This is my story: “Help, my daughter wants to be an influencer! »

“But it sucks, there are too many people behind me! Julie got annoyed looking at the thirty shots I had just taken of her. We were on the Trocadéro esplanade, in Paris, in the middle of June. It was impossible to have a background without a wagonload of tourists and skateboarders. But she wouldn’t budge. “From the blueprint”, she said! We had just left an exhibition at the Musée de l’homme. I dreamed of a café on the terrace. Instead, for the past half hour, we’ve been fussing over the framing of Julie’s Insta shot. She wanted the esplanade and the Eiffel Tower all to herself.

As usual for the past few months, our family outing was going to turn sour. My husband was going to get annoyed at our daughter’s attitude. I was going to try to smooth things over. And it would end in a couple’s argument… We were going to come home on edge and with the feeling of a wasted moment. And Loulou, our 8 year old little boy, was still going to wonder how a simple photo could in the end cause such a hustle and bustle. Me too, it was beyond me. Everywhere, Julie drew her phone to stage herself and capture the pseudo-moment of coolness that would embellish her Instagram feed or her TikTok account. At the Uffizi gallery, in Florence, at the beach, in a restaurant, on a pedestrian crossing… the slightest decor that was a bit nice allowed him to satisfy his social egocentrism. I felt like I was dragging an overwired cannonball, with a Starbucks cup in my hand. Don’t ask me why, but everything was so much better with a Starbucks cup in hand. Julie constantly asked us to take her shots, even her little brother sometimes had to stick to it! This quest for the perfect image bothered me.

“Make do with your photo, we’ll be waiting for you at the café,” I told him one day. But what were the other parents doing? She wasn’t even 14! She was constantly bent over her cell phone, satisfied with her selfie and unfazed, even though she had already been told four times to put that damned phone away. “Two more minutes, please, I’ll post and stop. This sentence, how many times did we hear it in a day? I watched her in her crop top, with a line of liner over her eyes and her ten-mile “nude” false nails. My baby… His figure still seemed to hesitate between the baby body of childhood and the voluptuous curves of an adult. Where was my little girl full of candor, who was drinking my words? To think that not so long ago she worshiped “The Snow Queen”! From now on, it was Lena Situations her absolute idol.

She didn’t miss any of her videos and wanted to do everything like her. We were lucky, she could have wanted to look like Kim Kardashian… Every week, Julie had a new fad. Carrot jeans, “manga” effect mascara, curly hair (!), going on vacation to Los Angeles (quite simply) or, better, to Coachella, to the festival, because “that’s where everything happens. pass “. She had seen a fascinating “vlog” by Lena on the subject – a small semantic point for readers over 15, a vlog is a video in which we tell our story. So, of course, when I took her to visit her grandmother in Sainte-Marie-de-Gosse, although there were two palm trees in the garden, she pulled her face a little.

Morning routine and lip syncs

When she entered sixth grade, it was out of the question for her to have a cell phone. We lasted three months. There was a WhatsApp group bringing together all the students in her class, as well as apps to download to get homework, the timetable and even some lessons… So that’s how she and her friends got together. started exploring the wonderful digital world (under parental control, of course), before, very quickly, wanting to register on Instagram and TikTok. “Facebook is for old people,” she tells us bluntly. From the fourth, Julie took it into her head to post. Social media wasn’t my thing, but I couldn’t deny it to my daughter. It was part of her generation and she had excellent grades in school.

Her screen time was limited to thirty minutes a day, but she always found an excuse to bend the rule. She constantly took pictures of herself in different outfits or locked herself with her friends in the bathroom, facing the mirror, to reproduce on TikTok choreography by Adele or who knows who. I heard them laughing, it reminded me of my adolescence, when, with my band, we recorded parody shows on a radio cassette. But we didn’t post them on the Internet. Julie was jumping for joy as soon as likes or a new follower request poured in. This narcissistic enthusiasm worried me, so I often went into long monologues about the dangers of this micro-popularity and I invited him to detach himself from the gaze of others. In general, it ended with a “yes, mum, it’s good, I know…”, as if I were the scum on duty. At night, when she was in bed, I inspected her accounts, mostly to check for harassing messages or messages from weird guys. I then discovered his posts. I laughed at her beauty tutorials, her “morning routine”, as she said. It was almost touching. I laughed less when I came across “we don’t give a fuck about them, them, them, them…” A playback – sorry, a “lip sync” in TikTok language -, where my kid, lascivious and made up like a truck stolen, was trying to lip-sync to a rapper’s big voice. “But mom, it’s the” trend “of the moment on TikTok! she justified herself when I told her to remove this horror.

Julie had taken it into her head to post at least once a day. He needed it for his “community”. But what was she talking about? “My angel, I insisted, you know, your 87 followers won’t blame you if they don’t hear from you for twenty-four hours. She disagreed. We were arguing more and more, especially about screen time, which she was always trying to extend. If I gave her a little more, she wanted more. “Stop, now you stop! had become my mantra. As soon as my back was turned, she could stay up to three hours “networking”. “I want to be an influencer, it’s too good, phew! she said to a colleague who had come to dinner one evening, when he asked her what she wanted to do later. Move of mercy. Not that I imagined that my daughter would have the same destiny as Einstein, but let’s say that I would have preferred her to answer pianist, writer or astrophysicist. Since she was 2 years old, I introduced her to tons of books and took her to museums, to the theatre, to the cinema… She had wanted to play the piano, dance, draw… All that to end up making vlogs! What ingratitude!

Apps locked

“And why influencer is “too good phew“, my darling? I asked him. Julie only seemed to see the glitter, without realizing the work behind it. “Because she makes people dream and allows them, by sharing her life and her flaws, to better accept themselves. “I had a doubt about the psychologist side of the influencers, but let’s admit, I liked his answer still full of innocence. And then I had watched about twenty videos of Lena Situations and I understood why, with her naturalness and her frankness, teenagers could identify with her. Like good and bad hunters, there are good and bad influencers. Nevertheless, I wanted to give my daughter the opportunity to be an astrophysicist, or even an astrophysicist/influencer, so, with her father, we decided to reframe everything. No more laptops during our family outings. And if I have to take a picture of it, I don’t spend the afternoon there anymore. From now on, she is entitled to one hour a day on the networks. Beyond that, the screen freezes. We have done a “family sharing”, which allows you to lock the apps once the allotted time has elapsed. The rule is clear and effective so far. I regularly receive notifications from Julie asking me to spare fifteen minutes. But calmly, without harassing me, bellowing that I am “the worst mother in the world”. She knows it: she makes time on the networks thanks to her behavior and her notes. “Youth has to happen,” repeats my husband… At the moment, she is bothering us especially for the boom of her 14th birthday. I just hope she doesn’t invite every one of her 87 followers…

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