The social media influencing medium has grown exponentially over the past decade. What was once looked upon as a joke for ridicule is now a booming billion-dollar industry. (Now who's laughing?) One thing it proves for certain is that literally anyone can be famous, for absolutely nothing.
Although, to be fair, even content has grown and many of these "influencers" have turned small talent into fortune. In this new form of celebrity you can't help but wonder, as with most celebs, who these individuals are when they turn the camera off. If they turn the camera off, even just for a moment.Redditor u/superfuncity wanted to hear about the people who have the inside track on the social media "stars" of today by asking... IRL friends of social media "influencers": what is it like?
I can't imagine knowing and intertwining my life with someone who is constantly giving their attention away to literally everyone else but the person in front of them. Relationships, romantic or platonic, personal or business, are hard enough to keep in tact already without extra stress. But when one's entire life in consumed by garnering "likes," what kind of bond are you forging in reality?
Getting BiggerRed Carpet Star GIF by Regal Giphy
I dated one. Not super popular but followers in the 100k range last time we spoke.
I remember a lot of getting ignored and only receiving nice gifts/acts of kindness when they could post about it. Asking me to go to nice places (they didn't drive) only to leave me on a bench somewhere while they took pictures. Huge strain on the relationship, especially when they started to get bigger and there was more demand for content.
For the business...
She hasn't come to anything I've invited her to in 5 years because she only goes to events that "further her business." Regularly says things like, "we're all using each other for something." Sometimes she texts me the same exact thing word for word over a couple of days, and it's obvious she just copy/pastes the same thing and sends it to all of us and then forgets who she has sent it to.
She still reaches out to me multiple times a year and claims I'm one of her best friends, but it sure doesn't feel like it. I've told her as much, but she just says "this is my life now, my business comes first and if you can't accept that, then I guess you're not a real friend."
In the Fire
I'm from a small town and a family vlogger moved here a few years ago. a while back we there was a bad wildfire about 20-30 miles away from us. this fire was particularly bad (people were dying, losing homes, etc) but luckily it was pretty far from us and we weren't in any danger. you could smell the smoke but that was it.
However, this family posted a total clickbait "wE hAd to EvAcUaTe, tHeY tOld us to LeAvE, WiLDfiRE VlOg." this really pissed off everyone who lived here, since they were exploiting and profiting off a lie when people are actually losing everything. they were called out on all their platforms but would delete those comments.
This whole business seems built on the brand. Not a person's identity but their BRAND. I can relate, knowing tons up and coming actors, writers, musicians, etc. We're all told constantly... what's your style? What's your "brand"? How do you sell? Where do you fit? We've only ever had to fashion that brand on paper and present it in proper settings, our leg of the industry has never had to expose it on loop... until now. That sort of constant barrage can certainly influence a person's personal day to day. Depends on who they are really.
"I've come to believe..."
My partner has a little over a million on IG (around half that on her TikTok)
I had expected a lot worse from stories I've heard of in the past (especially on Reddit) but in our situation, it doesn't play that heavily into our day-to-day life as I had anticipated. Sure there are a few photo requirements if we've been invited to visit a hotel or eat at a nice restaurant in exchange for some PR but they're agreed in advance so we go in with a level of expectation - get the necessary photos then just enjoy the experience.
I've come to believe quite strongly that it really does depend on the individual. I've seen plenty of her friends with similar follower numbers obsess over ridiculous levels of detail, whether they look fat, capturing every single thing they do - but it does seem those with smaller numbers (10k to low 100s?) are the most likely to take to the platform with this level of obsession, whereas a lot seem quite relaxed over the million mark because they're considered to already 'have it made.'
She will sometimes use environment filters to adjust lighting and colour, photoshop elements to remove the odd pimple or people in the background but that's really about it. She's got quite solid and grounded self-confidence so very rarely will she modify any of her anatomy given that she's generally very satisfied with the way she looks (and granted she works very hard for it putting in the effort around healthy eating and fitness), again I'll often notice it's her more insecure influencer friends that feel the need to modify or god forbid even use face filters or photoshop away any evidence of fat or wrinkles - which is a great shame because so often they look beautiful until the modifications just eliminate their 'x-factor'.
A lot of the culture is definitely toxic - setting unrealistic expectations for beauty standards, the standard of living, relationships, etc, but I'd say I'm one of the very lucky ones.
We get quite a bit of engagement in the media (I've got a solid business reputation in my home country but it's tiny, whereas where we live in Southeast Asia I'm a total nobody without her). Said media regularly shares our 'pre-wedding' romantic photos and videos, writing articles about how amazingly in love we are, etc (Asian media tends to heavily over-dramatize their writing on the subject of celebrity relationships) however it's been quite refreshing that she's a very straight shooter in interviews - when asked what our relationship is like she's brutally honest. We fight plenty, we get in heated debates, our cultures are so different, English is her second language and I'm very limited in speaking hers so communication requires a LOT of patience and energy, at times we consider is it worth continuing our relationship at all, etc.
I was apprehensive at first about her raw honesty publicly, but her immediate response to me was "As long as we still want to be with each other, why should we care about keeping up a facade to the public? Our relationship is with each other not them, so whether they react positively or not it won't influence our feelings for each other."
