In true glamorous social media fashion, I dropped Jo a DM to create this post. I had met this lovely being many moons ago, knew her story - how she paved a career for herself in the industry from ground up. Making tea and handing out post to four years later, becoming acting fashion editor, junior editor and building social media content for IMAGE magazine to where she is now- creating her own business direction, co-founder of the enterprise GAFF Interiors and recently awarded one of U Magazine’s 30 under 30.
Make no mistake, she is a shining star on her rise.
I couldn’t think of a better person to ask about social media, the influencer generation and how we can still have a voice amongst the crowd than with her.
Growing up, I very much felt like a walking resume (G.P.A, exams, extra-curriculars) but nowadays it seems like everyone is a walking DIGITAL resume (number of likes, followers, brands )
Why do you think there has been this huge shift and what really is our fascination with the world of instantaneous feedback?
This is so true ! I think we have always sought the approval of our peers but this is the first time that we have been able to physically measure approval via likes, followers etc. so that has made it a much more intense and acute experience for everyone involved. Everyone loves to be complimented on a new top or hairstyle and that good feeling we get from a verbal compliment is amplified by a zillion on social media - no wonder we have all become a little addicted to that feel-good hit.
I think everyone has a love-hate relationship with social media at times. Where are you in that cycle right now? ;)
You know, I try to maintain a balance between love and hate - I am not a woman of extremes! When I started social media I made a decision that it was going to be a pleasant place for me to be, not only for my own mental health but also because it is part of my job. I have a couple of social media rules I live by and they help keep my experiences on social pretty joyful :
I only follows accounts that inspire or delight me. I never follow any accounts that will make me feel bad about myself or make me feel like I don’t measure up. For example, I love to work out but I only follow one fitness account. I don’t want to be flooded with abs or workouts that will make me feel like what I’m working on myself is unimportant or not on par.
I try to be myself. Of course we all use filters and show the best parts of our day, but I also try to balance that by Insta-storying when I have a bad day or a breakout. That grounds me in reality. My business partner Caroline is the person who taught me that it’s a good thing to share the bad as well as the good.
I really only use Instagram. It would be easy to get caught up in all the mediums but I have made a decision that because I work in a visual vocation, Instagram is where I should live online. Plus. I enjoy it! As a visual person, Instagram is a joy. I have a Facebook account only because I need it to operate GAFF and I have a Twitter which I use to promote/publicise work stuff but I never sit on Twitter getting into debates. To me, that is a real way to get into a negative headspace. As for LinkedIn, I have an account but it’s dormant. I would choose your favourite medium and hone and enjoy it
I have to say it does frustrate me sometimes, I definitely don’t post enough and I can be super lazy with my own profile and I also don’t want to flood people with content all the time. Plus, it’s tiring! So I definitely have my own issue with social. And have that greed and desire for more. But that’s only human. Right?!
These days, we are making more virtual connections than ever. Often times at the risk of our real life ones. What's most important to you in terms of connection: authenticity, style or quantity of followers?
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t tempted to buy 10,000 followers from time to time, especially when you see how some brands respond to large followings and the validation that comes with that. But the reason I’ve never bought followers is because I have to build something authentically and unless that happens organically then what’s the point? I have to stick to what is true to me, and when it comes to brand collabs it’s the same. If it’s not a natural fit for me I can’t do it. My friends would be the first to straight away give out!
I read somewhere that the influencer impact is projected to be worth 2.4 billion dollars in two years. Do you think we need to re-frame this idea of how we connect and create content?
This is so hard to answer because at the end of the day people want what they want content wise. Unless there was a massive market for Influencer content, it wouldn’t be so popular. I think things in the social sphere will shift and change for sure - there’s already a big shift towards smaller accounts who have engaged followings so maybe it’s going in a more niche way.
How do you think we all could get a healthier relationship with the grasps on the world of the inter web?
I think for anyone starting off- figure out what you like. I think on the internet and Pinterest and Instagram and everything else it’s easy to be so flooded with content and open to so many ideas that it can cloud your own sense of self and your own taste. So figure out what you love and what you stand for and stick to that - even when the mob is playing a different game. Being your own person in this industry is challenging - it’s easy to go along with the standard. Make your own standard and find others who’ll support your vision.
Thank you Jo for allowing me to share your words here! See her gorgeous work here and with GAFF interiors here (the BEST stop for anyone who is looking for home inspiration at a price point that is right where you need it!) x
p.s. A big thank you to the lovely staff at Fallon & Bryne for letting us sneak in for some photos!