Essena O’Neill wasn’t a instagram girl I’d heard of before, despite having an insane following of 500K, but this past week it seems everyone who has been online has heard about her rebel against social media, calling it a ‘lie’. To an extent this is true – but only of some people. I feel that calling everyone’s social media life a lie is wrong because not everyone just goes out to post meaningless photos. My instagram, along with all of my other platforms, is to inspire. Not all of my photos have a profound caption with them but I like to show the art of my makeup and my life. I’ve had so many messages from around the world that my positive attitude to life has inspired them to feel better about a struggle they’re going through. I’m always honest and say I’m not always positive and even that helps people too BECAUSE NO ONE IS PERFECT. Social media can be a lie if you choose it to be, it can be meaningless staged photos if you choose it to be BUT it can also be amazing. It can connect us and inspire us. Although, Essena says we shouldn’t feel validation from ‘likes’ or ‘followers’, for me, gaining more followers is such an achievement because it means I have the opportunity to inspire and help more people. Although there will be sponsored posts here and there, I promise you I will only accept money for a post if I genuinely like something. To be able to be an online content creator is great and something I have loved doing for years so if I can make a career out of it I think its bloody incredible.
I hope Essena’s message is from a positive place. However, I do think it is ironic that someone who decided to quit social media now has SO much social media attention – more than she ever has had. It seems like she has created an online hype and there seems to be more validation than ever. I definitely wish her luck on her personal journey but I am pretty confused why she didn’t just stop social media quietly as opposed to sharing it ON SOCIAL MEDIA if it was genuine (she’s also created a new website which to me is still social media!). Stepping away from computers,phones & iPads is so healthy now and again because we are all so wrapped up in a virtual world but thats the internet in general and not solely social media.
If you use social media in a positive way and spread a message it can be amazing, but if it is just for likes with no real purpose its not necessarily a lie but just pointless. We can create a movement through Instagram – it doesn’t have to be mindless.
What are your thoughts?