And indeed it turned out to be a very positive choice both for the public's reaction, but also for our own relationship in recognizing that we don't have to stick to some imaginary guidelines set by social media all the time, that it's healthiest and actually more popular that we just be ourselves.
That last one was insightful.
How other cultures might feel about influencers isn't necessarily the way influencers are regarded in the West. Fascinating.
Obsessionfamous heidi montag GIF Giphy
It's annoying AF. One of my buddies is constantly filming everything we do and posting it. It's to the point where people walk up to me on the street and ask me about him because they've seen me in his posts...
I have no idea who they are.
It dominates everything he does, and has severely impacted his personal relationships. He can't keep a GF and it's clearly related to this obsession of his. He does occasionally get some cool stuff out of it though.
After pretty much kicking him out of my life because I do not want to be continually posted online, we've come to the understanding that when he's about to take a pic or video, he hands me the phone so i'm not in the shot. Works OK for me.
That was sad to read.
But isn't necessarily the norm. Let's continue and see what else is in store.
"Not a friend..."
Not a friend, but a past colleague. She would bring multiple outfits in case there was a good photo opp that day and quickly change. She'd ask whoever was with her to take photos. I made the mistake of saying yes once and realized I signed up for a 300 photoshoot that lasted over half an hour. The worst part is she then proceeded to ask me which photo was the best between two agonizingly similar options. I have an eye for detail but even this was extreme. I couldn't believe how much time was wasted.
But to her, it was normal and even productive. In hindsight, seeing as her social media could also be a source of income it would make sense that she'd work that hard. But she was and still is a micro-influencer at best (less than 5000 followers) who didn't have that many brand deals. She was also very self-conscious of certain parts of her body and seemed to lack healthy self-esteem. It was one of those cases where I truly felt sorry for her and definitely cared for her well-being, but felt it was best to leave to professionals to address that.
Depends on the position...
I worked with Youtube influencers in my last job with an agency that paired sponsors with these 'celebrities'. I basically did the grunt work like ensuring hotels/plane tickets, getting coffee, running errands and meeting with the talent to ensure they were where they needed to be (e.g., events, conferences, trade shows, parties or whatever).
Over time you make friends with others who are in those positions, especially when you're running errands for some entitled pseudo-celebritiy.
The nicest Youtubers were the animators - always calm and understanding.
The worst were the family vloggers - I've met all the big ones & I never met one that wasn't a completely different person off camera. The kids are always spoiled and no one disciplines them so they're running around breaking things or acting like idiots, and no one can yell at them lest their influencer parents find out.
Close second is makeup Youtubers.
"Being an influencer..."
My roommate is a minor one in the tech field. He's very forward-thinking and doesn't have a lot of patience. Legit ADHD, doesn't read books, works 24/7. He's a nice person and we're friends, though
Being an influencer is not important to him, it's more like the marketing division of his many money-making schemes. He doesn't give a sh!t about anyone he interacts with online.
Friends with a high profile athlete who is pretty popular on insta.... he is always on the phone... never lives in the moment. If we are doing anything fun? Well, it basically didn't happen unless the world knows about it. Its just annoying... I can't imagine living for the approval or satisfaction of others.
It doesn't look like the influencing game is for everyone though. Plenty of people have tried and failed. I have a friend, God love her, who continues to believe everyone wants to see her cooking, cleaning and bathing in champagne while reading Dickens, yes that is a thing. But she just can't get to that special 100K number that apparently is a golden ticket moment. She is desperate on the daily. I try to tell her, not everybody is meant to spread joy through the influence or while sitting on the toilet singing "Wicked."
Living through the phone...
My ex gf. I couldn't eat before she took a dozen picture. We went hiking and had to turn around less than a mile in since she spent an hour taking videos and posting photos. Service connection wasn't good enough so we went to the trail head. She had to post or else "people are going to think I'm broke or depressed and they need to know I'm traveling." She lived her life though her phone.
"She religiously preaches..."
I don't speak to her anymore but she was one of my closest friends. She religiously preaches about being a 'girls girl'. I know that a few years ago, she was willingly and knowingly the 'other woman' for ages. He had specific days that he saw his girlfriend, she saw him on the other days and she actually got jealous when she knew he was with his girlfriend. The whole hypocrisy makes me cringe.
I've got a close friend who became an influencer late into the friendship.
She's great. Things changed a little and sometimes the "let's take a video/pic" thing gets annoying but it doesn't bother me too much.
I'm not very ~aesthetic~ or Instagram hot but she's never treated me differently or poorly despite her ever-growing platform.
I also don't think her personality has changed at all. She's dope. I get why people want to follow her.
I was with a guy at Coachella, he has a pretty good following on IG. He posted something while we were watching a concert and could not look away from his phone. I asked him when he'd eventually put his phone away and he said he would when he got over 1,000 likes.
I couldn't believe it.
Not too surprising, however.
How many times have you been at a large event only to see some people who can't seem to just be present at the event without looking at their phones constantly.
One wonders if they're doing the same thing.
The 2020 Brand...
I post travel photos and have about two hundred followers. 200, not 2000 or higher.
My friend somehow thought that was influencer status and decided to copy me - except she quit her job so she could travel more and "grow her own brand". In 2020. She lost her apartment, her car, and still hasn't found a job, but calls herself a professional influencer all the same.
"It definitely was a strain..."
