We can learn a thing or two from 19-year-old Australian blogger Essena O'Neill, who quit Instagram after claiming social media 'is not real life'. She deleted over 2000 of her photos- which garnered in over 722,000 followers, after saying 'they served no purpose other than self-promotion.'
O'Neill's images- depicting the 'perfect life'- were edited several times to win over the approval of her followers, and showed the side she only wanted people to see. After feeling suffocated by the fake, edited side of Instagram she re-edited her images to expose the side we don't always see.
She captioned her photo: "Please like this photo, I put on makeup, curled my hair, tight dress, big uncomfortable jewellery...Took over 50 shots until I got one I thought you might like, then I edited this one selfie for ages on several apps- just so I could feel some social approval from you." THERE IS NOTHING REAL ABOUT THIS #celebrityconstuct.
O'Neill has shone light on the fact that we are indeed a brain-washed generation. That what you see on social media is not real life. And that you shouldn't aspire to have someone else's life when it's not even real. She confessed up to the truth about her bikini shots, saying she would get paid to upload them and wouldn't eat for days.
"We are a generation told to consume and consume, with not thought of where it all comes from and where it all goes," says O'Neill. Her new blog- letsbegamechangers- is raw, truthful and inspiring . Real photos, unedited and the mask taken away, she is unearthing the truth about the social approval we all crave to receive. So, the next time you see a photo portraying 'the perfect life,' perhaps think about the time, effort and energy that went into creating that one image. And ask yourself: is this real life?