Wednesday, November 4, 2015


“NOT REAL LIFE - took over 100 in similar poses trying to make my stomach look good. Would have hardly eaten that day. Would have yelled at my little sister to keep taking them until I was somewhat proud of this. Yep so totally#goals.” (Photo: Instagram/Essenaoneill)
Essena In the era of social media it's hard not to get caught up in the frenzy of Facebook comments and Instagram likes . Many people (especially young girls) are defining their lives by the number of likes and comments they can garner and thus create fake lives to accomplish it. We all know (or some of us know) how fake the lives portrayed on social media are yet we still fall for it. This week one of the queens of Instagram Essena O’Neill  a popular 18-year-old Australian with  Instagram “fame” of 586,000 followers and YouTube follower count of over 200,000 that was fueled by her healthy vegan lifestyle, inspiring fitness advice, and seemingly beautiful world dropped the bombshell she was pulling out. 
What we were seeing was a controlled business, not her actual life. “Everything I was doing was edited and contrived,” O’Neill says on her new site, Let’s Be Game Changers.
She deleted hundreds of photos on her Instagram account,@essenaoneill, which is followed by more than half a million people. O’Neill also went back to her old photos and changed captions to descriptions of what she was feeling like at the time of the photo, such as: “A 15 year old girl that calorie restricts and excessively exercises is not goals.”
Markman continues, “The Internet has created opportunities for people to gain followers and fame without going through traditional media channels.” He highlighted how being known by a large number of people doesn’t equate to happiness — this is the social media illusion and contributes to the idea of a filtered life.
“Life satisfaction comes from factors like making a contribution to society, helping others, and working on projects that are bigger than yourself. It is no surprise that those people who achieve fame without engaging in activities that create more general satisfaction are often unhappy with their stardom.” Markman references Danny Kahneman’s research that shows that attaining a desired goal doesn’t equal long-term happiness, or the “hedonic treadmill.”
O’Neill writes on the post below, “The only thing that made me feel good that day was this photo. How deeply depressing.”
“I had it ‘all’ and I was miserable because when you let yourself be defined by numbers, you let yourself be defined by something that is not pure. That is not real. And that is not love,” O’Neill continued in her video, which has already gotten over 50,000 views before it was deleted.
O’Neill had paid posts, a modeling contract, and hundreds of thousands of viewers because of the “dream life” we all thought she had. While in the United States, O’Neill sent texts to her friends when her realization began, saying, “I don’t want to promote greedy industries or photoshop or fake art…” and following it up with “i was putting so much push onto getting a visa for the US asap…but at what cost? doing shitty jobs to make more money I don’t really need?” For many Instagram users, they may scroll past these products and think that the digital influencers actually enjoy using the brand. 
This is her insight to the industry that is saturated with diet teas and bright clothing and travel resorts.
“Without realizing, I’ve spent the majority of my teenage life being addicted to social media, social approval, social status and my physical appearance,” she wrote. “Social media, especially how I used it, isn’t real.”
All these sounds good to me but my question is: if really is not about "fame and followers" why not quit altogether after your thoughts have been expressed? Why create another account, another page, another website? Did she really quit or did the pressure she put on herself just became too much to bare so she chose another route to fame?

1 comment:

  1. Very sad, But Yes Why create another account ! Weird! :)


I love to read your feedback, leave a comment if you can. Thanks, Milly.