Hey Zengarmy,

Today's blog post is going to be a very controversial one.
In fact, this blog post is going to be so sarcastic for me to post it
since I'm a blogger - which conclusively means that my entire
online existence is built around the social media that I own.

On the side note, this blog post is going to require you
to watch multiple YouTube videos from different YouTubers.
So if you want to stop here & go grab a cup of tea or a bag of snacks,

A few days ago, whilst randomly scrolling through YouTube,
a video entitled "Why I REALLY am quitting social media - The Truth"
uploaded by an Australian YouTuber named Essena O'Neill popped up in
my YouTube suggestion page. Astonished by the fact that the video got
over 2 million ++ views in just a couple days of time, I decided to watch it.

(PS : The original video is now deleted 
since Essena deleted her YouTube channel)

If you didn't watch the video,
(which I'm sure some of you skipped/didn't watch it)
this video is about a teenage girl who owns half a million
Instagram followers and earns an income from social media
that decided to delete & quit from ALL of her social media,
after she experienced the rude awakening that the
sense of beauty promoted online is addictive and "contrived".

Spending years carefully building her online success since the age of 12,
Essena O'Neill, now currently at the age of 18 (soon 19),
has more than 574K Instagram followers,
around 250K YouTube subscribers,
and close to 60,000 dedicated Snapchat followers.
Out of the blue, she chose to give up her life as a "social media celebrity"
because she is tired of fabricating the life her online profile suggested was true.

She revealed details about how much she was paid for promotional posts,
how much makeup she was wearing and how many failed attempts
she had made before capturing a photo worthy of posting.
She has since deleted 2,000 photos from her online profiles,
and amended the captions on remaining images to reflect
the "truth" behind the snapshots in order to
"expose the harsh reality behind the insta-famous culture".

In reality, she said the social media modelling work
left her feeling empty and unfulfilled.

"Without realizing, I've spent the majority of my teenage life
being addicted to social media, social approval,
social status and my physical appearance.
Social media, especially how I used it, isn't real,"

"It's a system based on social approval, likes,
validation in views, success in followers.
It's perfectly orchestrated, self-absorbed judgement."

Essena got to a point where she felt as if she was only creating content
with the "sole purpose" of gaining approval and decided
she didn't want other young girls falling into the same trap.

"Social media allowed me to profit off deluding people," she wrote.
"If you find yourself looking at 'Instagram girls' and wishing your life was theirs ...
Realize you only see what they want".

"My success was largely in the hands of my white privilege and genetics.
I was thin, tanned, toned, blonde with a big smile and a push up bra," she said.

Now, Essena is focusing on a new project - 'Let's be Game Changers' -
where she encourages others to live a life without digital distractions,
hoping to start a movement where someone's worth isn't determined
by their physical attributes or social media influence,
giving people the opportunity to be free, grow, learn
and explore while challenging their own beliefs.

Now, from my point of view.

Let's start with the first moment I got into touch with social media.
I can still remember that Facebook is the first ever social media that I own
at the age of 13, when my mom finally decided to call the "Internet men"
to put wi-fi in our house. I was thrilled and beyond excitement.

At the early stage of my experience with social media,

I was very obsessed with how many likes I got on my posts.
I was always very jealous of those people at the same age as me
who had already own a huge following online that enables them
to get hundreds of likes on their posts within a few minutes.

My obsession with online fame got worse once I joined Instagram.
Thinking back now, I realized that people can never be satisfied with online fame.
Once you got your first 100 followers, you want 1,000 followers,
once you reached 1,000 followers, you want 10,000 followers.
I experienced this thirst for online fame very often when I first
started get into touch with social media. (I still am, not gonna lie.)

I would photoshop myself in my photos so that my eyes look bigger.
I would spent days staring at my Instagram account,
hoping that my followers count will blow up overnight.
(which never happened, of course.)

And then this obsession persisted for quite a long time,
until it comes to a point that I'm sick of posting photoshopped selfies.
I began to question myself what's the point of being photoshopped ?
Do I REALLY need to photoshop myself in every photo ?
How about I just be myself ?

Luckily, at this point, I made the decision to be authentic.
I reduced the amount of photoshop I use in my photos.
Gradually, I'm finally able to accept myself.
My eyes are suddenly no longer too small.
My nose and mouth are suddenly no longer too big.
I knew that I am gradually feeling good in my own skin.

The way I see it, Essena got SOME of her points correct.
Yes. Social media has twisted the way people judge & think.
But one thing Essena might have missed out is that :
The way people judge & think depends on the society culture,
scapegoating social media is simply NOT a wise decision.

Social media is NOT all about figures and followers and likes.
Social media CAN be the platform of creating a positive community.
Thinking from the other way round, IF Essena build her social media career
with the intention of building a community that loves her true self,
instead of building a fanbase that only loves the made-up self she projected,

There's a huge possibility that she might be happier now,
without having to delete her social media to prove something!
Here's another inspiring video showing that a change in perspective
is far more effective (and perhaps wiser) than boycotting social media.

Oh my. It's getting late now. Time for bed. Bye.

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