4 November 2015

My Thoughts: #EssenaOneill - Social Media Is Not Real Life

Essena O'Neill quits social media
Some people are saying they are sick and tired of #EssenaOneill story and call it fake. Others react with astonishment, and support Essena's new "real" identity. One way or another, this teenage girl from Australia is "trending" on social media. Ironically, I was going to post today about how to stay organised with your blog and give you great planning advice. However, my plan for today changed. I absolutely HAD to share this story and my thoughts on it. "Rookie" or "veteran", each of us, bloggers, wants to keep up the pace. We plan, write, schedule, organise and try to do our best to stay on top of everything. BUT, in my opinion, we must stay alert, aware, "alive" and spontaneous. You can create content 2 years ahead (which is wonderful) but don't make it feel as if it's set in stone + don't be afraid to escape the plan, and that's advice from a planning addict! So in a few days we will get back to the blogging advice on being organised. For now let's get out of the box, go with a spur-of-the-moment, and hopefully learn from the drama surrounding Essena O'Neill, "behind the scenes" of social media and more.

If you haven't read, heard or seen anything related to Essena O'Neill, you are not alone. I woke up one morning and started reading news, including catching up with my Twitter feed. There I saw these multiple tweets and posts trending around the story of this 18 (now 19)-year-old girl. So who is she? Essena O'Neill is (or should I say was) a health-conscious blogger, huge YouTuber and Instagram sensation. Half-Polish and Half-Australian, she grew up and is based in Queensland. Her Tumblr "exploded" 3-4 years ago which led to her insane popularity on Instagram and YouTube, accounting for almost 700,000 and 250,000 followers/subscribers respectively. Promoting veganism, healthy lifestyle, working with different modeling agencies and brands, traveling and making friends all over the world, this girl, like she said herself, "had it all" but was extremely unhappy.
Essena filmed a video on her YouTube channel bashing the social media and everything related to it. She deleted over 2,000 photos off her Instagram that had "no value", as she commented. Not stopping at that, the girl re-wrote most caption to her IG pictures labeling them "NOT REAL", "FAKE", "THIS IS NOT REAL LIFE", "I WAS PAID TO DO THIS", etc. Currently, her YouTube channel is shut down, her Instagram page is deleted. However, her new creation, Let's Be Game Changers, is live and running. So, technically, she's still online.
What made Essena do what she did? She says that she did it for her 12-year-old self, who was different, miserable and envious of the gloss and popularity of super models and style icons. By the age of 15 she got the taste of this fame and started to grow addicted. In her own words, her life was revolving around posting online, getting more followers and likes. She was paid for different promotions and collaborations, she was in demand and it looked as if "she made it". However, she admits that her life was a giant ball of loneliness, misery and depression. 
Ok, so I shared some facts with you. Now let's get to the "good stuff". I would never give you my own opinion if it was to be biased. By that I mean I can't say that Essena is a modern teenage hero and I also can't bash her without knowing 100% truth. If I were to lean towards one or the other, that would not sit quite right with me. Simply because I do not know the girl personally, nor I've been there beside her to witness everything that was happening. There are two aspects to this story: social media and body image. Firstly, either we want it or not, social media is everywhere. If a person isn't somehow involved in it, they are labeled as "... has lived under the rock", which is harsh but it makes sense. Even my almost 101-year old grandma used Facebook to message me :) If I were to get philosophical just for a second, I could compare social media to atomic energy: if used correctly - it is beneficial, if misused - it is devastating. 
In Essena's case, she was consumed by the gloss of the glamorous world she started to live in. Her day was made thanks to the number of likes she got. All of her aspirations were about gaining more followers and feeling more "valued". Sadly, this problem is so familiar to thousands, if not millions, of young girls. When I was a teenager, I remember I wanted the same thing - to be heard, to be praised, to be appreciated - just like any other teenager (it's a tough phase alrogether!). Thankfully, back then we weren't glued to our smart phones. I spent more quality time with actual people in my life. That's Essena's main shout-out to the world: get away from your phone, get off the internet, and live! I agree with that statement. Being a blogger, you want to get yourself out there. You (by "you" I mean "someone/anyone", not you personally, obviously) sit for hours writing, editing, posting, commenting. Then you take part in the Twitter chat, update your Instagram/Facebook/Pinterest, comment, like, track stats, and what not. After all that, you get upset when you see that someone unfollowed you on Bloglovin', left your IG profile, stopped liking your photos or coming to your blog/YouTube channel/social media acc. It might sound dramatic but I know people who go through this vicious circle not knowing how to get out. It's all about those likes and followers. It's the devastating usage of "atomic energy". That's why Essena wanted to get out. It got to the point when it was too much for a young girl of her age to handle. She wasn't ready for it. 
