Social media has been blowing up with YouTube sensation Essena O’Niell quitting social media due to how fake it is. It’s actually really refreshing to hear someone who’s so successful online with over half a million viewers on different platforms, be honest about what goes on behind the scenes of those “perfect” images which get hundreds and thousands of likes on Instagram.
She has opened up, admitting to most of her Instagram feed being staged, with photographs of herself wearing and using products which brands have paid her to promote. Young influential girls and men will only see the “perfect” end image that’s being promoted not the endless hours that have gone into taking that image and the hundreds of pictures that weren’t good enough with the right angles and poses.
I remember having this same conversation with my boyfriend about four or five months ago when I realised how much Instagram is changing, promoting images that your friends and people you follow have clicked on. Most of my feed would be full of half naked girls who looked amazing, wearing skimpy bikinis on an fabulous beach location. I don’t want my entire feed and search page to be filled with that!
I’m not a prude and am all about girl power and completely appreciate other women but come on, sometimes it would be nice for there to be a “clean” feed that’s full of things I have actually chosen to follow.
That’s my issue with platforms such as Instagram, they are putting the temptation out there for you. Young kids are so influenced by likes, follows and tags and it shows from Essena that it can cause anxiety, depression, low self esteem and other mental illnesses.
I’m really glad that she has taken a stand and spoken out about what it’s really like to be a “successful” social media guru. I hope she empowers other people to also realise that social media is a business and will use young people to promote their businesses and brands and not really care about their well being.
Back in my day, haha, the saying used to be ” you cant believe everything you read” now it’s more like “you can’t believe everything you see”.
It’s such a shame that kids can’t just be kids and not grow up too fast. Wear age appropriate clothes, hardly any makeup apart from a cheeky lashing of mascara and clear lipgloss and not demand all the latest designer handbags and technology from their parents. I totally get it when older generations look at their successors and feel content knowing that they had it so good back in their day!
If you do have any mental illness issues and are based in the UK, here are some charities that you can get in touch with. Please remember it’s not shameful to seek help, in fact it’s the most courageous thing you can do for yourself!
These are just a few charities but you can google more and see what best suits your needs and situation.