Social Media is a Lie

4 November 2015

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.

Cya! xx
Have you watched? What do you think? Do you think it was all just a publicity stunt?

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  1. I totally agree with everything you said! I think instagram is a great platform and if that was her business, she was getting paid to look happy. At the end of the day that was her job & good on her for making a living out of it but at the same time I do feel sorry for her in the way it affected her at such a young age. I do think she ended it in the wrong way, now saying she can't pay her rent. She's really young & if she didn't like that job it's a perfect age to find her calling. I dunno, it all seems a bit iffy to me.
    Pretty Mad Things .. x o

  2. My cousin's wife does this. She posts magical wonderful pictures and it's all fake. She lives in this perpetual dream state online and it sucks. I always feel like she is ruining it for everyone else. The key to blogging in my eyes is being honest. If you don't mean it...don't say it! I hope this Essena person is a wake up call for people who are fake online. =)

    Melanie | Toots + Dill

  3. This was a lovely post and I'm so glad you addressed this topic! I've been thinking of doing so myself. I do agree with her point that social media can at times promote many unrealistic ideas and images of unattainable perfection, but I think that all depends on how it is used. It can also be used to promote positivity, happiness and realistic representations of our imperfections. It truly depends on how you use it and what you choose to do with it in my opinion! xo

    My Lovelier Days

  4. Couldn't agree more with what you said. Its easy to understand how people can get sucked into an unrealistic world through social media but as long as you stay true to yourself, upload your happy moments and things that make you happy - what does it matter!

    Hannah | Oh January

  5. I read about Essena yesterday and like you, had never seen or heard of her before. I kinda agree with a lot of her points, social media is depressing and can definitely have an impact on self esteem, but like you say, not everyone uses it for that reason. I don't use Instagram like a "blogger", I still use it to post the snapshots of my life and I enjoy doing so, there's no theme to my account! But I often feel really inadequate when I look at YouTube videos and the big bloggers, as I know my photos/life will never look like theirs. I guess it's all about perspective though.

    Lucy x- Yellowicing

  6. The first time I watched her video I was like oh, oh no, ohh that's sad. good job on saying something. but the more I thought about it and the more I digged, I found some cracks. For someone whose apparently had it all with a following of half a million followers, I have never heard of her before. And I am sure the rest of the worst hadn't either - but now, hey we all know Essena! A few things that have really grinded my gears about this whole saga:
    * She is now asking for donations so she can keep living her lifestyle... What happened to all of the money that she's earned? Blown it? And if she can't live the same lifestyle, get a job? Or make some personal changes?
    * In one of her videos she mentioned how happy she is that now 200,000 people have clicked onto her website and viewed her content... I thought she wasn't concerned about views?
    * She says social media is a lie.. but yet she's deciding to share all of her anger out here on social media? Makes no sense to me!

    Also, even though society says one thing, that doesn't mean everyone has to follow it? Look at all the other girls who haven't done what she's done, that was her decision.

    I think she makes some valid points about some people making their lives seem better than they are through social media. I also think that she has a good point about when girls are too young and they see an image and strive for it, but I think she's going about her ideas in the wrong way.

    Katina |

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  8. I totally get this. I'm forever looking at my social media and wished it was like so and so's and looked perfect where everything is wonderfully staged and looks amazing. It's just impossible to keep it going and mine always look average. I haven't seen this video but I'd love to - I've heard so much about it online lately xx

    Sophie Elizabeth


Thanks so much for commenting everyone! I read and appreciate every single one of your comments! xx