What she did is, in a certain way, amazing. Either it is a hoax, a lie or a marketing gimmick (time will tell), Essena did shake most people's perception of the "value" we have online. It refers to the body image and how wrong people are to believe that having that "supermodel" body can make them happy. Who dictates the rules? Who said skinny is good? Fit is good! Healthy is good! Most of all, I am sorry, but modesty is good! Girls of any age shouldn't pose in their bikinis to highlight their sexuality. Question: what is that person tring to achieve? Check me out, I am not smart nor fun, but I have a great body. Well, that's sad. Showing your progress on the way to your healthier self is a completely different story. It is not vain, it's encouraging to others. If only everyone understood that. Teenage girls (and girls/women in general) don't have to parade their bodies to be noticed or to show off. Sadly, Essena learnt it the hard way and is now warning others like her. It's not just about displaying your body online (kudos and big thanks to those who don't "roll" like that). It's bigger than that. It's about being consumed with the need to be bigger online, to be "loved" and "heard". We all have blogs that grow at their unique speed, we have methods we use to grow them, we have motives behind wanting to grow them. If you are only doing it for the money or the fame, it will show sooner or later, and it won't be pretty. But if you want to share about your experience, your expertise in certain things, your amazing sense of style, your knowledge of everything beauty and your makeup guru self, please, do it, push forward, make yourself known, promote yourself. Social media is not evil. It is a great tool! Yet, it can become extremely hazardous, if we do it for the likes/followers/attention. We should be doing it because we love it. Plus, there is a life out there. There are ways to engage with people if you feel lonely. There are methods to be heard if you have an important thing to say. There are ways to be appreciated by showing kindness and love towards other people. 
You, lovely person who's reading this very sentence, social media brought you to my blog, and I am so thankful for that. Not for the likes or the fact that you follow me on all of my social media platforms (even though it's appreciated because it lets me know you love my blog). But because we are interacting, sharing, getting to know each other. Blogging can still "consume" some people, or sometimes a blogger hits the point when they are doing it just for the sake on doing it. That's why taking a breather from any type of online activity is essential in our lives. We need to go to work, Uni, school. We have the gym/park/course/conference (you name it) to go to. We have families, children, friends to spend quality time with. Loads of commitments. The balance is crucial. And if you're able to keep that healthy balance, you are golden. I am not an expert as to what YouTube community is like (I don't post videos, at least, not yet), but I already know what the blogging world is like. Despite its glossy cover, I like it for the core - and that is the community. I am thankful for the existence of social media and internet for a chance to be able to connect with all of you, to enjoy each other's posts and opinions, and most of all, to support each other. Social media is great, if you don't make it all about me, me, me. Love your body but don't "sell" it. Show the world who you are but don't let it take over. Be kind, be supportive, and as cliche as it may sound, be the real you.
I know this topic is controversial and people may have different opinions about it. I see both the positive and the negative in Essena's story. Many think she made it up to get to the "top of the charts". Some thing she is genuinely crying for help and wants to help others. 
My three final thoughts on this:
(sorry for making it such a long post)
1. Body image: it's great to look good, but it's not great to starve yourself to look good for a photo. Essena had a wrong understanding of it, mostly probably due to her young age at the time. 
2. Promotion & money: it's actually sad to read how she bashed those photos with her promoting something she hated (dress she would never wear out of the house, tea she would never drink, bikini she would only put on for the shoot). I think it's amazing to work with different brands if you support and believe in the product they offer. 
3. Social media: there are a few truly BIG online personalities out there. Essena's following doesn't even stand close to some of them. At the same time, most of them don't feel the need to flood IG with bikini shots nor advertise something that clearly is not their thing. Yes, there are struggles. Yes, it's overwhelming. Yes, even the best YouTubers / vloggers / bloggers break down and want a "normal life". The point is to stay your normal down-to-earth self, promote things you believe in, love what you do. That's basically the whole "secret". I feel sorry for Essena, if she is honest in her confession. However, social media wasn't her problem. It was the misuse of it, sensitive age, lack of real connections / support and personal reasons or conditions which we simply do not know about.

