Essena O’Neill, 18, from Australia deleted her social media platforms this week despite her large following count (over 500,000) in order to shed light on how consumed our society is in the idea of likes and followers. One account that she did choose to leave up is her Instagram, where she changed all of the captions and described what was really happening in the picture and how she felt.
In today’s society, there are some people who have become so consumed in follower counts or how many likes they are receiving that they alter their lives for this. Some people lead totally different lives on social media than they do in real life. It is easy to take a variety of photos and post them on an app like Instagram and make your life seem totally different. That’s the problem though. People are not being true to who they actually are just so that they can feel accepted by thousands of people they do not know and will never know.
What is the point? Why do we feel like the only way we can feel accepted in today’s society is if we have a large social media following?
Now of course there are still many people who use social media and could care less about how “popular” their account is so it is not fair to say that social media has consumed everyone’s lives. Social media is nice in small doses, but it is important that you do not let it become your everything.
I will be honest, sometimes when I post a picture on Instagram I get this feeling and then start to question if I should have posted that picture or not. I am also not very active on my personal Twitter because I feel like I am being judged every single time I tweet something. There is something about social media that I think makes people feel more insecure about themselves than they should be and that’s why I believe social media can be detrimental for some people.
I do not care whether or not I have the most followers out of the people from school or that I do not get as many likes on my pictures as other people because it means nothing. Everything is virtual. Oh, you got another like on your picture? Cool, how does that extra tap on a screen make you feel?
Social media possess people to do certain things too. I know that some of my friends get excited when they are going to go on a trip or to a concert because they think of it as a great way to get new content to post on their social media. We have become so wrapped up in getting the “perfect picture” that we lose sight of what we are actually doing and don’t enjoy the moment. People need to stop living in a 2-Dimensional world because we should not feel that our lives need to be validated by people we don’t even know.
O’Neill’s actions have definitely made people start talking, but whether or not it will make a huge impact, I am not sure. Some of the issues she has brought up are ones that I feel many people are aware of yet they do not care enough to make a change. Ultimately, O’Neill has really just made people think more about what they are doing on social media.