Many people dream of the luxury lifestyle of an influencer but not is all as shiny as it may seem. Marjet Van Wijk, known by many as Jet, the CEO and Founder of Laptop Lifestyle Master Program, successfully became a travel influencer and began traveling the world, living the life she had dreamed of for herself. But the more time she spent in the influencer space Jet realized that there is a deeply dark side to the industry and how much damage it can have on a person.
As we journey through her experiences, we uncover the story of a woman who has transitioned from the glitzy world of travel influencing to a passionate advocate for empowerment, authenticity, and self-discovery.
Empowering Dreams Through Travel Influencing
Jet dreamt of a life that allowed her to explore the world, work with tourism boards, hotels, and airlines, and share her adventures with her audience. However, as her career in the space developed, she discovered the challenges and complexities of the influencer world.
“When I started to realize that I had stopped posting what I liked and started posting what got the most likes instead of what I enjoyed, that was a real turning point for me,” Jet reflects. This is a common struggle among influencers who often find themselves altering their content to cater to their audience’s preferences.
The influencer lifestyle, often perceived as glamorous, can have a darker side. Jet discovered that in the pursuit of likes and attention on social media one can end up totally disconnected from the authentic self. It can cause individuals to create a fake life, prioritizing validation from others over personal happiness.
The Neuroscience Behind Social Media Validation
Being an advocate for understanding the why behind behavior, Jet dove deep into research. She realized the damaging and addictive effect that social media was having on her, she dove deep into exploring the neuroscience behind social media validation and why likes and followers can become so addictive.
“When we receive positive feedback in the form of likes or follows, our brain releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward. This addiction to validation can lead to emotional highs and lows, impacting mental health,” Jet explains. “The opposite is also true. Sometimes you post something, and it doesn’t get likes, and it makes you feel less worthy of yourself as if somehow, you are not good enough.”
The quest for validation on social media can contribute to increased rates of depression and even suicide.
The Pitfalls of the Comparison Game
Jet also realized the detrimental effects of the comparison game, which plagues social media platforms, “People often compare themselves to edited and filtered images, leading to unrealistic beauty standards. Young individuals, in particular, struggle to differentiate between reality and the carefully curated content they see online, leading to feelings of inadequacy. This constant comparison can be detrimental to mental health, making individuals feel like they need to change
themselves to fit an unrealistic mold. It can also drive a culture of materialism, where people constantly crave what others have.”
The Transition from Influencer to Digital Marketer
Jet’s journey took a significant turn when she decided to leave the influencer world behind. The pivotal moment came when she realized she was no longer being true to herself and was posting content solely for validation. She transitioned into offering marketing services to businesses, leveraging the digital skills she had acquired during her influencer years.
Jet’s journey into the world of digital marketing was not without its challenges. She had to overcome the ego associated with her influencer persona and rebrand herself as a marketing freelancer. The transition was marked by growth and personal development.
Empowerment Through Coaching Other Freelancers
Today, Jet empowers others through her coaching program, the Laptop Lifestyle Master Program. She helps individuals achieve location and time freedom by imparting valuable freelancing skills. While her program is open to all, she has predominantly attracted women who resonate with her message of empowerment and self-discovery.
Her coaching program combines self-paced courses with group workshops and coaching calls to provide a comprehensive learning experience. Jet emphasizes the importance of coaching, helping her clients navigate the challenges of freelancing and entrepreneurship.
A Message of Empowerment and Authenticity
As we wrap up our conversation, Jet leaves us with a powerful message. She cautions against chasing after the influencer dream and sacrificing mental health and authenticity for likes and followers. She encourages everyone to explore alternative paths to achieving a lifestyle of freedom and fulfillment.
“There are so many other ways to gain time and location freedom,” she exclaims.
Jet also highlights the dangers associated with platforms like OnlyFans, shedding light on how they can inadvertently contribute to harm and unrealistic ideals. She questions whether this is truly a form of feminism or if it perpetuates harmful stereotypes.
Jet’s journey is a testament to the power of self-discovery and empowerment. Her transition from influencer to digital marketer and laptop lifestyle coach serves as an inspiring example of finding authenticity and purpose beyond the confines of social media validation.