23 Surprising Secrets And Stories From Online Influencers That Made My Jaw Drop

Everyone loves to hate on influencers but they have no idea what it takes to be one.

Content creators and influencers share a big part of their lives and there can be both pros and cons to that. It’s a tough job that can consume them if they're not careful, especially after they’re done with their work for the day and go through a slew of hateful comments.

A woman looking at her laptop, appearing distressed. The screen has multiple negative comments like "Ugly skin!", "LOSER!!!", and "You are UGLY!"

Shot of a young woman being cyber bullied online while chilling on her bed in her bedroom at home

Peopleimages / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Trolls will be trolls, but people on the other side of the comment strings have no clue. They forgot how to talk to each other when a computer or phone screen separates them - or they just don't care. However, it isn't all hate that creators receive. They're also able to create solid connections online and form entire communities, making a difference in many people's lives.

People don’t see much of the behind the scenes of this world, nor understand what creators go through to bring them free entertainment and education. It’s about time they do.

I reached out to several different Instagram and TikTok creators and influencers to share the wildest, weirdest, and unexpected things they’ve ever had to deal with – including the good, the bad, and the ugly.

1.“I definitely wasn’t ready for all the salacious DMs. I don’t intend to make sexual content (I talk about my life as a psych resident and make comedic skits) but the second I gained traction I have a steady supply of lewd messages asking for only fans content, inquiring about my relationship status or describing in detail what they want to do to me.”

2."A shared sentiment among content creators is that we want to create a fun and inviting space on the internet for our audience. However, a content creator's experience is also determined by the algorithm of the sites they post on. Since the algorithm targets similar people who comment on the post, it may also funnel the post to a larger audience that is incredibly averse to the creator's message that might be welcomed by the creator's intended audience. For me, I create content about personal identity which includes my experience as an Asian American woman of an immigrant family. Sometimes, the algorithm funnels my content to an audience who are against these core facets of me. This results in comments and DMs that would be described by many to include misogyny, racism, and xenophobia. I had to learn that not everybody commenting is coming from a place of good intentions which was a harsh reality I had to come to terms with."

3.“The funniest and most common thing is when I make a post talking about how my content is for women. And then a man comments negatively, saying it should be for everyone, and then proceeds to prove my point as to exactly why my content is specifically for women.”

- Meg Dietrich from @megdrivesconfidence on IG

4."My answer: Men. A complete sentence and the most terrifying demographic you could ever come across as a regular person online when Men Who Are Strangers can hide behind a username and a phone screen, but the audacity knows absolutely no bounds when they come across bigger creators and decide it’s the perfect time to hit 'send' or 'post' on these most unbelievable thoughts that should have stayed secure behind the bars of the jail cell that is their brain. And the worst part is the WORST people I’ve ever had the curse to be hounded by are always men who are smiling ear to ear in family photos with small children in their profile pics. I hope to God their continued procreation ends soon and swiftly, or those children get help. And I’d say it to their face.”

Woman responding to a comment saying didn't know they let women into law school with a dismissive caption reading, "that you didn't know that, okay."

5.“The entitlement people feel to comment or participate in your life. Followers and trolls alike feel like they can just say anything about anyone in your life (partner, family members, children) and in reality, it’s none of their business. Also there’s a culture of ‘showing receipts’ that pressures people to share more than they are comfortable with. People want to see your tax returns, birth certificate, and everything in between. There is virtually no privacy for creators unless they set their own boundaries.”

- Vanessa Wachtmeister from @wanderonwards on IG and TikTok

6."Being publicly bullied for my physical appearance on a daily basis, even though my content has nothing to do with my looks."

- Hannah Williams from Salary Transparent Street@salarytransparentstreet, and @thatmoneystreetgirl on IG

7."Death threats, stalking, overall creepy behavior that makes me scared to leave my house and get recognized in public."

- Hannah Williams from Salary Transparent Street@salarytransparentstreet, and @thatmoneystreetgirl on IG 

8."The intense racism from internet trolls!"

9.“The racist comments for sure. I get them all the time! It doesn’t phase me but why do people have to be so rude?”

- Kay from @themomtrotter on IG

10."I get asked about my body and genitals daily. Sharing about my queerness somehow opens the door for strangers to ask the most personal questions they wouldn’t dare ask me to my face.”