What we could do about this particular story from now on is 
A) learn from it - no to a fake / made-up identity, do what you love, social media is not bad if you use it wisely + stay positive and REAL); 
B) leave this girl alone - whatever she's looking for - either it's peace or more publicity - she's better left to do whatever she thinks is best for her own pursuit of happiness.

To sum up, 
Essena O'Neill quits social media
By the way, you are not a follower to me. You are a friend.
Thank you for your support and kindness you always show me on my blog.
Leave a comment and let me know what you think about this story.
What are your thoughts on the "twisted" perception of body image and social media?
What about promotion and working with brands?
Feel free to say anything, as you always do, here on Miel and Mint :)

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65 comments

  1. I saw this on the news and on various social media platforms too, - Very interesting!! Like everything, social media has its advantages and disadvantages. It can be true, fake, hyped, etc. etc. It is up to individuals to know that not everything they see on social media is true or all that.

    http://missymayification.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Thanks for your comment, hon. I think we simply need to look at everything being "sober" and level-headed. A polished photo doesn't always mean the person took it ONLY to gain followers, it could mean they genuinely enjoy taking glossy/pretty photos. However, if I see someone advertising something completely random with no belief in the product, that's sad and everyone picks it up as well! :)
      xox

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  2. I like the idea of friend instead of follower too♥

    summerdaisy.net

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    1. Thanks, Summer :)
      I think it's important to remember that behind the screen that user name represents a person. So yes to friends :)
      xox

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  3. Hi hon! First of all, I love your way of writing, it's just amazing, so catchy and interesting.
    Then, I didn't know anything about this, but now I've looked for further information and I think, in a way, I can speak my mind knowing the situation and not just for commenting.
    I think that what this girl has done is brave. As a teenager myself, I find really difficult to disconnect from social media; it doesn't consume me, but I admit that it can tough sometimes.
    I admit that I post bikini pics on my social media, not to show off or anything like so, but because I've been in a dark place due to body shaming and it's a way of telling myself that it's okay if I weight more than an average girl or if my legs are bigger- in my mind it's a way of showing that I'm comfortable on my body and that I'm not afraid of being "more exposed" than usual (even though I still don't feel quite comfortable, but anyways.)
    The use we give to our social media should worry us, we don't know how what we say/do/whatever can affect the people who sees that.
    I don't know, our society is really attached to technology and I believe we should disconnect and have quality time, not only with others, but also with ourselves. Likes or visits doesn't shape us or verify us as a person at the end of the day.
    Amazing post, lovely. Have an amazing day/week! xox

    selenaponcestyle.blogspot.com.es

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    1. Thanks for lovely feedback, sweetie. I completely understand what you mean when you say it's not easy to disconnect. Everyone nowadays has that problem, not just YouTubers, bloggers or other public personalities. It's just the age we live in :) As for your bikini shots, you do what you think is right, and from what I am reading - you do have it right, hon! It's not for showing off, it's to boost your own confidence and inspire others who might be going / have been going through the same experience.
      Also, even though I've never met you, I feel like I know you and it's amazing. Being real is what matters :)
      xox

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  4. Ohh, I read this story on the news the other day, it's so interesting! I think that social media CAN be great - it's an easy, convenient way of connecting with like-minded people. But yeah, it can also be manipulative, fake and unhealthy. But what isn't? Everything is bad, wrong and destructive if we abuse it. Sure, I do kinda miss the 'good old days' where barely anyone had access to the internet, when I'd go over to my friends' house to talk to them, rather than text or tweet. But it is what it is, the world is constantly changing, who knows how things are going to look in ten years time (it's a bit of a scary thought, actually). I think it's up to everyone individually how to interpret these things, whether to let them influence our perceptions. I personally stay out of the social media as much as I can, except for blog-related things. Great post, really enjoyed reading it. :) Thank you for sharing. x

    Kay
    http://shoesandglitter.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Thanks for a fab comment, Kay :) Social media isn't bad at all, but the way we use it and perceive it can either benefit us (read: simply make us connected with others, happy, all the innocent stuff) or ruin us. Balance is also very important. Hours and hours spent online might seem like a great idea but at the end of the day, we have a life to live outside the screen :) Conclusion: everything in moderation ;) Thanks so much again, glad you enjoyed it girlie.
      xox