I am married to one. He didn't start out on YouTube when we first started dating. He's doing really well and it grows everyday, he's currently in the 350k following range. It definitely was a strain on our relationship at first and work/life balance has been a work in progress. Being open and honest about expectations has made a great difference, and now that this is a full-time job for him, he's able to have a better balance. Yes, he is definitely on his phone more than most for sure, but he's really great at being present in the moment. And thank goodness he's not one of those that just start filming randomly walking down the street, I would go running.
Wannabewannabe GIF by Spice Girls Giphy
I know a wannabe influencer. She will reply to her own posts from her husband's account praising herself. Then she will reply to those posts as herself thanking him, it's hilarious, like inception for Facebook.
Do wannabe influencers count? My buddy is constantly posting and sending workout Snapchat and Insta posts, and tagging himself in nutritional shops. He's constantly looking for something to film or photograph himself doing stuff. For example, we were walking on a trail last summer, and he threw his tank off and asked me to take a photo of him doing a pull-up on a tree. I started laughing and took the photo. Does he continue working out? Nope. Throws his tank back on and we continue walking. I'm like ok what was the point of that...
"I know an influencer..."
I know an influencer that literally got herself into debt trying to live up to the role! All for a few free items of clothing that she tries to flog once she's posted a pic in them. Even staged her engagement. So sad.
My cousin has a YouTube channel he does for a living. Not huge, has like 20k subs but he does other side stuff with it he can live on. For the most part, he's still the same besides constantly documenting stuff (he did that beforehand anyway since he's a photographer too). Some stuff is ingenious but he still acts the same for the most part as far as I remember.
"One was a clanmate of mine..."
I know a bunch of these!
One was a clanmate of mine from 15 years ago who went from top-level talent in a game with a niche competitive scene to the top streamer of a mainstream game. His personality on stream is actually like 90% close to reality, he's just more elitist in private. Still a cool guy, and I wouldn't be surprised if he has an 8 digit bank account, really happy for him. Don't talk to him too much but we spark a conversation like once a year by sheer coincidence (meeting by chance on matchmaking in the newest game) about new gaming topics and whatnot. He confessed to me that he really misses focusing on competitive playing but there's no money to it and competitive-worthy games either don't exist or are too late to get into.
One is a Twitch streamer girl who averaged 300-500 views and is sponsored by a gaming clan at any given time. She's actually pretty good in one game in particular, but not at a pro-level. I met her twice in person with my brother and it was insightful. I don't care for esports at all so I kinda tuned out 90% of the conversations while enjoying my food, but it was amusing hearing her express her true feelings about her viewers. These are guys that are donating thousands of dollars just to be able to group with her in Discord and Overwatch matchmaking parties. Meanwhile, she asked to play and meet with us with $0 investment on our end. Why do you guys do this to yourselves? Donating actually lowers a girl streamer's opinion of you, they reluctantly put on a smile to play with your creepy clinging self because hey you donated a lot of money. They don't want to shatter your fragile sense of entitlement and ego since it means you may stop donating.
One guy went from obscure sub-20 viewer counts to millions in Tiktok. He was a tenuous friend of a friend and I already had my reservations before meeting him (this was pre-TikTok). Guy was actually quite funny, but came off as a talker-but-no-walk. He was heavily into PUA and macho topics like joining the Navy Seals. Now he makes embarrassing content catered to tween girls across the globe and took down all his old content which included the likes of "How to train like a Navy Seal", "A women's place in the world and gender roles", "How I became a chef and fighter", "How I dealt with being homeless", "Fist fighting with my dad" (he farms views with skits featuring his dad today). This is the guy who's claimed to be in over 2000 fights. All in all, it was an interesting shift in content to witness!
Last is the guy I know least about, some guy I met in college. Honestly, same vibes as the previous guy but with less humor. He hasn't had the breakthrough success of millions of underaged girls following him on TikTok yet.
"But hey, that's life."
My boyfriend is actually a newly popular horror Youtuber. With him recently gaining over 700K subscribers in the past year alone. I've been with him for a year and a half. Known him for almost 2 years. When I met him he had just a little over 1000 subscribers.
Honestly, he hasn't changed at all with his increasing popularity. If anything he has just become more passionate about his work. Spending hours and hours making sure that his videos are perfect. It's also nice because he shows me his videos before he posts them asking for honest opinions. I always give him honest feedback and try to help out. One of my favorite things though is helping him find good video ideas, figuring out a good title, and judging his thumbnails.
I even booked us a night at a haunted hotel for his birthday just to support his channel. He told me he had always wanted to film a video at that specific hotel. So obviously I thought it would be a nice gift. Just seeing how excited he got made it so worth it to spend the night at a creepy hotel and explore it after midnight. I would honestly do anything to support him. It's his passion in life and he works so hard to keep it up. He makes me so proud. So honestly, it's not bad.
The only downside is sometimes people will find my social media through him and send me nasty messages. His ex is in some of his older videos from when he first started out his channel. So people will also randomly message me saying that I don't deserve him or question where his ex went and why I'm with him and she's not. Its sad because people don't know the full story and just assume things. I've had people message me asking why I broke them up when in reality she was really manipulative and cheated on him. (I do not really tell my boyfriend when people message me because it makes him feel bad).
