Last week in an interview, I was described as a "social media influencer". When I initially read the label, it made me squirm. Throughout my career, I have rarely been referred to as an 'influencer', probably because my professional title has been used — but on the occasion 'influencer' is mentioned I am very aware of why it makes me feel uncomfortable.
It is because I know that as soon as that label is put out there, an onslaught of assumptions are going to be made, and I am going to be judged, dismissed, devalued and looked down upon.
Simply, I am going to be taken less seriously than if I had just been called by my job title — tech founder.
When I first saw the reference, I thought about asking the publication to remove the word 'influencer', but I thought, no — I do have an online community, I shouldn't feel like I have to hide from that label — I want to see how this plays out when speaking about an important issue — my struggle with whether I can have children and a career at the same time.
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It seemed that my initial hunch was correct, and upon reading through the comments left on the post, I was shocked. I received more hate and backlash than I have ever experienced throughout the eight years I've existed on social media. My appearance was commented on, my intelligence was questioned and my perspective was dismissed.