Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Responding to Essena O'Neil



So, quite a while ago, a video went viral; it was of Essena O'Neil who is known as a model and social media personality explaining why she was boycotting social media.
Note: there are some rumours that the video is fake.

As my life/career/hobbies and interests, are centred around social media and in particular blogging, I thought I might write my thoughts on a few of the things Essena said that really stuck out for me:

'Having it all on social media means absolutely nothing to your real life'
Personally, I think that this is similar to the message that lots of well-known YouTubers try to get across: everything you see on social media etc. is edited. Giving the impression that they live a perfect life. But they don't. We all choose what our readers, watchers and followers see/read. For me, this is similar to the title of my previous post; it was actually something one of my best friends said when were catching up a few days ago. I have wonderful opportunities, know important people and just generally live a lovely lifestyle, but I get tired when it's an early start, I get travel sick with the taxis and trains and sometimes I'm just not at all motivated to do any blogging, emailing etc. But in the category of which I blog, I find that it's perhaps more common for me to include these and the bad days. However, my success in blogging does mean something to real life. It makes my life. It gives me all of the wonderful opportunities.
'Everything I was doing was edited and contrived to get more views'
Personally, I'd never do something purely to get more readers or to increase my followers. If something bad happens then I'll write about it but not for the views; for the people who are behind those views. In the hope that they'll benefit from what I write in some way. From my statistics, I can see that the more negative posts about self-harm and hospitalisations etc. are the most popular. They are viewed more often than those posts regarding meetings, exciting events, posts about my recovery etc. But I would NEVER do something negative for the sake of the views.
'You'd think that getting 100,000 followers would be amazing. It was. For the day, but then you want 200,000'
I've talked about my views and concerns similar to this quote; in that I worried I'd become complacent with the increase in my blogs readers as it reached such an incredible number. But no, I never get sick of seeing them rise. I think that it's natural for me to think of my blog having even higher numbers e.g. I've decided to throw another huge party when I reach 250k, and I'm not being cocky in this, im just basing it on my viewing statistics at the moment.
Letting yourself be defined by numbers, getting excited over how many likes or followers... It's not life. And it's not what makes you happy'
I think that there's a huge difference between being defined by your number of followers and getting excited when they rise. Unfortunately, the truth with the social media industry is that when it's a career aspect then of course you're somewhat defined by your numbers. If I were to approach a charity, event organiser, fellow blogger etc. to suggest a collaboration, there's often a colossal difference in responses if I state I have 5,000 readers compared to the 122,000 I can now say. The truth is, more doors open to the person with the most followers/readers.
'Social media is now a business, if you don't think it's a business you're deluding yourself'
'Companies know the power of social media, and they exploit it'
I think that particularly in the past two years, a lot of companies have found the power and influence that those who are popular through social media have. For some time, companies have paid celebrities to put a photo online of them with a particular product. And beauty companies regularly send beauty bloggers their unreleased, or brand new, products to review and feature on their blog or YouTube. More recently, fashion bloggers are given a budget for a fashion store to then video their haul. There's now a lot of YouTube sensations who have released books, music, diaries, stationary, and beauty products.their followers are on such a huge scale and have such a variety that of course, businesses exploit this for their own gain.
'Go do things that you love to do in the real world...'
I'm a big enthusiast for doing things that aren't centred around social media. Visit somewhere new without 'checkimg in' on Facebook. Go to a party and keep you phone in your bag the entire night. Have a meal without posing the cutlery for an Instagram pic. Spend time with your friends without taking selfies. Ask someone a question rather than Googling it. Visit a craft shop and hand make or personalise gifts for others rather than using notonthehighstreet.com