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  5. Good post! I saw this the other day and had not heard of her until then. I guess I have been living under a rock. I found it quite interesting, especially considering our similarities in age. I can't image living a life that was so focused on social media. Yes, I post daily on all my social media, but I am also attending college, and doing all the things normal kids my age are doing. I see that keeping me grounded. Maybe she didn't have the ability to live a normal life with real friends. I wonder what her family thought of all of this. My mom is a wonderful support for me. You need someone like that, too. ♡♡

    xoxoBella | http://xoxobella.com

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    1. I actually was thinking about you and a few other amazing bloggers when I was writing some parts of this post, hon. You are a great example of a teenage blogger who has got this right. You can be yourself, fun, goofy, pretty, glossy - anything you want - but you stay level-headed :) Plus, like you said, you live a normal life with real friends. I think that's what Essena was missing. Something was wrong initially. So great your mum follows what you do and supports you! <3
      xox

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  6. I can't decide how I feel about the Essenna story. She's out to 'quit social media' but has gained over 200,000 followers in 2 days!

    Made In The 1990's.

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    1. I know what you mean, Kathleen. That's why I said IF she's being honest. I really hope she is - in that case it would be a great lesson not just for teenage girls, but for anyone online. If it's fake, well then it's just sad.
      xox

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  7. Great post! i have watched her videos, i think she is being honest and real.
    i surely support it.

    http://speciallyher.blogspot.com/

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    1. I support the idea of being real, not "selling" your body and disconnecting from social media from time to time. It's great that issue was raised. Maybe even became a wakeup call to some.
      However, the simple fact that Essena was promoting something she hated (therefore, deceiving her followers), was faking smiles and doing all that for the fame and the money, doesn't make it acceptable. If she is honest now, good for her. I hope she starts to live that "real" life she wanted :)
      xox

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  8. i like your thoughts on this! at first, i wasn't aware of who she is so thanks for writing this post to tell me a little about her :)

    Have a great day!
    Animated Confessions

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    1. You're welcome and thanks for reading :) Glad you enjoyed it.
      What do you think about this story?
      xox

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  9. What upsets me in all this is where were her parents at age 12-18?? Surely they knew what she was doing and should have stopped her, she was too young for any of that, and her story scares me for my kids. I don't want them to become obsessed with how others view them online. So many people become way too wrapped up in social media, they forget why it's there, to share, talk, not about the followers, or the likes. And as for the whole "fakeness" I actually enjoy it on Instagram, if you understand that filters are there, that someone has set up a picture, you begin to appreciate it. Maybe I'm the odd one out there lol!

    My favourite part about this whole post is 1. Your gran is 101 and 2. She can use Facebook. What an amazing lady :)

    Http://www.makeerinover.co.uk

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    1. I actually was thinking the same thing - were her parents OK seeing bikini shots of her 14-year old daughter all over the internet? I understand models start early, but hey, you don't have to do ONLY bikini shots lol! Two of my friends are models, one of them works all over the world. You would never see them posting and boasting if you know what I mean :)
      I think a person must stay real no matter what, and I love "real" bloggers, vloggers, YouTubers. After some time you could tell if they are faking it because you know already their "voice" :)
      As for IG, I think it's everyone's decision as to what to post. My blog Insta is a bit more polished than my personal account - not because I am "fake" on one of them - it's simply two different sides of life :)
      My gran is fab, isn't she haha
      xox

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  10. Very well written Nadia! Really enjoyed how you dived into the topic and produced detailed information. Social Media is both positive and negative, but you can say that about everything in life. Anything you do, whether that be your career, school, diet etc. can be positive and negative. It all depends on your approach to it. I think with her situation she misused the platform and her experience was toxic and unbearable. She was promoting brands that she disliked and at the time, she was willing to do it for some cash. I do believe in change. Everyone is on a journey of self-growth. She grew up and her goals and passions changed. Therefore, her social media did not reflect who she is NOW and that is what led her to make a change not in her real life, but her social media life!

    Anyways, I do not want to ramble on and on! But I do agree with all the points you highlighted! Also, I would love for you to do more posts on topics like these.

