The Problem with Free Information on the Internet – a Rachel Hollis critique

Let me just start out by saying – I have zero problem with the fact that Rachel Hollis is a success. I think anyone can do anything they put their mind to – hustle, heart and a whole lot of ambition can get you anywhere you want to go. To a certain extent it really is motivation and consistency that can get you anywhere. It is abundantly clear that Mrs. Hollis has all of that in spades. Looking at the way we are in 2020 with an abundance of people making careers as influencers we are in a different time. Digital careers are saving the world during the COVID crisis. Digital nomad life is going to hit the globe strong when we can all start travelling again. This is more about the claim that all you need is high school and Google for success. Because Rachel Hollis is now very wealthy it appears that she figures that her opinion and her way is the smart way to see this type of success – making lots of money does not mean you are smart. Her privilege as a white woman blogging in and from the USA is rarely discussed.

Free information on the Internet does not teach you how to do business properly, think independently or how to interpret information and make it your own.

 

Perhaps I am butt hurt because I have been formally educated in a University and a College but when influencers talk about how their success with only a high school education it makes me irrationally furious. It is not so much that they are successful because anyone can hustle – but it is that they make glaring mistake on citing sources and crediting other authors. They are stealing people’s thoughts and using them as their own. Anyone in any area of post secondary education knows the importance of citing sources and influence. You simple can not steal other people thoughts and call them your own. We all know that we learned from the thoughts of other people, it is how we evolved, it is how we got here – there aren’t really original thoughts anymore – things have been done before but not interpreting the information and making it your own  – this is the problem.

person in gray long sleeve shirt using macbook pro
Photo by Andrew Neel on Pexels.com

Since quarantine has started, I have been trying to fill my time by catching up on my podcasts and half-finished books. I have been subscribed to the RISE podcast for months because there is some great information in the podcast and Rachel Hollis is an amazing speaker – she interviews with elegance and has amazing guests and at times has some great advice. In general her podcasts are great HOWEVER in the intro she has made it clear that her brand is being successful came solely from the “ free information she got on the internet” – and while yes she did learn a lot from the internet she really hasn’t quite figure out that she can’t steal people words and call them her own. She needs to site her sources. She has been accused publicly of plagiarism and it seems to me that the posts are taken off her social platforms but there is zero discussion about it.  Just a couple of days ago – her media team actually posted on Instagram a post that read “still … I rise” which is a quote from Maya Angelou – at least in 2020 she has learned to take it down and to credit the source which she did in a follow up post where she blamed her team. However, has she learned how to properly source and credit other authors from the “free information she got on the internet”? It does not look like she has.

I own a copy of ‘Girl, stop apologizing’ and ‘Girl, was your face’ …  Both okay reads. Both glaringly have stolen information from other self-help leaders and turned into her own work. It wreaks of privilege and this is my problem with Rachel Hollis. I want to like her because I LOVE motivational, personal development books. But I cannot get passed her arrogance.

SHE. IS. PRIVILEGED.

woman working at home using her laptop
Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels.com

Yes, she worked hard but also yes she had an abundance of white privilege. Why can we never discuss how privileged she really is? How her connections got her where she is? How she did not build this business alone?

Love her or hate her Rachel Hollis has really become someone to pay attention to over the years. But do not fool yourself into only seeing her overnight success because that does not exist. It took years to grow her brand and her business. The idea of on overnight success is an illusion – spending 10 years working at her business with no success to finally have that one post, that one viral sensation to reach you to success. That is basically how it is all done. The one viral post that took you 10 years to figure out. Along the way Rachel has been accused of plagiarism. Stealing quotes and stealing concepts and basically not knowing how to site a source for her information. It boils down to being ACCUSED of COPYING AND NOT CREDITING PEOPLES WORK. This is NOT the way to do it, Friends. The issue here is not being about to critically assess where the information is coming from and whether it is a credible source. She is sharing stolen information and is misguided about crediting sources and using quotation marks – she is trying to pull it off as her own. Basically, she is taking the spotlight from people that earned those credentials.

Rachel Hollis pretending like privilege did not help in getting her where she is and that it was all from the free information on the internet is absolutely a false claim.

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