The topic of social
media and its sincerity,
or lack thereof, has
been taking over conversations
all popular websites.
In recent years, social
media has become
part of most teenagers’
daily lives. It is the
perfect place to share and see what other
people are up to.
It is also the perfect place to create an
illusion; an image of who you want to be
Famous YouTuber, model, and Instagrammer,
Essena O’Neill, is not the first
to slam social media, but is the person
who stirred up discussion with her video,
“Why I REALLY am quitting social media.”
In her video, she exposes herself and
the life of fame she had been sucked into.
O’Neill dedicated the video to her 12
year old self who wanted “it all,” but who,
now that she had “it all” at almost 19, was
completely miserable and felt alone.
“When I turned off my phone [for] a
week in L.A. is when all this happened
because I realized I didn’t know myself
without social media,” O’Neill said.
O’Neill reveals that social media is
now a business. “Companies will email
you with bullet points on what to say, how
to hold the products, times of the day to
post, what you should do in the photo…
Companies know the power of social media
and are exploiting it,” O’Neill said.
Having fame, money, followers, and
likes does not define who you are. Many
of us have been sucked into that idea; that
the perfect body, perfect editing, and perfect
persona will make people like us and
that we will feel important and valued.
The way users try to make themselves
appear online is jarring compared to the
person you see in real life.
O’Neill proves that in her eye opening
video. She urges her viewers to put their
phones and computers away and to go
outside with real people, have real experiences,
and finally find our happiness.
“I’m not against social sharing I’m
against the current status of social media,”
She does not think anyone has bad
intentions, but believes people have just
become caught up in it all, in the world
surrounding social media.
Given, there is some good in social
media. Famous online couple Jesse Stevens
and Savannah Montano talk about
this is their recent YouTube video, “Our
Perspective on Social Media.”
In this video, they express their anger
which comes from being put into a category
that everyone on social media is fake
They view social media as an incredible
tool to connect with people all around
the world and share your art and yourself.
Stevens and Montano make clear that
all their posts are real and their social media
is an expression of themselves through
photos that they consider art.
“If you go to social media and expect
that we are happy all the time, that’s not
true… We are still human… If you have
unrealistic interpretations of people’s
lives, then you will feel disappointed and
feel like they are fake, but they aren’t,”
Stevens and Montano said.
It is so easy to distract ourselves with
social media. It is discouraging to have
people constantly on their phones when
there could be real conversation going on.
Phones are so often used as a gateway out
of an awkward conversation or silence or
avoiding a run in with someone.
Although I too use my phone frequently
and am active on social media, it does
not mean I long for a different situation.
The culture of today’s teens is that face
to face confrontation or even interaction is
rare, which is an awfully sad fact.
Ultimately, social media is all about
how you want to use it. You choose what
you want to see and what you want to
However, it is important to take a step
back from the screens that are all around
us and evaluate the truth behind it.
It is vital to take a break from it all and
go have experiences without the safetynet
our phones have come to be.