    Hope you are having a wonderful day! :)
    x Arwa | cremerose.blogspot.com

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    1. I agree on her growing up to realize her mistakes. I hope she is being honest in her confession. Sad that a young lovely girl could go as far as editing the ish out of her photos, yelling at her little sisters for not getting the right shot, wearing (and promoting) an outfit she hated. But yeah, that's the addiction and the sad part of the "misuse".
      Thanks so much for feedback honey, I am happy you enjoyed reading this post & I love writing these kind of "essays" haha ;)
      Enjoy the rest of your week & the weekend, Arwa!
      xox

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  11. Читала статью об этой девушке в прессе. Мне кажется это новое веяние - сначала все хотели показать свою идеальную жизнь, теперь мода будет на так сказать реальность) Вот и новая сеть Перископ к тому очень располагает)))

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    1. Если эта история реальная, то девочка молодец, пускай живет сейчас своей жизнью без Инста и Ютюба))) Если fake, тогда, конечно, жаль. Реальность, какая бы она не была, не самое плохое из того, что люди демонстрируют онлайн. Главное, не переборщить с ни с тем, ни с другим (я не буду читать "сухой" блог, например, но и не смогу заходить в гости к тому, кто делится ну очень интимными деталями своей жизни) :)
      xox

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  12. I never heard of this girl. I think most important to remember with social media it's not how it looks like,it's too little moment from life of someone captured in video, quote or picture and most of the time, lets be honest it's staged. I think we have to keep just clear mind when we look at it. That's why I don't like to look big bloggers, you feel all that. There's definitely that vibe of sell, sell. And you can see who clearly who is real, as much as they can be in that space of time.
    xoxo
    Ramona

    http://www.ramona-strikeapose.blogspot.ie

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    1. Me neither, hon. I haven't heard of her before this story exploded. I do agree that those small "bits" people share online do not show 100% of who they are, however, I do appreciate it when it's not all staged. Thankfully, most bloggers/vloggers try their best to stick to the "reality" even behind a polished image. I think, if a person is lovely, it's hard for them to create something "ugly" (in the sense that it's "fake").
      I can definitely tell as well who's real and who's not. It's quite easy to see especially if you have been following them for a while and know their "voice". Falseness comes straight to the surface. I follow only bloggers that I like as personalities, therefore, I like their blogs :)
      xox

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  13. Слышала что-то об этой девушке краем уха. Но внимания не обратила. Каждый день кто-то заводит аккаунты, кто-то удаляет. Это круговорот, а то что сделала она может быть очередной пиар.

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    1. Если пиар, тогда это как-то грусно. Если правда, то тоже невесело, так как девочка всех обманывала, создав фальшивый образ, и пиарила то, что ей даже и не нравилось.
      Нам можно только взять урок и let her go :)
      xox

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  14. It's the first time I'm hearing about this story and I have to say that I agree with everything you've said. She seems like a brave person for doing this. It's easy to think about somebody that they're living the dream when you don't know every aspect of the story. Thank you for sharing this!

    clumsyagenda.blogspot.com

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    1. Glad you enjoyed reading it, girlie. It's a crazy long post :)
      But yeah, whether she was honest or not, there is still a lesson for us all to learn. "Fake" identity is no fun, especially not the person who is doing the "faking". They quickly become A) addicted (which isn't healthy), and B) they lose their true self being left all alone and confused as to what's reality and what's not. That's what Essena mentioned as well - she was confused what was real and what wasn't. Sad story in any case but a good learning moment :)
      xox

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  15. Great post girl! I think there's nothing bad earning money with the web. The only thing I don't like is when earning money is the only goal. My blog is just pure fun (I never earn a penny from it, some free stuff yes) but if I had the chance to earn for doing a thing I love, I'd do it. What makes me sad is seeing people sharing stuff just because they were paid to do it or one pet peeve is big personalities tweets with things like "look at this asos top, buy it" with a redirect link attached. Earning is ok, mocking readers for money is not.
    Claudia
    Http://claudia-overtherainbow.blogspot.com

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    1. I completely agree with you, Claudia. Earning money online isn't a bad thing and kudos to those who work hard to make $$$! However, if they are promoting something they hate or have no interest in, then it's disturbing and, to be honest, sad. I was contacted by a few PR representatives as for writing a post on a product that I A) never used and will not use, B) don't believe in. I refused.
      If an opportunity arises, I will only work with brands I love, support and would be excited to share with others.
      xox

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    2. We share the same view on this! I was once contacted to review a liquid foundation which I never use so I just said "Thanks but this product I don't really use". Everything I promote or write about is something I'm 100% passionated about!
      X

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  16. Definitely a very insightful post, Nadia! I've been reading a few articles here and there about Essena as well, and I like the new perspective that you offered.

