I was looking through the news today, when I came across an article on the BBC. The article is about a young lady from Australia, who is an Instagram celebrity. Or possibly, was.
The lady in question is Essena O’Neill, you can find the BBC story here.
The short version is that she has quit social media, saying that it’s unhealthy. For what it’s worth, I agree with her. She correctly states that we seek approval through social media, and shines a light behind the scenes of the social media celebrity. As someone who’s done his share of social, I can say from my own experience that it can have a very negative effect. Remember, you’re comparing two sets of events; your own full experience and someone else’s highlight reel. In the case of someone who makes money this way, a very carefully managed and prepared set of highlights.
She says that she suffered from this, even as an insider, which does make you fear for impressionable non insiders! To quote her:
“I’ve also spent hours watching perfect girls online, wishing I was them. When I became ‘one of them’, I still wasn’t happy, content or at peace with myself.”
This does really make a point, something that this blog has been saying for some time. Certainly, before my reboot of it. The whole thing, celebrity and much of what we think is important is an illusion. The people who we hold on pedestals have feet of clay, and when they turn out to be all to human we’re so surprised. Moreover, the things we’re told we should be chasing are very often not worth it in the end, just another hare for us hounds to chase on a road to where? We focus too much on the goals, but the real treasure is by the roadside.
All the glitz and photo processed glamour in the world can’t change any of that.
Essena has begun a website, dedicated to challenge the cult of social media, it can be found here.