While the rest of the world are eager to join social media and reach superstar status, a teen who's already at her peak decided to shut down all of her accounts and quit, saying it made her live an inauthentic life.
Essena O'Neill shocked her throngs of fans in various social media accounts when she announced her decision to quit. In a video she posted on her new website called Let's Be Game Changers, she shared how everything she experienced so far was fake and contrived.
According to her, despite having more than 500,000 followers in Instagram, 250,000 subscribers in YouTube, several sponsorships from big brands, and even a modeling contract both in Australia and the United States, she felt miserable and started showing symptoms of depression.
She also claimed that social media has already become a business, with companies exploiting those with hundreds of followers like her for brand promotion. In the same video, she revealed how companies would control even Instagram shots like how the products should be held and the times they should be posted in exchange for monetary compensation or sponsorships.
O'Neill also mentioned that she's quitting for her 12-year-old self, a reference to a time when she wished she had what she owns and experiences today. Back then, she felt worthless and not valued and thought social media would help her get them. Although she eventually did, she only felt miserable as it only forced her to continue wanting more. For her, social media became her life and identity. She explained how she would spend many hours trying to get the perfect shot for her Instagram photos. She hungered for likes and comments in her social media accounts.