There was a time when kids met after school to play, to chat face-to-face. They didn’t tweet, there was no whatsapp and nobody shared pictures on Instagram. It’s something that teenagers these days can hardly imagine. A life without a smartphone. How was this possible? And is it still possible, to live without using Social Media? Why became online approval so important?
Kids these days spend about nine hours on Social Media every day, according to the report of Common Sense Media. They tweet, they share, they like. They spend more times online than most of them sleep, or some people spend at the office working. Not included in these nine hours are the time kids use the Internet for learning, e. g. at school, or for homework.
With more than 800,000 followers on Instagram Essena O’Neill just revealed how much she faked her own photos only to find approval online. She wanted to be seen by her followers as the perfect person. It took her hours taking a picture and using serveral editing apps until she was happy with the outcome. She waited for the perfect light, stood in front of a white wall to look more sexy, or ate less for just one perfect picture.
“I spent hours watching perfect girls online, wishing I was them. Then when I was ‘one of them’ I still wasn’t happy, content or at peace with myself.” – Essena O’Neill
Many kids believe what they see on Instagram, without questioning the ‘natural beauties’ out there who all seem to look like a super model no matter what they do. And these pictures look like just a shot, taken right in the moment, without much effort. Other girls who see these pictures can feel miserable, less beautiful, because they think they can never look like that. In a video that was viewed over one million times in only 24 hours after it was published, O’Neil said that kids should not waste their entire youth on the Internet, but spend more time offline, living real life.
“I spent 12 to 16 wishing I was that perfect person online. […] But is making your whole day proving to everyone else that you’re amazing, is that life? Proving yourself online? Taking pictures just in hope to get likes and compliments?” – Essena O’Neill
She also revealed that after she had 150,000 followers brands contacted her to pay her money when she shows one of their dresses. O’Neill had 200,000 followers on YouTube and Tumblr, 60,000 on Snapchat. After renaming her Instagram account into “Social Media is not real life”, she quitted all of her Socia Media. The Australian girl just launched her website Let’s be game changers. She shares videos and writes about people who don’t wanna get addicted to social approval. As this is not the reality as it might looks like.
This is a video that Essena O’Neill put on her website today. Talking about one of her most famous Instagram picture and the true story behind it.
“You have so much more inside of you than letting the world see.” -Essena O’Neil
More information on Essena O’Neill, some of her photos, and to watch the video about her from ABC News click here.
How many hours do you spend on Social Media? How often do you post? Do you think a social life without media is possible these days or is the approval online more important than real life? Please share your thoughts.