    I agree with you - it's not really social media, but the misuse of it. I think her age had a lot to do with it, not only because she's young, but also because the younger generation of teens nowadays focus so heavily on all of these social platforms, gaining self-confidence by gaining approval from their "peers" online. It's definitely an unhealthy cycle, and if her confessions are true (like you mentioned), then I'm happy for her.

    Really enjoyed this post! And you're completely right - bloggers have to be alert, aware, and alive too :)

    XO, Elizabeth <3
    http://clothestoyouuu.com/

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    1. So true that young generation of today has been brought up with all the tools and aspects of social media around them. Not easy to balance between what's real and what's not for them, especially when all most of them want is to be heard, to be seen, to be liked/loved. Approval of others is such a twisted thing. We are social creatures and, therefore, do care what others think about us. But it's important to remember who you are, and not fall victim to a "false" identity.
      Glad you enjoyed this post, girlie. I enjoyed reading your comment and thoughts on it too :)
      xox

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  17. Great post Nadia! It must have taken you ages to write this. I loved reading it and you have made some great points here. Have a lovely evening. Gemma xx
    www.jacquardflower.uk

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    1. Thanks Gemma, it turned out crazy long and I do apologize for that :) It is an important topic to discuss and I hope it would benefit someone who's "confused" or misusing the social media. It's good to keep your feet close to the ground and stay level-headed :)
      Have a nice evening, girlie :)
      xox

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    2. I totally agree. I thick that's the most important thing is to keep that level head and remember that social media is a tool and nothing more. I have met some lovely people through social media but there are also the bad sides. Have a beautiful Friday Nadia. xx

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  18. Wow, Nadia, this is an amazing post! I appreciate how you informed us about her first and then gave your opinion, which was really helpful for me, since I did not know of her until this article. I think her message is awesome and reaches far beyond teenagers. I think us women in general have a lot of pressure to look a certain way, especially when celebrities are constantly being glorified for their perfect figure after having children, making some of us feel bad about how we look because we think we look worse and haven't even had kids yet!

    I also think that it's super easy for us bloggers to get caught up in tracking followers and likes because in a sense our "value" is based on that when companies look at our accounts. We want to feel as though all the hours we put into our work will pay off, so we begin to obsess over it and really, we shouldn't. In fact, most of the bloggers who have the largest followings started out at a time when blogging was just getting introduced and some, if not most, of these social media platforms didn't exist, yet they made it! I feel it's because at the time, they were genuine and really didn't obsess much about numbers. There's really so much to learn from this and I'm sure we could all have a great convo sharing our personal experiences!

    Thank you for this post, it really opened my eyes to some things :) Have an amazing day, beautiful!

    XO,

    Jalisa
    www.thestylecontour.com

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    1. Thanks so much for such a great comment, Jalisa!
      I couldn't agree more with you on how twisted and deceiving some information out there can be. Like you said, it is easy to feel awful looking at a new mama who looks hotter after birth than I ever did pre-birth haha. But then we have to do the reality check and remember that she has a few personal trainers, a chef and a dietitian, babysitters, and many more people who help to "get her body back" :)

      As for blogging: it really used to be different many years ago because money wasn't in the picture. Yet, I still do believe that even today there are many bloggers out there who genuinely want to share whatever it is they want to get out there. Either it's a personal story, advice, beauty product review, an OOTD - they are passionate about it. The "real"ness of what they do shines through and their followers feel as if they are reading a friend's post :) Sadly, there are also bloggers who are very much about PR and only PR.
      I don't think making money online is a bad thing. Kudos to those who do after having put a lot of work into their blog (because they love it, not for the cash)! Those kind of bloggers deserve all the campaigns they can take on, and I will be following them no matter what. However, if I sense "fake"ness or that it's only a money-making blog, I will not come back to them. As simple as that.

