The topic of the moment seems to be Essena, the 18 year old, internet famous girl from Brisbane, Australia. If you haven't watched it, Essena filmed a long emotional video about how she was quitting social media as it's all fake, it's a charade and it's taken over her life. While only making her miserable.
The video was pretty confronting, and as someone who is trying to break into the online world of blogging and social media, it made me sit back and think for a good while.
But the more I thought about points that she mentioned, the more I realised whether I agreed or disagreed with certain parts.
I had never heard of, or seen Essena on social media before. Obviously there are a lot of people online to come across, and many people can be instafamous without you having see them. Essena is said to have had 500k+ followers on instagram (before she deleted) and was being paid to advertise products through her photos, as well as scoring a modelling contract through her popularity.
Firstly from what I can gather, Essena got into instagram and general social media outlets as she had incredibly low self esteem. She didn't value or love herself, and she didn't have much confidence in her appearance or general life. She speaks about being only 12 years old and comparing herself to online celebrities, and truly believing that one day, if she were to be famous and well known on social media. Then she would be happy, be loved and truly value herself.
I don't participate in social media and instagram in order to validate myself and my self worth. It's not why I started and it's not where I'm heading. I enjoy taking photos on my iPhone and editing them with various apps like Afterlight and VSCO Cam. I enjoy when I get a pretty shot and can upload it.
At the same time though, "Comparison is the thief of all joy." And Instagram is one of the most comparative social media outlets that there is. Even as I like taking photos and uploading them, there's no denying that I feel like my images aren't as good as other peoples, and perhaps I'm not as good as them either. That my outfits will never be trendy enough, my hair and makeup will never be perfect, and neither will my body.
Essena speaks about becoming obsessed with taking the perfect photo. Spending hours taking hundreds of shots for a single upload. While I can see that this is unhealthy and obsessive behaviour generally. If you're a big enough social media personality, then those hours used and those shots are all a part of the job, the business. You're spending that time styling the products given to you, and designing the perfect shot that you are likely getting paid to do. It's called a day job. Sometimes working a lot can get you down.
Essena sounded like in the end she could no longer distinguish taking photos for work, from taking photos of her everyday "life". Every single photo ended up being faked and posed. So that when she looked through her insta feed, she saw the perfect life but realised she wasn't living it.
A lot of famous social media personalities are commenting their own opinions on the topic that are interesting to read. Most claiming that Essena seemed deeply unhappy before social media as well. Which is definitely seems that way after watching her video.
Overall isn't it depressing to think your favourite and seemingly happy bloggers, instagrammers and youtubes are actually super unhappy? I certainly hope they're all alright.
Have you watched? What do you think? Do you think it was all just a publicity stunt?