Essena O’Neill Renounces Social Media

Essena O’Neill, an internet sensation, quits social media.

Jenny Park, Columnist

Essena O’Neill made up her mind of quitting social media on Monday, Nov. 2: she came to a conclusion that social media is fake. I agree: social media is fake because it’s all on a digital screen, not physical nor tangible. She is quitting for the time she thought of herself as nothing. But since then, she has been trying to turn herself into a perfect social media star. After all that time, though, she forgot who she really was.

She spent hours – even days – taking and uploading photos to Instagram just to prove that she was important and valued. She let herself be defined by the numbers of followers and subscribers, yet all this time, it made her miserable. She lost connection to the world for three years within her career. She said she lived in a screen for the majority of her life for social approval.

When she was 12, she envied people with all of those followers who were beautiful by social standards. But, as she experiences the lives that she envied, she realized that everything on social media is to prove themselves, their body, and value. I don’t think social media is just to prove themselves, it could be a way to have fun and communicate with friends. She had it all but she didn’t; to be defined by the numbers of followers and subscribers was all a lie.

She even went back to change all of her Instagram captions to what they really are meant to say and deleted her Instagram account on Nov. 4. I do think it was unintelligent to delete her Instagram account after changing the captions since it might’ve taken her hours to put so much meaning and thought into it.

Overall, I have mixed feelings about what she has done. I feel like this is all a social stunt, like she is going to come back to social media and modeling for the money. But, at the same time, if she’s strong enough to tell the whole world that the internet is fake, it proves I could just be contradicting myself.