The news broke yesterday that Air Canada is partnering with “social media influencers” to promote travelling now, despite the current federal advisory against non-essential travel outside the country.
This riles me.
First, because the whole idea of “social media influencers” makes me slightly sick to my stomach. There are some lovely definitions for the term on the Urban Dictionary, including this barb: “Someone with lack of intelligence and a lot of free time, followed by tons of idiots on some social network, usually Instagram….[T]heir opinion is worth something only to primates with an IQ lower than the room temperature.”
Do we really need camera-pretty people to tell us what to do, say, wear, eat, etc.? Keep in mind that these people generally have no particular expertise or knowledge. They may be glib and cute, but their main claim to fame is that they chose to make fame their aim. [Am I rapping?]
Why should you or I care if @chelseaBotox-lips is “Having a great time in Cancun!”?
Sadly, some people do care. Which brings me to my second gripe.
Parading tanned and blissful “influencers” in exotic locales before responsible Canadians* who are doing their best to get through this winter at home, masked, and socially distanced, many struggling with financial woes, fears for their elders or their children, or anxiety about vaccines, is at best cruel, and at worst, evil. You can probably think of better words to describe those who deliberately make others crave something they can’t—in good conscience—have.
Come on, Air Canada. You can do better than this. Use all that money and brainpower to find ways to help us through this instead of trying to “influence” us into disobeying health directives that are designed to protect us and everyone around us.
The Canadian government advisory states that those who choose to travel now “may have difficulty returning to Canada or may have to remain abroad for an indeterminate period….The governments of those destinations that have opened their borders to tourists could impose strict travel restrictions suddenly….International transportation options could be reduced significantly, making it difficult…to return to Canada.” It ends with this warning: “If you choose to travel despite these advisories:
- you may have difficulty obtaining essential products and services
- you may have limited access to timely and appropriate health care
- you may suddenly face strict movement restrictions and quarantines at designated facilities and at your own cost
- your insurance may not cover your travel or medical expenses
- we may have limited capacity to offer you consular services.”
*Clearly, this does not include politicians who feel official government guidelines don’t apply to them.