Oh look I’m jumping on that band wagon! However I did have some thoughts and that’s why I made this blog right? To express opinions? The answer to that is yes so lets get started! I’m sure you all have heard about this whole Essena O’Neill debate.
At first I went “oh! look! this looks promising” as someone who had never heard of Essena I just thought she was a young adult who had spent her teen life trying to create this ‘perfect image‘ that is drilled into young peoples brains and had finally found her voice and was standing up to it all. Which sounded brilliant to me. I have spent many moments seeing people even my younger sister went to school with Photoshop themselves and sell this ‘life’ on social media.
I know that a lot of younger people see all this social media life and start thinking that it is all for the views. So that‘s who I thought Essena was, a young girl still discovering what she is about and trying to create a more realistic point of view.
There has been a lot of hate towards her which I understand comes from any type of reaction video like the one Essena put up, there was a lot of generalization coming into play which would have hurt a lot of peoples feelings. For me Social Media is like anything in life and comes with both positive and negative parts.
I loved how Arden Rose described it in this tweet:
I think that I just see a young girl still discovering what she is about , I think it is good she realized that it doesn’t have to be about the numbers or the praise but that she can still discover that if she is passionate about something sharing it online can be a good way to connect! You just have to be in the right mind set. I believe that she can still learn this, its only the start of her learning curve. Yes she did accept these brand deals, she made friends with these people and could’ve said it in a better way rather than brand all social media and the people behind it ‘fake’ and ‘miserable’.
So yes I do see the negative connotations social media can have but I am a firm believer that it is so much more positive than that!
First of all; connection. This is what the basis of Social Media is about; to connect people and to share. If I didn’t have social media in my life I wouldn’t be able to chat to friends and family daily. I wouldn’t have found my voice using this blog. I wouldn’t have discovered other bloggers or been allowed to have full on discussions with them over twitter. I wouldn’t have met you-tubers I adore. So to me none of this is fake.
It has created communities and friendships where they wouldn’t have existed before.
A lot of what Essena said was that successful people on social media were fake and I got the feeling of ‘they didn’t deserve it’. I have been watching my You-tubers for about 5 years now, seeing them grow on social media never seemed fake. Yes they have brand deals or all seem to have books come out at once ;P but when you read these or watch them online you see the passion and the realness behind them all. Why shouldn‘t that be celebrated?
Branding is a part of Social Media but its part of these peoples jobs! Plus it is mostly said upfront (people I watch anyway) that it is an ad, which makes me trust that they are 100% behind the product instead of just using it for cash. If you disagree don’t pit people against social media, just unfollow.
If people like Essena think because people can edit everything and only show the ‘perfect parts‘ makes it fake then just unfollow or (going to shamelessly promote Casey Neistat’s app) go on Beme where you can’t see what you film so its 100% pure and real.
I look up to these people and I want my own voice out there on Social Media but it shouldn’t have to come with a negative tone.
Just because its out there in the open doesn’t make it any less real.
It is real, this is peoples art; I’ve seen short films, blog posts, art works, vlogs that are created with no reward in mind but to allow creativity to happen. I’ve seen positive messages put across; body image, mental health, equality. I’ve laughed with; rooster-teeth, Grace, Mamrie, Hannah, Jack and so many more. I’ve cried alongside; Hazel and Louise. I’ve watch baby glitter and Franny grow up. For me the online world is real and no one can tell me otherwise.
It makes me appreciate my real life just as much.
I saw a comment on a news-article about 15 year old girls giving a homeless man blankets and food. 90% was of people insulting the girls saying it was all done for views but this one comment announced (can’t find direct comment so this is my memory) “they have been bought up in a world where everything has been caught on camera and shared, it doesn’t make their kindness any less real” which I think gives a little more insight into the coming generation. Yes maybe we need to put the phones down every once in a while but sharing it with people online to connect doesn’t make the experience any less real!
It comes down to this. The person behind the camera, keyboard and computer. Do you want to be real or fake. The choice is yours but don’t group everyone together. It isn’t possible.
What are your thoughts on all of this? Let me know in the comments!