Social media….it’s the era of the 21st century. I mean social media first started as a way to connect with our family and friends, near and far. Now…now it’s just turned into an environment of validation. We now upload more than ever, we take photos and videos of what is going on around us, almost every second of the day, we try and post the “coolest” photos with the “coolest” captions and then we wait for the likes and comments to start rolling in.
I’ve heard people say “OMG, my photo only got 5 likes, can you go like it for me”. It’s like to feel good about ourselves we need some sort of unnecessary rating validation.
Nowadays there’s something called “insta famous”, which basically is assigned to the user’s profile based on the number of followers they have and the amount of likes/comments they get on a photo. People don’t want to look good for themselves anymore, they want to look good for the camera, for the 100 selfies they’re about to take, and to capture people’s attention through their looks and their generic captions.
Please don’t get me wrong, I don’t disagree with selfie uploads and awesome scenery photos, heck that’s what makes my feed interesting! I just think people have become too invested in the social media “fame”, that they are letting other define them by numbers.
A living example that you may have all heard of is Essena O’Neill. A 19 year old model that grabbed everyone’s attention a month ago, because she got up and left social media very abruptly.
Essena O’Neill is a 19 year old girl that had almost a million followers on Instagram, Youtube and Snapchat. Ever since she was 12, she has been trying to get validation for her looks from social media. She eventually started getting paid by clothing companies, tea companies and fitness companies left, right and centre. She was PAID to upload photos of herself holding a specific product, or wearing a particular outfit, while also looking “candid”. Essena O’Neill, is no doubt a beautiful young girl, but is she happy? She exposed to the world that she wasn’t happy, and she gave the world a deep inside look into how her life really was.
‘Without realising, I’ve spent majority of my teenage life being addicted to social media, social approval, social status and my physical appearance. Social media, especially how I used it, isn’t real,’ she wrote.
O’Neill, visited many places to get the right pose and the right “look”, but she never enjoyed her time. One particular photo was at her Year 12 formal, in a white floor length gown. The dress was paid for, and she took countless photos to “look hot for Instagram”, but she “felt incredibly alone at her formal”.
O’Neill decided she didn’t want to be living that life anymore, because she didn’t want young girls looking up to her and falling into the same trap she did.
Essena is only one of many social media famous people who have shared their real feelings with the world, regarding their fame. People like, IISUPERWOMANII, TYLER OAKLEY, FOUSEYTUBE, CONNOR FRANTA; Youtube is their job. However, even they have come out and said how much pressure it is to make good content every week when they have set the bar so high.
My point is, there’s no reason to be like other people. Just because you see a girl with a toned body, amazing hair and a flawless face, does NOT mean that they are living the absolute luxury life. There’s already enough judgement going on around the public streets, why do you want more of that online?
Never let the ‘thumbs up’ button make you feel good about yourself, because your friends or followers are just simply scrolling through, they don’t truly value you. People who like/love you surround you everyday in the real world, at home, at school, or at work.
Next time you think about uploading a photo, don’t look at it for 10 hours and take several other ones because you think “I don’t look good” or you think people won’t like it. YOU chose to share your life with others on social media, so do it the way you want to, be happy doing it, because there’s always going to be people judging, and you have to deal with that; just enjoy life, enjoy every moment you’re in.
‘You don’t need to go on social media to connect, you don’t have to prove your life on Instagram for it to be a good life’–Essena O’Neill
You can read more about O’Neill’s story here: