It seems everybody is on Instagram these days, and lately, there has been a surge in people trying to become “Insta-famous”. It’s true, the so-called micro-influencers wield a lot of power online and frequently get endorsement deals from top-notch brands. But at what cost to the user?
One such Instagram user who attempted to become famous on the internet ended up going completely broke and over $10,000 in debt!
Lissette Calveiro says after moving to New York for an internship, she felt like she was living a dream and wanted to capture the fabulous, jet-setting life of a millennial living in the big city.
“I wanted to tell my story about this young millennial living in New York,” the 26-year-old told the New York Post. So she decided to take to Instagram to do so.
At the time, Calveiro was only living on a travel stipend from her internship and a part-time retail sales job, which didn’t leave much of a budget for keeping up her appearances on Instagram. Still, she felt obliged to shop for new clothes and travel to exotic locations just for social media updates.
“I was shopping for clothes to take ‘the perfect gram,'” she said. “I was living beyond my means.” Calveiro admitted she was spending $200 a month on clothes alone so she’d never wear the same outfit in photos twice, and a big splurge like a $1000 Louis Vuitton purse would happen regularly.
If you want to become “Insta-famous” but don’t have the cash, check out the video below for hot tips on how to get famous online without draining your bank account:
She also felt like she had to keep up her jet-setting life, showing how much she traveled, claiming she spent $700 on a roundtrip ticket to Austin, Texas just to attend a Sia concert.
She felt pressured to travel somewhere fabulous every month, like the Bahamas or Madrid, and became obsessed with collecting the geocache stamps on Snapchat. “Snapchat had these [geo-] filters [like digital passport stamps] and I wanted to collect at least 12,” Calveiro admitted.
She claims the majority of travel she did in 2016 was solely for Instagram. All the spending to maintain an online version of a perfect life put Calveiro in debt and she moved back to her parents’ home in Miami. However, that still wasn’t enough to keep her spending habits in check.
It wasn’t until she landed a job back in New York City that she knew she would have to make changes to her lifestyle if she wanted to live there long-term. “I knew that moving to New York I had to get my act together or I wasn’t going to survive,” she said.
So Calveiro started to budget. She slowed down her Instagram posts and began to recycle some content. She moved into a shared apartment with reasonable rent, started cooking, and used a financial app to convert some of her paychecks to savings. Within 14 months, she was debt free.
Despite being out of debt, Calveiro has not fallen back into old habits. While she still uses Instagram and boasts over 16 thousand followers, she now uses Rent the Runway, where members can rent clothing for a reasonably priced monthly membership fee.
This way Calveiro can still show off new outfits online without breaking the bank. She is also changing the way she uses Instagram, focusing more on making connections rather than simply showing off another selfie and getting ‘likes’.
She admitted to her followers that she had been feeling inauthentic in her posts and that her photos had begun to lose meaning for her. “I have been so wrapped up in this ‘influencer’ space from both the front and back end that I started to camouflage into a sea of sameness,” she wrote.
She vows to be more authentic and not to post simply for the sake of posting. She added,”it’s about sharing nuggets of your life because you want to inspire others to discover, because you want to indulge in things others have helped you discover, and giving people the space to be creative.”
According to Fashionista, a person would have to spend a whopping $31,400 a year to maintain the standards of beauty in their Instagram feeds!
I don’t know about you, but I’d be much for interesting in seeing something more personal and unique. I look forward to seeing what Calveiro decides to post next.