Meet Shingi Rice a photographer under the brand name Blue Spit, who recently shared a video on 'Instagram influencers' questioning their effect on the everyday consumer. We spoke to Shingi about the role of an 'influencer' and how she believes they impact society.
Watch the video in full here and find out more below:
Do you believe that 'influencers' should have a social responsibility?
Yes! But I don’t think this is really happening. It’s all about image and perception and not mindset or self-development, it’s kinda sad. I would love to log onto Youtube and see thousands of videos showing people discussing mental health and ways to be a better version of ourselves and not just makeup reviews or shopping hauls. It makes our generation seem shallow-minded.
When people take breaks from social media platforms such as Instagram what do you believe compels them to return to using the platform?
It could be that they have learnt (due to comparison) various things like self-love/respect can be lost when using social media platforms and those who return to using them have learnt to do so without damaging their self-esteem and mental health. Also just plain curiosity of what others may be up to.
Being a photographer, Instagram can be a great platform for sharing your work. However it brings both positive and negative experiences when doing so, how has it impacted both your creativity and wellbeing?
Well, I had been back home for a few months — as I was in and out of hospital —I had open heart surgery a few years ago and was having silly amounts of checkups which meant not being able to work. I would go on to Instagram to see how others were working and what they were up to and it made me feel bad as I couldn’t do anything which was a real bummer, so I had to tell myself to stop and not let it bother me. I feel as if, sometimes, creatives go through situations like this and feel that their talent isn’t worthy if they don’t share enough work but I myself have learnt that this is not the case.
On the plus side, it’s great to get jobs and be discovered by brands, connect with other creatives and just simply share your talent with the (digital) world.
You mentioned that you would like to influence people in a positive way, what would be the key message(s) you would like to share and who would you like to share it to?
I have so many!
I always say let go of fear and focus on positive thinking, that way only positive things can happen — now I’m not saying that any mishaps won't occur but the outcome of your day to day life is based on how you’re thinking.
Fear is a very debilitating emotion and the key to absolute joy and freedom is to let go of it.
Words by: Swakara Atwell-Bennett
Interviewee: Shingi Rice
Photography: Shingi Rice