But hey, that's life. I don't really let it bother me anymore, just people trying get a reaction out of me lmao. Other than that thing I'd say it's pretty great having my boyfriend as an "influencer" and I'm here to support it. It's amazing seeing your partner thrive and achieve success.
Okay, that was pretty sweet.
See, it's not all bad.
"Had known them both for years..."
Two well-known animal YouTubers/influencers. Had known them both for years not really personally, but casually in the community. Enough so I guess I survived the facebook drafts when they got "too big" and removed most non-personal acquaintances.
Reached out to them to ask for help sharing a GoFundMe when my dog fell ill. Didn't ask for money, just use some of that power to help spread the word. I'm not in the habit of asking people for anything but I'd swallow my pride to help my dog when I've burned through all savings and the bills were piling up still. Both left me on read. Felt like a slap in the face as I had shared their content for years but this was somehow too big an ask.
That's just sad.
And says quite a lot about who these people are.
I know two in real life— one who, while she is not massively successful yet, has about 20k followers, and the other who is trying to build her brand.
The one with 20k was a roommate of mine, and quite irritating to be honest. Very "fake" as you'd expect, and obsessed with money, despite struggling to make our $383 rent. She'd bash her then-boyfriend for not having Apple products or caring about his "status," would regularly pose with expensive sports cars, and did everything she could to fake wealth.
The other is one of the most sincere people I've met, and aside from some photoshopping of her photos, seems quite genuine. We work together in retail and she of course doesn't include that aspect of her life, but she's trying to build a lifestyle brand. I get it. At least she isn't obnoxious about it, and promotes affordable clothing.
This last one though...
This last one is a doozy.
A Frightening Turn of Events
Around 2008-2009, my 14-year-old cousin created a Facebook account and started posting photos of herself. Very quickly her page became a beauty blog and was reaching thousands of unique visitors a day. For a 14-year-old girl from a town in the middle of nowhere, managing to make something out of what she loved doing and on a fledgling social media website, it was a phenomenal achievement. She started getting sponsors of all kinds. Make-up, skincare, hair products, clothes, eye contacts, and all sorts of accessories were being sent to her home, which would later become a problem. Meanwhile, her parents didn't know what to make of it.
Being immigrants in a rapidly growing technological world, they didn't know much about the internet themselves, so they couldn't really offer her much help, let alone protect her from the terrible impending events. With all the attention she was getting and a growing base of followers and visitors, she started getting a lot of haters as well. People were just saying the nastiest of things on her page and in her DMs, and grotesque men were constantly trying to hit on her. When she rejected them or tried to ignore them they would blow up on her, calling her fat and ugly. That did some real damage to her confidence and self-image and she developed anorexia and depression and started to become estranged.
Despite all that, she managed to start dating a boy who was close to a family friend, and everyone considered him a very respectful, mature, and patient young man. He was just a year older than her and he was very understanding and was supportive of her but suggested they keep their relationship private and known only to family and close friends. The boy was a godsend, she was the happiest she's ever been with anyone and he got her to stop her anorexia, and she was slowly healing.
Unfortunately, her online fan base and haters caught wind of their relationship and it seemed like half of them just turned on her. The harassment worsened and the threats worsened, her anorexia was back, as well as the sponsors were beginning to drop, and since she was using her real address to receive products from sponsors, she got doxxed. Strange people started stalking her to and from school and were messaging her details about her private life and family. She was receiving death threats towards her and her family and she started to become paranoid and fell even further into depression.
That was the final straw, and my aunt and uncle called for an intervention for her. All of our family came together to show her our love and support for her and unanimously agreed it would be best to have her step away from Facebook or any other kind of social media. My aunt and uncle moved them far away across the country and started being more careful about the internet.
Today, she's a happy and healthy woman with a love for the outdoors and traveling. She has a Facebook but only uses it to keep in touch with close friends and family. She's finishing up her schooling at a State University and she's been married to the same boyfriend that helped and supported her through those dark times. They are expecting to buy a house and starting a family soon.
I frequent a gossip blog that has a handful of crackpot commenters who (savvier members claim) have created multiple accounts to start drama and argue with themselves and others.
The same individual has been accused of this multiple times and the accusers seem pretty positive about it - it's a MAJOR disruption and pain in the ass for those of us just there to read the blind items and guess the celebrity or talk some standard trash.
At one point the sitemaster had to rejigger the whole site to implement a new commenting platform so we could self-regulate. It's a shame, we lost almost ten years of historical comments (with accurate juicy details) as a result.
Hey don't judge me we all have our weird little communities, right?
The Misguidedconfused jeremy renner GIF Giphy
To be honest it's really crap. I feel like I've been completely forgotten about and like I don't matter anymore. I think that's just some weird misguided jealousy but it still hurts because I miss talking to my friend.
Sad. In the beginning they started because they got offers from brands because they were so popular on Instagram and it was a lot of fun for them.
Now they don't ever post pictures or videos without a filter. Rarely ever like a picture on the first try and don't you dare post any pictures of them without getting their approval for it. Imagine trying to get a group picture with all of your friends for your birthday but having you take almost one hundred shots to get one that your influencer friend is happy with.
Also in the beginning I would like and comment on all of their posts but now that's not enough. They expect me message it others, share it on my stories and my page (something about new rhythms and likes not being important anymore). I hate posting stuff to my page but I do it any way to be supportive.
