Famous teenage Instagrammer Essena O’Neill has decided to rebel against social media.
The Instagram star — who will turn 19 this week — created the website Let’s Be Game Changers to explain her decision and to shed light on the fantasy world of social media.
“And yes, I quit all of social media. With 570,00+ followers on Instagram, 250,000+ subscribes on YouTube, 250,000+ on tumblr and 60,000+ average views on snapchat. Tumblr and Snapchat gone forever. My instagram left to expose the harsh and often humorous reality behind the #goals #instafamous culture and YouTube for purely vegan education. Deleting all those apps from my phone was one of the most empowering and freeing thing I have ever done,” she explains on her website.
She criticises the brands who paid for her to model, saying “we are a generation told to consume and consume, with no thought of where it all comes from and where it all goes”
She still has photos on her Instagram page, but according to The Sunshine Coast Daily, the Australian social media star has been deleting her photos over the past week. She has edited the captions of her remaining photo and debunked the myth that many of her photos were “real” — many, in fact, were paid for by various companies.
In fact, her Instagram bio proudly boasts her new credo — “social media is not real life.”
Real caption edit: @rachael_consaul took some great photos. Without a doubt she is talented. Originally I wanted them for my new site essenaoneill.com Oh how much can change in a few small weeks. I now wish I wasn't wearing such a mask. I love this dress for it makes me feel like a fairy. What wasn't captured was the long talks we had sitting on the beach waiting for golden hour lighting. That's real life, this image is contrived beauty, not real.
She’s also spreading her thoughts on social media with videos on her website.
Her first video on the website was called “Why I Think Social Media Sucks.”
Underneath the video, she explains her feelings towards social media.
“I can’t tell you how free I feel without social media. Never again will I let a number define me. IT SUFFOCATED ME. Not because I had 500,000 followers, I felt the same as a young girl, I would just spend hours looking at everyone else’s perfect lives and I strived to make mine look just as good… Guess I succeeded. It’s totally stupid. Everyone’s doing it. And I know you didn’t come into this world just wanting to fit in and get by. You are reading this now because you are a game changer, you might not know your power yet, I am just finding mine, but man… when you do… far out you’ll go crazy. It will be brilliant. You’ll be brilliant,” she writes, challenging her followers to go one week without social media.
She has also posted a video on YouTube called “Why I REALLY Am Quitting Social Media.”
It marks her final video on YouTube.
“I don’t want to support a social sharing sight that makes views and subscribers the point of focus. I spent hours watching perfect girls online, wishing I was them. Then when I was ‘one of them’ I still wasn’t happy, content or at peace with myself. Stripping away distractions made me question everything I did online. I want you to do the same,” she wrote.
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