- Sarah Kate Smigiel from @justsaysk on IG

11."The response I received when I opened up about our miscarriages. While the majority of the reactions were filled with compassion and empathy, I had a disheartening number of hate-fueled comments. Some individuals resorted to fat shaming, unfairly attributing my size as the cause, while others accused me of merely seeking attention for views, which was truly awful to see."

- Maddy Zanatta @maddyzanatta on IG

12.“People often feel like they know you because you choose to share a part of your life and that can lead to them feeling entitled to know every intimate detail of your life. They will ask inappropriate questions about marriage, children, religion , politics … etc to the point that it can encroach on safety (wanting to know where you’re from, where you live, where you shop, where you get your hair done, etc)”.

13.“People constantly think they know things about you. For example, one website said I’m a professional boxer, lol. Some websites say I’m 24 years old, and some say I’m 30. Or when I post a male in my content they assume I’m dating them.”

- Nicole Wong from @heynicolewong on IG

14."I’m constantly amazed by the amount of people that overlook the information I provide. I get countless dms and comments asking where something is from, when I’ve not only provided details verbally in the video but the brand is tagged, and the item is linked in stories, 😅."

- Maddy Zanatta @maddyzanatta on IG

On top of all that, getting paid can be a challenge. Creators are often asked to work for free, are poorly treatment by brands, or have their work stolen. They may also be unsure of how to price their work and profit in their business.

15."Being asked to create content for free. Interview Megan Rapinoe about pay equity at a pay equity conference? Not paid. Travel to Milwaukee with my team and let a government Speaker take over my account for the day? Not paid. You name it, a company has asked me to do that for free."

16.“The amount of angry energy for just about anything. I’m a DIY content creator, who knew how inflammatory thrift flips could be.”

17.“Recently someone downloaded my video and added it to their portfolio then submitted that portfolio for a job, luckily the agency he applied to contacted me and it was all cleared out.”

- Sandra from @sandracreatess on IG

18.“Today I was invited to an influencer event and when I RSVP’d to confirm I was coming, I was told that ‘the team has decided to pass’. So, I was invited and uninvited on the same day lol."

- Amber Wallin from @burr_iam on IG

But it's not all bad. There are unbelievable GOOD things that they've experienced too.

19.“I once got to stay at an ice hotel in Sweden, all by myself. An entire palace carved out of ice, in the middle of nowhere. I was equal parts thrilled and terrified.”

- Sabina from @girlvsglobe on IG

20."One of the most surreal experiences is getting recognized in the most unexpected places around the world. Once, while traveling in Germany, I randomly asked a girl to take my picture, and later that day, she messaged me on Instagram saying she was the one who took the photo! She said I was distinctly recognizable because I was the one who inspired her to take her cat outside. Another time, my cat and I were backpacking the Four Pass Loop in Aspen, we were sitting on the top of summit two out of four and about 15 miles into the backcountry, when a girl called out, 'Kaylin, is that you? It's Audrey from Instagram!' We had never met in real life and neither of us lived in Aspen, but we had connected a few times before via DMs on Instagram. It's wild to think about how small the world can feel through these connections."

21.“DMs are my favorite part of social media because of the personal connections I get to make. As an astrologer I have the privilege of being connected to people in a deep way. I get messages from folks sharing their deepest struggles and accomplishments. It’s really beautiful and affirms the humanity that we share”

- Jessica Lanyadoo from @jessica_lanyadoo on IG

22."Opening up online helped me feel less alone on our journey but I also discovered that my story resonated with countless others. Breaking the stigma surrounding miscarriage became a powerful mission, and I am grateful to have helped others feel less isolated in their own experiences despite the hate."

- Maddy Zanatta @maddyzanatta on IG

23.“The cool connections you make from people you’d otherwise never have the opportunity to connect with.”

-  Marissa Zingg from @onecrafdiygirl on IG

The words “influencer” and “content creator” are often pushed aside as things that aren't real jobs. They're as real as any of the time you spend on social media apps or any website (like this one). The content you're watching and reading comes from content creators and influencers. Without them, you'd be really bored.

So, thank them the next time they post. Or at least leave them alone if you have nothing nice to say.