It is so tiring. They do get free things sometimes though that they sometimes share with me. Not worth it imo.
Lord these people are a handful. Some of these stories could be an E True Hollywood story.
Let's take a trip...
Pretty mundane, honestly. My friend is conventionally attractive, and if you look at her social media, you'd think she were a supermodel millionaire who goes on tons of trips.
She's actually chronically unemployed, and has an income of less than 10k/yr. Her boyfriend makes about $60k/yr which is enough to afford them a very nice 3 1/2 bedroom apartment, and she has tons of props she uses to make each room look different from day to day so it seems like she's always in a new, exotic place. They take two trips a year to fun, tropical places, in which she takes many photos, and posts them as different places throughout the year.
She's a very kind, considerate, sparkling personality, but whenever we hang out, I tend to be a shoulder to cry on as she laments about her lack of success in life. It's quite sad, honestly. But with her creativity and personality, I think she'll achieve her dreams eventually.
Cutting the Aesthetic...
So incredibly annoying. I actually ended up cutting her off because everything had to be a photo opportunity. We could never just go out to lunch, or see a movie without it turning into a photoshoot. She never did anything with our friend group unless it was 'aesthetic', and even then, she was so focussed on getting us to take photos that a. she didn't get to enjoy the activity, and b. it started bringing everyone else down because they couldn't participate either.
And this sounds so petty, but she could never just show up in a t-shirt and leggings (because photos, obviously). Like even sleepovers and movie nights had to be a big production and sometimes you just need to stuff your face with popcorn and look like a slob! It's good for the soul!!
She'd also complain a lot about how hard her job was... Our friendship group at the time consisted of an EMT, two nurses, a teacher, and me who was juggling university, tutoring, and working retail. Lile, I'm sure she had challenges and all jobs are hard sometimes, but... girl.... you get paid to take selfies with free stuff, and show up at events looking pretty.
Unreal...Cardi B Hoax GIF Giphy
Exactly as fake and staged as you imagine it to be, the on-camera moments are completely non genuine. It is in the end just an acting/modeling job and not their real personality.
Do these people even know who they are anymore? Did they ever?
A girl in my homeschool group in middle school was always bragging about how her parents had a youtube channel with thousands of subscribers. she was really arrogant about it and i didn't enjoy spending time with her because she was a brat. the funny thing is nobody ever believed her (including myself) until one day i stumbled across a video of theirs while scrolling through youtube. sure enough, they had thousands of subscribers. she hadn't been lying and i was shocked. now they have well over a million. they don't upload very often anymore though.
Got a friend with 75k subscribers on Youtube in a language other than English. It used to be about their weekend getaways with nice drone shots. It was interesting.Then, gradually became about their lives (how interesting /s). She's get her phone/camera out at sometimes random moments, which could get annoying.
She got pregnant. Baby everything now.
Ugh. hate her.michelle obama eww GIF Giphy
She is annoying... there's no other word to describe her. Feel sorry for her because she is a person that needs attention all the time. (We are not friends but we live in the same house).
I sold my place to one a while ago. One of those newly green, sustainable, body - positivity types. Pretty much everything about what this person projects as her social media image is fake as it turned out. It was quite a sobering experience.
I'm thinking about becoming an influencer. Just a for a quick million or two. And because I love free things. It's an actual obsession. If it's free, it's for me. That screams to be on a shirt, doesn't it? Hint hint to my followers reading. I mean most of these people above are doing well. Sure their crap humans who value fake attention over authentic contact but... they get free stuff. I'll keep y'all updated.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
People hard up for cash will do anything. But what about the other way around?
There are a ton of jobs or favors that don't require much skill, experience, or labor, and people who are fortunate enough to get hired walk away with a king's ransom.
Looking for those kinds of "jobs," however, is like finding a teardrop in the ocean.
"What's the dumbest thing you were paid to do and how much were you paid?"
Good luck finding these well-paying tasks.
"Had a WFH gig working sort of as a personal assistant for a rich guy on the opposite coast from me. I did all kinds of wacky sh*t for him. For example, one time I had to break up with my boss's girlfriend because he was too wimpy to do it himself. That was literally my job."
"One day, I bought him a new pickup truck. Meaning, I negotiated the deal and paid for the truck with his credit card. All in all, I'd say the process probably took about two weeks, for which I was paid my usual wage at six hours per day. No big deal."
"Somehow, his dad found out about the new truck and he decided he wanted a new pickup truck too. He called me about a week after I bought the truck for my boss and said he'd pay me $2,000 to buy a truck for him. I called the same dealership back, spoke to the same salesman, told him what was up and basically said give me another truck, same price as before. The salesman was only too happy to comply."
"It took ten minutes to make the phone call and then a day or two to get the title and other paperwork sorted out. So, depending on how you look at it, I made $2,000 for just ten minutes worth of 'work.'"
"Somehow, my boss's rich friend found out about all this. He decided he wanted a new SUV. 'OhYeahThrowItAway, you have to buy it for me!' I told him the last time I bought someone a vehicle, I got paid $2,000. The friend was basically like F'k it, I'll pay you $3,000, just get it for me' and then he emailed me his wish list."
"That deal took a little longer, maybe two weeks."
"I made $5k extra in just two months buying vehicles for lazy (or dumb) rich people."
Staying Out Of The Picture
"I was paid $300 to move my car for a movie that was filming by my apartment."
