An Open Letter About Social Media

Well hello there!

Essena O'Neill

This week Essena O'Neill is making quite the headlines for quitting social media. When I first watched the videos and read the articles I thought "wow that's incredible." Until it really sunk into me what she was saying.

I wrote on here a bit ago about being obsessed with the numbers I was hitting on my blog. Numbers are captivating because we really do live in a world where we are told that they mean something to our self worth. With that I agree with Essena wholeheartedly. They suck you in. We've all deleted a selfie or two that hasn't gotten enough likes, or started hashtagging to get higher numbers. But the problem she describes is something so beyond that. Her issue was no longer being happy with what she had but always looking for more to fill a void within her. It's a common problem that the world needs to work on.

The number one thing I found with Essena's claim to social media being fake is that she has consistently been the one in charge of her own image. Instagram and YouTube and Twitter and Facebook, they're all platforms for us to choose how to use them. We initially sign up to start sharing with our friends and family, sometimes we reach to more people than that and sometimes we reach to the world. If there comes a point where you realize you have the potentially to earn money and the companies offering you paid posts are something you support then by all means post it. We all want to get paid for doing something we love.

I'm not a big time blogger, I don't have a massive following but I still get contacted by companies. Do I get paid for things? No. Have I gotten some free items and posted about them? Yes. But I am the one choosing to work with these companies. I am the one deciding to spend my time putting effort into a post, and I have the freedom to say no. There have been times where I've written a post for a company or signed up for something and then just not agreed with it. In those cases I've written the company to inform them that it's just not something I can get behind. Not every brand is made for everyone and the people reaching out to you know that. Money is enticing but you should never feel like you have to go against yourself to earn it.

As a follower of many people on social media I can tell when something is paid for by a brand. I read the captions, I see who is tagged in the photos and the majority of the time I see a "thank you for sending me this product" or "#ad." As a follower I know that person is getting paid for that post and all I hope for is that the person's honesty. I read so many blogs and watch so many videos and the first words out of people's mouths are "I'm telling you about this because I'm being honest." If that wasn't something Essena did, that is her own fault, not social media.

My problem with everyone saying social media is fake is that it's really not. We don't show the bad times we have because they're private. If I'm sitting in my room crying over the fact that I had a bad day at work I'm not going to go around snapchatting it. We show the good parts of our lives because that's what we want remembered. No one has a great day every day and as a human being I know that, as should everyone else. We control our accounts therefore we control what we show. If you aren't being honest on social media then it is your problem for thinking social media is fake.

I use social media for fun and for self promotion and to explore other people. I love scrolling down Instagram to see a friend's selfie. I love seeing someone telling me about something cool they did with another company. I love seeing other people's views of the world. That is what I use social media for. If I don't have a million followers I don't care. I post pictures because I want to. I follow the people I follow because I like what they have to show me. If I post a selfie where I did my makeup strictly for that selfie then I make a joke out of it. Nothing about the way that I use social media is fake so don't assume that everyone else is either.

What I hope everyone reading this takes away from this is that social media is what you make of it. Post your selfies, mention the brands you work with, share with the world but most importantly, just stay true to who you are. There is no fake in doing that.

What do you think of Essena's "social media is fake" claim?
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  1. I 100% agree with all of this. Essena has some good points, but she is putting down other people in the process.xx Lita

    1. Thank you! I agree her points are good but yes she is!


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