I bet you all have seen or heard about Essena O'Neill by now, but I thought I'd share my thoughts on the subject.
I've felt a bit misplaced on social media. I like the idea of them, such as Instagram, but never really felt the need to really put myself out there. Not in the same way most people do, by that I mean putting out pictures of everything you do and everyone you hang out with. That to me seems like rubbing your life in everyone else's face. There's no point for me doing that. But my view on instagraming changed a bit when my husband started using the network as a way of showing his wood work. That way of using IG has grown, and I think it's just interesting to see possibilities. That's more how I'd also like to use it.
Well, back to Essena. She's a girl who got trapped in a way of exposing herself and showing only one side of her. I admire her wake up call and the fact that she actually was brave enough to step out of it. To show how twisted media is nowadays. How the chase of likes and follows can trap you, until you no longer know who you are. It makes us form a picture of who we want to be, so we strive for that, and along the way often loose ourselves. Her story shows me that whatever you do, be true to who you are. Don't try to create a new you.
Media forms us, it makes us feel like we have to be and present ourselves in a certain way to be liked. The group of people most under this kind of pressure is teenagers. Imagine what it must feel like, being pressured into behaving a certain way on the Internet, just because everyone else is doing that.
I remember when I was a teenager there was no social media like today. I remember being 12 years old and still loving to play with barbie's, so that is what I did and I for sure didn't care what everyone else thought. Where are all the Barbie-playing girls nowadays? They don't exist, because they're broken by the way social media works.
I'm not gonna ramble on about how everything was better when I was a kid. A lot of things was better, but today's possibilities are enormous. As long as we remember to think about how we behave on social media. And what kind of image we send to those younger than us.