Pack It Up
"Got paid 10k to leave an apartment because it was sold and new owner wanted to move in. I was tenant (renter) under previous owner. I had 4 months left in my rental contract. This was in Spain (Barcelona)."
"I was flown to Paris to do a compliance audit, the systems weren't set up for the audit, couldn't get access so spent the week being taken to restaurants and shopping. On 1 of the days and at the last minute the company decided to send me to London for a meeting, literally just to meet people. I missed the Eurostar because I forgot my passport (totally blanked that I was entering another country), they had to rebook the Eurostar. Nothing was achieved out of this trip. No audit was completed. Nothing came of the meeting. The cost to the company 25k+ for me to do nothing for a week. Corporate money is ridiculous money."
Not much labor was required for these so-called "jobs."
Ten-Minutes Of "Work"
"I used to work for a PR agency. Every month one of our clients wanted a handful of photos re-sized for their website; nothing fancy, just setting the width to 500px in Windows Photo Manager."
"It was maybe ten minutes of work every month, but the contract said the minimum amount of time we would charge them for was one day - and this was for the full team too, not just me. It must have cost them several hundred pounds every month."
"I showed the client how to do it several times, and explained that they could save a lot of money doing it themselves. They didn't seem to mind."
"In the end I made sure I got it in writing that I'd informed them of their options and let them get on with it."
Thank You, Goodbye
"$175 to do some kind of user study at Netflix, I show up in the lobby and then they go, 'actually we got the data we needed from the studies earlier today, you're free to go!'. Still got paid!"
"I did an event for a national association for deaf people at which they did every presentation in ASL. I am an audio engineer, who specializes in live sound and concerts. I did nothing for 5 days of show, $450 a day."
Paid To Play
"I got asked to do 2 hours of barrier watch (Guarding a barrier ribbon while a crew did x rays inside a power plant). This was asked last minute after a 12 hour shift so the bonuses of staying happening to be a Sunday, etc I was being paid $110 to stand and play on my phone and make sure sure nobody tried to pass all the DO NOT ENTER DANGER DANGER signs during a time of day with minimal personnel."
"I rented my chicken to a photographer for fifty bucks."
Gotta Have Wendy's
"I was driving for uber. Picked up a bunch of drunks at like 2 AM. They were like 'Yo we gotta grab some Wendy' I go 'I'm sorry this is my busy period' they go 'Can we bribe you?' I go 'Absolutely you can bribe me.'"
"One the guys said I'll give you $100...I was shocked it was that high, another guy said '$150' and finally his wife said 'F'k it I want Wendy $200 and we buy you Wendy too.'"
"I finally said yes, FYI I hadn't said yes yet because the reality is $20-$40 would have gotten me to stop at Wendy."
"So there I sat at Wendy as those 3 drunks bought me wendy and paid me $200."
"One time I was at this super fancy dinner party. I'm talking servers and everything, I was in a freaking tux! It was outside and catered by a professional bbq company. I mean these guys had won international competitions. Well get this, they were double booked and didn't show. The other servers didn't know how to grill, and this totally smokin server in her 30s is just staring at the grill like a deer in the headlights. Well I don't want to be a hero but I ask if I can help. The entire staff spend the rest of the night bringing me drinks as I make this bbq and NOBODY realizes the award winning chefs didn't show up!"
Where Do We Apply?
"Ok this wasn't a job or anything.... But I got 10$ to eat half a watermelon."
Some opportunities present themselves.
When I was a kid, I hung out at a Japanese summer festival booth where you roll a bowling ball on a track that had two hills. The objective was to push the ball hard enough to get it over the first hill but not too hard to get it over the second hill.
I was fascinated with the challenge and stayed there for a long time as my parents were over by the food booths with their friends.
It was a slow day, and the dude working the booth wanted to peace out for a bit, so he offered to pay me $50 to "hang out" in his stead.
Of course, I said "sure."
No one ever came, and I earned fifty bucks rolling bowling balls for an hour. Was it the dumbest thing I ever did for money? Maybe, but I laughed all the way to the piggy bank that day.
That guy really must have despised his post enough to give a twelve-year-old kid $50.
Everyone talks about how the 20s are supposed to be the time of our lives. And that's largely true. But it's not all wine and roses.
Among all the freedom and youthful exuberance, so many people spend that decade struggling through the chaos of having absolutely no idea what their passion is.
And when we've internalized the desire to find an occupation that aligns with our values, sounds cool to talk about, and provides us with existential fulfillment, it can be difficult to identify the perfect fit.
So we hum along rather aimlessly.
Thankfully, some people do find their vocation and hunker down. But for others, it takes a little longer.
Perhaps struggling to locate that ideal passion, Redditor wibly_wobly_kid asked:
"People who discovered their passion at a later stage of life, what is it and how did you figure it out?"
Many people talked about making a career switch when they least expected. For the longest time, they new they didn't enjoy their work, but they didn't know what to do instead.
