From the Desktop of a Food Blogger
The power an influencer holds is a responsibility not to be treated lightly, and never did I take that thought seriously until the attack of the average food blogger we see everywhere on social media started. As someone who has been ‘blogging’ about food before it became a trend, I can’t help but wish the clock could be turned back to those simpler times when only those who truly had a passion for the culinary arts wrote detailed blogs or reviews about the exceptional food they ate.
Nowadays, food bloggers have gained a bad reputation, cultivated over years of attempting to get free food by throwing their clout around. The threat of writing a negative review and potentially harming a food business was so strong that the owners preferred to give a free meal rather than take a stand and turn away an influential customer. This trend passed on from Facebook to Instagram when it started becoming more popular, as did the trend of people who could sadly pass off their horribly taken food photographs with all sorts of trending hashtags as food blogging, either in exchange for a quick buck, or some sort of gift by the business being sponsored on their social media outlets.
Don’t get me wrong, some people are still quite honest to their trade, take amazing photographs and still make coin. I have no problem with that; in fact, I applaud such influencers who are essentially making a living out of their passion. Throughout the world, people have made professional careers out of being influencers from all walks of life, including food. The desi mindset, however, clings to the thought that if a blogger is eating free food, then it has to be biased and consequently dishonest. But take it from someone who has been blogging for over a decade, we do have a moral compass that compels us to be honest and true, so we try our best to never misguide our followers.
A point to ponder is the subjective nature of food blogging and what factors other than food matter. Palates can vary, leaving two people dining at the same table can have polar opposite thoughts on the meal, but food blogging is so much more than just eating food. The ambiance, hygiene, quality of ingredients, service, price points, and so many other factors make up what can be a good or bad dining experience.
From what I have seen, if you observe the patterns and formats people follow when blogging about food, it is only a matter of time till you can discern who is truly a blogger and who’s in it just for the fame and money. So don’t paint all of us with the same brush, and if you must judge us, then judge us kindly and wisely.
Written by: Nazia Latif