Welcome to the machine.
As you might’ve seen, Essena O’neill, a 19 year old vegan blogger has “left” social media a week ago. She claimed that it was limiting her and making her live her life according to the societies standards, trying to make it look better than it is. She was someone that I’ve been following even before going vegan and her videos really helped me through the first stages of my vegan experience. However, did she really have to do that? Did she really have to walk away from an opportunity of educating people about veganism and world issues WHILE making money? She had half a million followers yet she chose to deactivate her account and walk away from it. Even though I respect(ed) Essena so much, I think she could’ve used social media in a much more inspirational way instead of just deleting her accounts.
Last week, I wrote about how instagram was driving me crazy and making me obsess over it. So I took a week long break. During this reasonably short break I found out that it drives you crazy only if you let it. I love photography, food and travels and I love sharing it. If you use it for photography or just sharing pictures with friends without checking the like count every 5 minutes, you’re good. You shouldn’t be the one to let it drive you crazy. You should be able to use it moderately. And you should know that people only post like 2% of their lives on instagram so it’s never ever as perfect as it looks like.
I believe that it’s a very nice platform to share with friends, family and people from all over the world! Just like most people say, my social media experience is really far away from Essena’s and I don’t use it for my daily dose of validation. Validation should come from you, and you only. You should be able to look in the mirror and say “you’re perfect” instead of waiting for 2000 more followers on instagram to prove you’re worth something. That might be what Essena was going through, but not me.
Even though I respect her, I don’t think it’s normal for her to be dissing social media in general just because her experience wasn’t as productive or validating as she wanted it to be. I still believe that she could’ve done so much more with those half a million followers. She could’ve educated so many more people instead of uploading crying videos on a whole new site, which probably can qualify as another version of social media and social validation. I see the point in being a gamechanger but doing it online and waiting for people to support you ($$$) through another form of social media TO abolish social media won’t do the trick. Another thing is that she is probably more famous than she ever was, and no one can make me believe that she is upset about being featured on Buzzfeed, Cosmopolitan and Teen Vogue as well as many other online news sites. I can’t help but feel this was another marketing trick. Now everyone knows about her, everyone who was never interested in her beachy pictures or vegan foods have at least heard her name once during the past week. Mission accomplished?
I totally agree with EarthlingMaxi’s new video on youtube and advise you to watch it to see a brand new opinion on the whole Essena thing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5wKMw8iBKg
So no matter what other people do, as long as I don’t use it for social validation and as long as I don’t go crazy, I will keep on using social media for myself and myself only! I advise you to do the same.
Please please leave your comments under the post on Facebook since I’m very curious on what other people think on the subject!