Hiding In Plain Sight
"I went to college twice in my early 20s for journalism and communications, but never graduated. I spent the rest of my 20s in a dead end food service job, miserable and angry at myself. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life"
"My extended family has lots of little ones (cousins having cousins) and every time there was a family get together, I always found myself playing with and entertaining the kids. One day, my uncle pointed out how good I was with kids, and did I ever consider working with them? I laughed it off but later thought 'hey, I have nothing better going on. What's the harm in researching a bit?' "
"I found out I could become an early childhood educator, working in daycares or kindergarten classes. So I applied to a couple of colleges and got in right away (applied on a Monday and got accepted the Friday). I quit my dead-end job and focused entirely on school. I made the dean's list all 4 semesters (something I have never done), and aced all my classes."
"I had a placement at a daycare/before and after school card place, and they hired me right after I finished my placement. So now I'm working there and happier than I ever was in my 20s"
Never Too Late
"Law. I was 45 when I went back to school. I'd worked blue collar jobs all my life, was a high school dropout. My daughter started taking paralegal classes and I thought, 'I could do that.' "
"So I got my GED and signed up for a 2-year paralegal certificate program through the local community college. Fell in love with law. Also discovered I was good at it. I had several professors who were lawyers tell me I'd be wasted as a paralegal and should go to law school."
"So I transferred to a 4-year school. Worked full time through undergrad and graduated with honors. Got into law school. I graduated law school at 55, oldest in my class. But I'd gone from being a high school dropout to a lawyer in just 10 years."
"Passed the California bar first try and I've been a public defender ever since, which is the only thing I ever wanted to do with it. I'm 60 now but I'm healthy and energetic and have a lot of years left. I love what I do, I'm very good at it, and it's the best move I ever made."
Every Week an Achievement
"Was 39 when I took a temp job in a social services type industry. Just basic stuff."
"Realised after a couple of years that I'd circled back to my idealistic 17yo self's plan for my career. Spent the previous 20 working sh** jobs I hated."
"Turns out it's really important to do something that aligns with your values. Finish the week feeling like I've contributed to society, rather than working to screw people for money."
Others discussed the passions they've discovered outside of their working life. These won't bring home any income, but their importance to life satisfaction cannot be understated.
"My dad discovered his life's biggest passion at 67. Mountain climbing. Serious mountaineering."
"He climbed Kilimanjaro and Whitney just months apart."
Plenty More Shredding In Store
"I started Rollerskating (on ramps) just before I turned 40 , it's never too late to start, you just need more safety gear :)"
"I've been doing it for years now I'm in my mid 40s and still rollin. It makes me a bit sad I didn't start when I was younger, but I reckon i've got another ten years left in me."
Moving the Needle On Women's Pockets
"Sewing/tailoring clothes. On a whim I took a class at a local community center and got hooked. After learning some basics in the class and following some YouTube videos I can make a passable pair of pants/trousers and basic shirts. I'm lucky that my local library had sewing machines you could check out so I didn't need to commit any real money early on."
"The best thing to come out of learning this new skill was making a pair of pants with actual pockets for my wife. Guys, you have not seen joy until you see your wife get a pair of functional custom pants with human-sized pockets. I thought her head was going to explode she was so happy."
Keep an Ear Out for Jingles
"I always wanted to learn an instrument that wasn't academic related."
"Over COVID lockdown I picked up the guitar."
"I picked it up pretty quick. So I learned the drums."
"Now I'm finishing building a music studio. I wanna write commercial jingles and just throw a bunch of sh** online for fun"
Unexpected, But Sounds Awesome
"I'm 31, but one year ago I discovered camels. Now I own three. I love them 🥰" -- ZhenHen
"I assume you are not talking about cigarettes, so how does one acquire not only one but three camels? Where do you live? How much did they cost? I'm very intrigued." -- dufresne90
"When you're into camels, every day is Hump Day." -- HolIerer
And a few put a finer point on the nature of that work vs. hobbies dynamic. They assured that one's professional career doesn't necessarily have to provide all the fulfillment they're looking for.
Sometimes, we just need to punch the clock.
Earning Free Time
"PSA: you don't have to be passionate about your job. Your passion can be a hobby you do in your free time. I don't think I will ever find a vocational passion."
"Used to think I was broken because of that but really there is no requirement to be head over heels about what puts money on the table and food in the pocket!"
Career's Moving, Still Painting
"Late 40s here. Got a book called Learn to Draw in 30 Days about 4 years ago. Then about 3 years ago I heard about #the100daychallenge where the goal is to create art every day for 100 days. I never stopped and made it a goal to hit 1000 days."
"In that time, I won contests, got about two hundred commissions, raised over $5000 for a charity, and had a great time. When I hit the 1000 days back in December, I decided to go back to college and get an art degree. I signed up for classes and talked with my manager at work to see how much they would pay for college, she was excited that I was going to get a business degree and said she'd work on getting all of the classes covered."
"Free college became too tempting to pass up so now I'm planning on getting the business degree and then on to law school because they'll pay for that too. I just finished my first semester with a 4.0 and I'm on day 1136 of my non-stop painting journey."
So if you're still looking around for your passion and feeling discouraged, rest assured that it might come your way when you least expect it.
And life is long, my friends.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Don't disturb my beauty sleep! That's the one rule I have––and thankfully I live alone, so there isn't anyone to bother me, which is fabulous. But that doesn't mean I'm immune to getting woken up in the middle of the night. The worst way I can think of off the top of my head? The time a drunk guy wandered into my friend's yard and started banging on the window while I was trying to sleep. It was 3 a.m. The incident also gave me the fright of my life!
