This was all sparked by the former You-tuber and Instagram famous, Essena O’neill. It is not entirely about her but I realised it linked in with some other thoughts that have been bouncing around my head for a while. So, what did Essena do then that made me suddenly have such a revelation? Well, she quit all social media. Yes; ALL. I will link below her video explaining why she quit social media, her Instagram that has re-edited captions for what was really happening behind the photos, and her new, incredible website (because it suddenly made everything click for me):
So, yes, she quit all social media. For some reason this has really hit me and had me thinking for the past few days. She talks in everything linked above about how we are essentially promoting our own personal “brand” when online, using social media. She talks about how artificial everything can be online, how a photo posted on Instagram is not real life, but what people want you to see. The good side of people that they want to show to the world. It’s not real. It struck a cord with me because I’ve had this thought a lot recently (actually probably throughout this whole year), about my Instagram. I noticed that I would get consumed in taking photos just for the sake of posting them to show to all who followed me. Suddenly if I ever went out and took a photo (even a lot of the time now), there was always the thought in the back of my mind that, “Oh this would be good for Instagram”. Why? I should be taking photo’s because I want to remember a moment, or something really cool inspired me, not because it would look good on my Instagram feed.
I realised while watching and reading what Essena had to say that I was doing the same thing. I got and still sometimes get my sister to take photos of me and if I don’t like it, I make her take another till I think it’s good. I then will post it on Instagram, constantly seeing how many likes it gets and telling the world to look at my somewhat appealing face. But does that photo have any substance, or purpose? What is this photo telling all the people who will see it? It’s saying, hey look at me, validate me with your likes and then my self worth will be increased. Then I’ll be happy, right? No. I want to post a photo that actually has purpose. Most of the photos that I post on Instagram or Facebook or twitter, have no substance. They are not serving a purpose or promoting my ideas or values. They aren’t telling you anything I believe in. They’re telling you that I don’t look like this the majority of the time in real life, I don’t speak like this in real life, I don’t do cool things like this everyday in my real life. They’re telling you that I took this photo like ten times and nothing about it is real.
It’s inspired me and had me thinking to make my own change. Through this blog, and of recently, my own messy mind, I’ve realised I have a lot to say. There’s so much I want to share. I have so many ideas and I want to spread the idea of change. I’ve noticed that I have even outgrown some of my friends. Specific friends in some cases feel like they’re so behind me in thinking, our values and motives no longer the same. We’re now symbolized by different shapes in different colours and sizes that don’t magically click together anymore. The sad thing is that it’s like they haven’t even really opened their eyes to notice that I’m no longer there anymore; I’ve left them behind. So here’s my point. I am now in a stage in my life where I look around at the people in my close-knit circle of friends and the majority of them share the same passion’s, ideas and values that I now do as well. I think it is extremely important to surround yourself with like-minded people who are not exactly identical to you, but instead compliment you. People who help to bring out everything, not just positive, but negative as well. People who are complete.
I think I’ve been coming to this realisation for a while and it is that I want to live my life with purpose. I don’t see the point in living without firmly believing in anything, or not speaking up when something doesn’t seem right to me, personally. I’ve been seeing it in my sudden lack of interest for mainstream you-tubers and music for the past year. I’ve been watching only half of the people that I’m subscribed to. Instead clicking on videos that are educational, inspiring and about causes I care about. The majority of mainstream you-tubers content is now so boring and conventional. There is no substance or meaning. It’s about making money, taking sponsored and paid for advertisement deals that are not expressed to the viewer in a honest manner or with a firm belief in mind for promoting said product. Same goes for music. Everything is sexualised now, both men and women. It’s all about getting music out fast, regardless if it’s good, to make the most amount of money. Nothing about mainstream music today is appealing to me. It actually kind of disgusts me. The fact that the youth is being exposed to ideas that are not only explicit (for no reason), but also shown in a positive light and is being seen as normal to them angers me.
A lot of the time I feel so distant from the rest of the world, especially the majority of people who are my age. It’s like I’m a feather blowing in the wind, the rest of the world barely awake, still waiting for the storm to hit; so blissfully ignorant. And that’s why I want to inspire and promote the idea to you about being online with a purpose. I think it’s important that we are all conscious of who both, we and others, are portraying themselves as on social media. I’ve realised that I want to stop using social media as much as I am at the moment because I am honestly my most happiest when I’m not on my phone. I’m my most happiest when I’m laying on the grass in the sun, laughing with people who I love, watching a movie that makes me think or listening to music that has is trying to portray a message to create change.
I want to live a life with purpose. I want to change the world. I’m only a little girl (honestly I’m not that tall), but I have big dreams and I want to show the world what I have to say. As Essena says, we are a brainwashed youth and I’m starting to realise I don’t want to be apart of that anymore. I want change.
Stay Gracious xxx
Pssst, it’s Brecon from the future. I thought about deleting this because suddenly Essena posted that new video on her YouTube and it had me very confused in my own viewpoint. But then I thought that wouldn’t be real because, yes, I did write this, and maybe it’s more harsh and broad than what I had intended, but I wrote it. I think what I would really like you to take out of this is that with all the drama that is coming about with this ‘movement’ it’s really important that we are discussing it. Indeed, not everyone had or is having the same experience as Essena did, but there is certainly some people out there – specifically younger people – who are doing just what she did and I think it is an issue that does need to be raised.
On saying all that I think that there can be a healthy balance with the use of social media. I think that all in all if you’re going to go into something thinking about the numbers, for the sake of the numbers, then you are going to end up really quite unhappy because you will never be able to satisfy that need for more. Okay and one last thing…just be real. I think I’ve realised that it is alright and dandy (…I’m sorry) to have a so called “brand”. It’s just important that the brand of yourself is a true and real reflection of who you really are. It’s okay to be on social media, I guess sometime even good, but just remember to not get consumed by it.
I want to say that, again, this piece I am writing here could be misinterpreted wrong or even I may come to disagree with it in a year or a month. But I am only 15 and honestly I probably know absolutely nothing. I can pretend I do, but I can always know and learn more. Leave a comment and tell me your view point, I’d like to discuss it and hear what you have to say because honestly, I’m pretty confused myself.