ISLAMABAD'S DIGITAL DOYENNES - Hira Attique - Virtual Influencer & Content Creator
Tell us about your journey on social media, did it start off a hobby, or did you always see it as a viable career option?
I started blogging when I was on a gap year, it was a very low point of my life and I had to keep myself busy. Getting ready and taking photos made me happy at that time so I started posting everything that I liked or made me happy – never in a million years did I ever think that this will become a career for me.
How do you characterise what you do? How do you feel about the word ‘influencer’?
I prefer calling myself a content creator. Honestly, I’m not sure how I feel about it, I personally take it in a positive sense and as a job title.
The world is going digital, particularly with the global pandemic and lockdowns; people started working from home, many businesses moved online etc. Do you think that now even more than ever the future is online?
100%. As a business student I always knew that the future is online but now I think that the businesses and consumers have also realised that.
People seem to have the idea that the only thing that people do online is waste time. What is the biggest misconception that people have about your work?
I get that a lot; I often get asked about how I earn. Certain people also think that Instagram directly pays us which is not true (as of now, fingers crossed for the future) and that everything we get is for free. I’ve worked for years to reach a certain amount of followers and gain people’s trust, so the services or products that people see us availing or getting are actually not free but demand promotion/exposure in return.
We’re constantly being told about the detrimental effect that social media has on our mental and physical health? Do you ever switch off or take a break? How do you keep a check on your emotional well being?
Oh, social media anxiety is for real. I’ve seen the worst of it this year, it’s gets too much at times. The best thing to do is take a break when needed, focus more on the love than the hate and just keep yourself busy with work & friends/family.
On a related note, we’ve seen that negativity on the internet, or ‘trolling’ can have a real impact on people. How do you deal with trolls and what advice can you give to the rest of us who have to deal with them occasionally?
It’s not easy to deal with the negativity online to be honest and you can only ignore it to a certain point. My advice is not for those who have to deal with it but for those who trolls and bullies online; It’s not cool, the person behind the screen is also human. Be kind and for those who get trolled online, hang in there, they’ll find something/someone new to troll in the next 48 hours, this is all they do.
On a more positive note, what is it about being a digital content creator that you love and that keeps you going?
The love! I receive so much love and duas which is very overwhelming at times. Also, the fact that I get to do something I myself love.
Who would you pick as your favourite/top three influencers/content creators?
Hemayal (obviously), Komal Pandey and Leonie Hanne
INTERVIEWS: H! Pakistan
PHOTOGRAPHY: SALMAN MUNIR OF QAMAR ANWAR