People told us about the experiences that yanked them out of dreamland after Redditor GratefulD_86 asked the online community,
"What is the worst way you've been woken up?"
"By raw sewage pouring through my ceiling (in my bedroom) from my upstairs neighbor.
He partied and ripped the toilet out of the floor, then continued using it. Took maintenance almost 16 hours to show up and turn off the flow."
"I literally didn't even know..."
"Cops beating on my door to search my house for someone I was hiding. I literally didn't even know the person."
Terrifying. This could have ended very badly.
"Cops busted down my door..."
"Cops busted down my door to take me to jail for having meth except. They had the wrong house."
"Neighbor decided to hang shelves in her bathroom after midnight and drilled into our shared wall. Scared the crap out of me."
The walls do indeed have ears.
"The phone woke me up..."
"The phone woke me up a little after midnight. I was informed that my mother had died. It was not totally unexpected. Her health had been declining.
I still dread hearing the phone ring late at night."
"A cockroach entering my mouth on my first day of camp."
"Police department knocking..."
"Police department knocking on my door at 2 a.m. saying the meth lab across the street might blow up so we needed to get out ASAP."
Is this a deleted episode of Breaking Bad?
"My cats were chasing each other..."
"My cats were chasing each other and one ran across my face while I was sleeping. The scratches were pretty bad all across one side of my face. It was the day before my senior prom too, so I ended up having a scratched-up face for that. I still have a scar right by my eye."
Cats are always at their most unpredictable very late at night!
"My Dad would keep a bag of marbles in the freezer. If you didn't wake up the first time, he dumped them into your bed."
"The neighbor in the building across from us..."
"Glass shattering. Lived in a 6 story apartment building. The neighbor in the building across from us was having some kind of psychotic break and was throwing everything he could get his hands on off his balcony. He was aiming for the windows of other apartments. We were far enough away to not get hit but watching that go down was not super fun."
We don't envy anyone of these people. Hopefully their lives have been filled with plenty of glorious, uninterrupted sleep since.
Have some of your own stories? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
I love food! Maybe a little too much. It's been an especially amorous relationship over this pandemic. And I know I'm not alone.
All of our palettes are tuned to our own personal tastes. And sometimes certain items and combinations of tastes can leave others less than enticed.
I've lost track of all the side-eye I've gotten when I declare how much I enjoy PINEAPPLE on pizza. I said it. I meant it. Fight me. Let's discuss who else has eclectic tastes.
Redditor u/CatVideoFest wanted to discuss the mixing of certain ingredients that don't leave the best taste in one's mouth by asking:
Food is for survival. That was the plan. But over the years it has become somewhat of a way of life. Some of the most annoying people are foodies. They get so uppity about the preferences of others. Like, let me just enjoy what I enjoy.
Mom No!Mom Smile GIFGiphy
"I don't like my mom's cooking."
"Livestock have refused to eat my mother's cooking. She's a terror in the kitchen."
Take them OUT!!
"I hate walnuts in baked goods. It tastes like wood shavings and completely ruins the flavor."
"I love walnuts but I feel this way about raisins in baked goods, raisins are fine by themselves but not in sweets, I once ordered cinnamon rolls at Hardee's and bit into it and found out there were raisins in it, and I was grossed out and didn't want to eat it. At least freakin' McDonald's serves real cinnamon rolls without freakn' raisins!"
The Fart Ingredient
"I don't like kidney beans except in chili."
Oh thew Crunch...
"Pickles and onion make the best sandwich. I make most of my own pickles from stuff I grow or get from local farms in the fall, but I responded to another comment with two different heinous concoctions I enjoy. Crunchy, salty, sour. I really like pickles and onions to begin with."
"I use more than pickled cucumber though. Like the last one I made, I used garlic naan, mayo, red onion, scallions, pickled garlic, green olives, Kalamata olives, garlic dill cucumber, and green beans. Shallot, sour pickled onion, sweet pickled cucumbers, and sushi ginger on sprouted 14 grain bread is also also a favorite of mine."
No Sizzlebacon GIFGiphy
"I do not like bacon."
Who doesn't like bacon? That seems like a sacrilege. Right? But to each their own. Though I will never understand not loving walnuts in comfort food. Y'all need more self love.
Love the Big M
"Fast food tastes amazing, yeah its unhealthy as hell but don't you sit there and lie and say it tastes bad."
Blasphemy!golden girls flirting GIF by HULUGiphy
"Cheesecake is disgusting."
Too Many Legs
"Lobsters and crabs are giant insects."
"I don't really think that's that controversial, in my area of the world we even call this creature a 'Moreton Bay Bug' even though some fisheries try to give it the more appealing name of 'flathead lobster'."
"Boneless wings are vastly superior to bone-in wings. I think bone-in wings are a ripoff because when you get half a pound of them, part of that half-pound is inedible. It's like if you ordered a quarter-pound cheeseburger, but the restaurant considers the weight of the plate to be part of that quarter-pound and you end up with just a slider. Just give me some damn meat."
The Slimeman oyster GIFGiphy
"Oysters are truly disgusting and absurdly overpriced for quarter sized pieces of snot that tastes like salt water and hot sauce."
Ok, I'm trying to stay calm. I don't want to judge. But some of these opinions... are leaving me shook. Except the oysters. That is that work of the devil. Look away...