You probably know Erin Thumann. Whether it be from YouTube, Instagram, or from her adventures with influencer/model sister Ellie's 2M+ Youtube channel, you've most likely heard of her name before. The Teen Magazine had the chance to interview Erin on her insight on being prominent in social media, lifestyle, passions & creatives, and much more — with the accompaniment of a virtual at-home photo shoot.
Rise of Social Media
Erin's social media gathered attention over the years as her sister Ellie's Youtube channel began to grow. Erin will often feature in a cameo over Ellie's YouTube videos; the two sisters have traveled the world and done many vlogs that fans love to keep up with. For Erin, it is an exciting opportunity to do something both her and her sister share with a passion; having the chance to experience new and fun things is an aspect she enjoys deeply.
"I have helped [Ellie] with her videos since she was young, and being a part of her success is something I am very proud of," says Erin, "It is still crazy to think that people follow me and my life."
Journey to Internet Fame
When asked of her experience of being a content creator so easily recognized and followed by many of Gen Z, Erin tells The Teen Magazine her personal point of view. Without a doubt, social media has changed her life — including her personal life as well.
Having a platform has had both positive and negative aspects. I am so grateful for all of the experiences I have been able to have through my social media following but with that being said, it has also had some impact on my personal life. I have had to be more aware of what I do, whether I'm going out with friends, walking to class, or just shopping. It added a level of paranoia, but I have learned being me is why people follow me. I wouldn't trade it for the world!
For Erin, posting on her Instagram is something she puts much thought and effort into. "I’ve tried to make my content as positive and authentic as possible," says Erin, "Before the coronavirus, I posted about what I was doing at college and the trips in between."
Her posts are oftentimes quite simple and inspirational. There's the myriad of Pinterest-worthy aesthetic shots, and also a view of her life through Instagram square grids.
Erin reflects on content posting while in quarantine, and tells us, "I was very fortunate to be able to travel and balance school. Since quarantine and social distancing, I have been trying to be creative with the content I post — whether that's a picnic, a tea party, or camping in the backyard. Being at home has made me appreciate and enjoy making content."
Content ⇒ Followers
Erin is in hopes to use her content to bring inspiration to her audience. "I want my content to bring positivity to my followers and also be able to spread important information through my platform," she says, "The world is a crazy place right now and I want to be able to help educate my followers while continuing to educate myself."
Additionally, as a content creator and creative, Erin hopes to show her followers that having fun doesn't stop even with the pandemic halt. "I hope that some of my quarantine pictures inspire others to be creative at home," she tells us.
Social Media Handles
As of now, Erin only has her Instagram, @erinthumann. Many of her audience have asked if she would consider trying a hand at YouTube like her sister, but Erin tells us she'll be trying something different.
"Everyone has different passions, and YouTube is not one of mine," she says, "so I will not be starting one. However, I am working on something very exciting!"
Having a Huge Platform
Erin's social media following is in hundreds of thousands — and for her, it's something surreal. "It is still crazy to think of that I have over 160,000 people following me throughout my everyday life," she says. But with the number of followers, Erin takes a step further in what images and messages she is sending out to her audience.
"I think it's so important to be a good role model for my followers. I want to show that at the end of the day it doesn't matter how many followers you have or how many likes your pictures get; it truly matters how good of a person you are. Everyone, including myself, gets wrapped up in the number game, but there is so much more to life than social media! I also want to show other college students that it is possible to travel and have these great experiences while also balancing school."
Advice from Erin
Advice that is very important to me that I want to relay to my followers is that there is so much more to life than social media. I am blessed to have this platform and to be able to share my life and work from anywhere- which is something I'm so grateful for. But with that, mental health is more important than anything and I think that if social media is bringing you more unhappiness than positive feelings, then it's time to get outside, get some fresh air, and have some hobbies that make you happy.
Social Media Negativity
When asked about the negativity from social media and how she responds in a positive manner, Erin responds, "I have definitely had my fair share of negative comments which was something I had to learn to deal with. People will assume they know you as a person and will brutally comment on your looks."
However, after the online hate she has received, Erin has been able to take some significant key points from the ordeal. "I have learned to take everything with a grain of salt and realize that what matters most is how I feel about myself. It's very hard to get to know someone through Instagram pictures, so that's where a lot of misjudgment can happen. But at the end of the day, if you're happy with yourself and your life, that's all that matters! Something I've always kept in mind with reading these comments is knowing that the people writing them are not probably happy themselves."
Goals, Hopes, Dreams & Upcoming Projects
As for the future, Erin has some big upcoming projects in store that she has been working on recently. "Through all my traveling and college experiences, I have wanted my own way to share them besides Instagram," Erin explains, "[So] I've been working on starting a blog to be able to have a safe space to share my thoughts and experiences. I have always loved writing, and being in front of the camera is not the best way of me to express how I am feeling. I have so many thoughts and ideas I want to share with my audience that will hopefully benefit them in a positive way- whether that be how to balance school/travel, or the best places to visit in a certain location. I have been fortunate enough to travel to so many places and I want to tell my audience exactly where they are so they can go as well. I’m hoping to have it up and ready soon."
Her blog is in the works but is estimated to be released sometime soon.
When asked about a topic interested in advocating for, Erin responds that she is hoping to promote sustainability and an eco-friendly lifestyle. Even her background of college studies reflects this; Erin is currently an Environmental Studies major at the University of Arizona.
"I love learning about all the new techniques to live a sustainable life," says Erin, "I think the more influencers that share resources and techniques, the better our world will become. It is still so crazy to me that people genuinely don't think twice about the environment. While we were on this earth we need to be doing things to protect it. We only have one earth and I want to make sure we take the best care of it!"
She hopes to continue using her platform to share and bring light to this topic to spread awareness.
Know This About Me
Something I want people to know about me is that I have such a huge heart and would do anything for anyone. Through Instagram pictures, it is hard to get to know who you're following sometimes, but that is one thing I want to shine through everything. Right now the world needs more love and that's something I really want to promote to my audience.
Get to Know Erin: Fun Facts
Hometown: Phoenix, Arizona
Favorite Food: Popcorn
Favorite Movie: Safe Haven - I am obsessed with this movie!!!
Secret Talent: I don't know if I would call this a secret talent but I am a master at planning. Planning brings me so much happiness and I am able to plan every hour of every day in the most efficient way especially when it comes to traveling!
Thank you Erin for your lovely insight and sharing your story & experience!
To keep up with Erin, make sure to follow her Instagram @erinthumann and be on the lookout for her upcoming blog. The Teen Magazine can't wait to see her upcoming adventures, projects, and the big things in store in the future!
All photos by Kate-Yeonjae Jeong, 2020 (@kaetyjeong)