18-year old Essena O’Neill, had over 500,000 followers on Instagram. She said she could easily make $1400 posting a picture. Finally she got fed up with it when she realized how fake and superficial it all was. She was constantly checking how many likes she got, spending every minute making pictures of herself to finally post the best one, posing as someone on the internet she felt wasn’t really her.
None of her pictures were genuine, she got paid a lot of money from companies to post a picture with their brand. She was constantly trying to present her life as exciting and perfect, just to get the attention she craved.
All of her followers admired her “perfect life” and tried to live up to it.
Last month she removed most of her pictures and on the few ones she left, she changed the comments, explaining to people how long she had spent just to take that picture, how much she got paid for them and how she really didn’t support the products she promoted.
Especially beautiful young girls with many followers get contacted by advertisers to post pictures with their products. The more followers they have, the more they get paid. Top bloggers can make up to $100,000 per month. They are nothing more than a easy way for promoting commercial products.
O'Neill recently started a new website, where she only wants to post videos of things she believes in, like veganism, poems and people who inspire her. She also encouraged other girls to quit all social media and start living their lives. Many young girls reacted on her new website..
The question remains if O'Neill is not falling in the same trap all over again: she allows people to leave their e-mail address to follow her publishing. The fact that she feels the need for people to follow her, actually shows how much she needs the attention herself. She might be blogging now about things she really likes, but the fact remains that once again, she needs confirmation to feel secure. People spend so much time on social media, watching others post unreal pictures of themselves instead of living their own life.
This video illustrates perfectly how fake it all is: