Things We Can Learn from Essena O'NeillWednesday, November 04, 2015
I feel I could write a million posts about social media and blogging. I have so many words that I could say about the whole matter and about 476764646 posts that have been abandoned in my drafts folder. But today, I want to write and talk about social media. Social media has been a hot topic of discussion this week, if you want to know why then check out Essena O'Neill's story and why she's turned on her life of being an Instagram influencer (well kind of...) Although, I am a little sceptical of some of the situation, I do believe she has made some valid points about social media and today's society. Everyone has an opinion on this matter, which is great as it's really got people talking and remember no one is right or wrong. Here are just a few things that I personally think we can take away from all of this...
- Social Media does not validate you. The amount of followers you have does not make you a better person than someone else. The amount of likes you get on a selfie does not determine how attractive you are, don't be fooled into thinking that numbers should make you happy. You should make you happy.
- You never have to do anything you don't want to do in life or on social media. A brand wants to work with you? That's great, always disclose paid posts, and sponsored content, don't try to deceive your audience. Don't work with brands who don't get bloggers, or won't listen to your input. Advertise stuff that you would buy, and really love. There is nothing wrong with working with brands on sponsored work, but it is wrong when you don't disclose, or you aren't happy with the collaboration. You can always say no. Don't ever feel that you have to sacrifice your integrity just for free stuff or to keep a brand happy.
- Read this post by Emma, and it'll make you realise that this situ isn't about you and your Instagram account.
- Know that not everything you see on social media is real life. Okay well it is, but don't be fooled by that dreamy bedroom set up, or the flawless selfie, we all edit things and post things that aren't happening right at that moment. You know that cute dog Frankie I have, that I always post on Instagram, I bloody love him but did I tell you that the little gremlin knocked over the kitchen bin full of coffee granules when we were out, and he did three massive shits on his walk the other day which were always in front of an audience? Nope.
- Remember we are all humans. Don't be a dick to someone just because you don't agree with them on social media, or you don't like their content. Just don't follow them, my rule I think if I was like social media prime minster is just 'don't be a dick.'
- Stay Real, don't become a sell out just to get a load of followers. Work with people who you want to work with, don't arse lick and be all fake. Be you, be real, be genuine. That way, if you make it to the top, you'll stay there cause you're a decent person.
- Take a Break, don't live your life on the internet constantly refreshing Instagram and Twitter, get out into the outside world, put your phone away, the world wont stop spinning cause you've not updated your twitter for a few hours. Remember that there's a world outside your phone.
- Rely on the opinions of people who you love; your family, your friends, the people who mean something to you. If they tell you that you look nice, you believe them, don't be fooled into thinking that strangers on the internet are the only way to make yourself feel confident.
- You can post aspirational pictures and blog posts and still be genuine and real.
- Don't over think social media. Enjoy it for what it is. You do you, don't worry about what anyone else is doing.
Social media can be amazing and evil, it can consume you but also elevate you. I love the internet, I really do, but I also know that sometimes it can warp into your brain. I worry about younger people who may be growing up with social media, who believe that you always have to be flawless, and have all white furniture. But then, we have to give ourselves and our peers more credit. I recently have been having a bit of a breakdown about my YouTube channel, as I feel like I'm not successful. I have over 36,000 subscribers yet I feel I am a bit of a failure. WTF, I've realised that not having millions of subscribers doesn't mean, I'm rubbish at what I do. You can get caught up into the numbers game, but I always try to remember that the number at the top of screen does not determine whether my content is good or bad. I also love instagram and I love following aspirational people, I love posting pictures and editing them, I'm not going to stop anytime soon. I just know what's real and to always remember that numbers don't make you a better person. I think everyone has a great point on this story, but honestly, I don't believe social media is evil. Just don't let it take over your life, and always, always remember to never compare your behind the scenes with someone else's highlight reel.