back to the way things were, there is one part of pre-pandemic life that people are hoping fails to make a return: aspiring social media influencers ruining the day of everyone around them.
The Bluff reporting team sat down with a few LMU students who went by the self-proclaimed title “social media influencer.” From aspiring models to wannabe entrepreneurs, the vague, shallow title of “influencer” has bled into the aspirations of many promising students and turned their newfound dreams of L.A. stardom into a burden for everyone around them.
“With everything going back to normal, I can’t wait to go back to house parties,” says Jarrett Garrett, a self-proclaimed “on-the-rise entrepreneur” and sophomore who claims "The Wolf of Wall Street" changed his life. “I mean nothing says fun quite like forcing my roommates to drive me around to famous people’s parties in a desperate effort for me to become friends with people who are actually talented.” Garrett hopes that, one day, his insufferable clout-chasing will finally pay off and someone will be his friend.
This clout-chasing is not an isolated trait of the sad aspiring entrepreneur, with others in the LMU community doing just as much to annoy everyone around them. “My roommates are mad at me for using up all the gas in our shared car,” says Roxanne Roxy, a junior and aspiring model. “But they just don’t get it. If I’m not taking selfies as I drive down Sunset Boulevard and eating at Saddle Ranch every night, how else am I going to become famous? Learn an actual skill? Forget it.” It is noted that Roxanne is being kicked out of her roommate group for reasons seemingly unknown to her, but she suspects that it’s because she only interacts with them when she wants them to take pictures of her.
While L.A.'s reopening is a good thing, it has led to more of these internet leeches ruining the days of people in public spaces. “I was just going for a hike and a pack of these ‘influencers’ actually attacked me,” said Randy Randallman, a senior who is proud to say he has never eaten at Saddle Ranch. “They were blocking the entire trail filming TikToks. I tried to squeeze by, and they assaulted me for ‘ruining their take.’ Dude, they were just lip-syncing to a song, it’s unreal.” The Bluff would like to report that the series of TikToks Randallman interrupted have received a whopping combined 45 views on TikTok, a record number for the aspiring influencers in question.
While many citizens of Los Angeles are excited to get back to normal, a majority will still go about their day living in fear; the fear that they may come face-to-face with a young adult that does not understand that being famous on social media really does not matter in the long run.
The Bluff will update as the situation unfolds.