- On Good Things Utah this morning – From the beginning, Utah women and families have been at the forefront of sharing their personal lives online. In the 2000s, bloggers rose to prominence sharing personal, of-the-minute updates about their own lives. These bloggers—some with large readerships, others with smaller networks of family and friends—found a community online. And a noticeable chunk of them were Utahns and/or members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, so much so that the term “Mormon mommy blogger” became a frequently-used catchall.
- The internet has changed significantly since the height of the blog era. As our attention has increasingly shifted toward social media, internet personalities primarily focus on platforms like Instagram and TikTok, and the modern-day influencer is more akin to a content creator and brand developer than a personal memoirist. Some of today’s most prominent influencers today were savvy (and lucky) enough to ride the tail end of the blog era and translate it to a loyal following. In 2022, many of these online creators are still, technically, bloggers, but their blogs are just one (increasingly minor) piece of their personal branding empires.
- Mariah Wellman is a doctoral candidate at the University of Utah whose research focuses on social media influencers. Wellman explains that it makes sense why Utah is a particular hub for influencers. “In the LDS culture, little girls are taught to journal and scrapbook and practice a kind of memory keeping.” It didn’t take long for these women to realize the potential of digital platforms to continue these practices. Members of the Church also used social media to project a positive, approachable image of a religion that is still often criticized or misunderstood by outsiders, sharing what Wellman calls an “idealized domestic lifestyle.”
- It helps, too, that the clean-cut image of many influencers matches the one ingrained in the church’s mainstream culture. “LDS women are also taught that they need to have this internal confidence, but it also should come outward. They should do their hair and their makeup. They should dress in a particular way,” Wellman says. The church also encourages women to stay at home raising children. For many Utah women, influencing allows them to make an income while staying at home—and, in a way, working—with their children. “Being able to be at home and be there for their kids and their partner while also making money for the family through blogging and through being an influencer is a huge pro for them,” Wellman says.
- To read the entire article click here: https://www.saltlakemagazine.com/social-media-influencer-utah/ And we hope you tune in as we dive into this Hot Topic and so much more every morning on GTU!
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