      Thank you again for your lovely feedback and thoughts, girl! :) Have a fab Friday & the weekend!
      xox

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  19. This was a great post Nadia, I loved reading your take on this whole phenomenon! Things certainly have changed since I was a teenager! I think every blogger feels a certain amount of pressure, but I also think it's what each of us hopes to gain out of what we are doing. I have a blog because I love to write and I was lucky enough to meet so many lovely people through blogging like you! Aside from that, everything else is just a bonus! Loved reading this and I hope you are having a great day my beautiful friend! XO -Kim

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    1. Kim, I was actually thinking about you writing a few things up there! I remember in one of your posts you said that you couldn't care less about how many followers you have, if it's one or one thousand. And it's amazing! You love what you do, you are amazing at it, your personality shines through (and it's a lovely one), therefore, people WILL follow. It applies to any blogger. I know it might sound cliche, but we all simply need to keep it real :)
      Some of us are more simple in our designs/photography/writing (and that's ok), some are more sophisticated, glossy and chic (that's perfectly fine). As long as I see and like this real person behind the blog, whatever this blog is about, I will be reading their blog.
      I now follow a few blogs that are so different and I first thought that I would never find anything in common with what they write about, nor what kind of people they are. But even though they are different from me, I was amazed at their fabulous personalities, kindness and simply being awesome! :) Then there are those who I would have more in common with, and sadly their blogs make me sleepy or they look way too staged and uninteresting. So I don't read them.
      Everyone has a choice as to what to show online. Being real definitely doesn't mean displaying every part of your life to the smallest and most intimate details - that can be very dangerous! - but simply showing your personality :)
      So yeah, to finish this essay of a comment, thanks so much for your lovely feedback and thoughts hon. I am also very lucky to have come across lovely and sweet bloggers who I genuinely consider my friends who live far away :)
      xox

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  20. Really interesting...thx for sharing!
    kisses

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    1. Thanks for popping over :) Have you heard about this girl / this issue before?
      What are your thoughts on it?
      xox

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  21. Loved this post! I hadn't heard of her until I saw it trending on Twitter, but what she has done is amazing as long as it is 100% genuine, as you pointed out. I loved your honesty here.

    Holly x

    bisoushollyolivia.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Thanks so much Holly. Yup, as long as she is honest, good for her. And if it's a scam, well then that just makes it sad. If it happens to be a marketing gimmick, those who follow her would be true fools.
      It's like the saying goes: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
      All we can do is learn from this story and keep things real :)
      xox

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  22. A very accurate comment on this girl. I think social media needs some maturity, and teenagers should be careful not to suffer this kind of thing.

    Natalia | Lindifique

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    1. Very true, Natalia :) Aww, just want to say it's lovely to see you on my blog, thanks for popping over hon.
      I think maturity should also be applied to anyone who's getting themselves out there and having a public profile online. We all need to be careful how far we can go with the social media. It's a wonderful tool but needs to be used wisely. Sadly, some people would kill (not literally) just to be popular. Others couldn't care less, they just have a voice to speak :) And that "voice" will be heard and respected a lot more because it's real :)
      xox

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  23. Qe máximo amei todas essas rede social
    Vídeo Novo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06avCiMDYGA
    Blog: http://arrasandonobatomvermelho.blogspot.com.br

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    1. Wish I could understand your comment better, girlie. Used GoogleTranslate and it gave me this:
      "Maximum Qi loved all these social network"
      Anyway, thanks for popping over. If you want, write more about your thoughts :)
      xox

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  24. Very interesting post. I use a lot the social mediat to promote my blog and it was interesting to read your thoughts.

    Kisses!

    http://culore.blogspot.ro/

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    1. Thanks, girlie. We all use social media, either for the blog, vlog, YouTube channel, business or personal stuff. However, no matter what we are using it for, it's important to stay yourself. I think if a person creates a completely different identity, then it will be difficult for them to tell the difference what's real and what's not. I am not talking about polished glossy photos or perfectly filmed videos or vlogs. I have the utmost respect for those who CAN do it :) However, if that's not real them, well who's losing then. Not the followers because they will UNfollow and that's done. The person who "fakes" it will be left alone with all these thoughts trying to figure out why social media is so mean to them.
      So yeah, the main thing is to USE it and not ABUSE it :)
      xox

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  25. I really enjoyed reading this! Thanks for sharing your thoughts from different angles. I saw her video on Monday and I'm glad she's taking steps to be happier - even if that means not engaging in social media. It's sad that she grew up seeking validation from 'likes' and 'follows' instead from her own self, and that seems to greatly affect her as a teenager. Social media isn't bad in its sense, it's how you use it, and how much you let it affect you.

    Thanks for checking up on me. I'm just busy with school. Hope you're doing well, Nadia! :)

    Marie | Nothing & Her

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    1. I completely agree, Marie. Social media is an amazing tool is used wisely. There is this wrong perception that the person's value comes from how many "likes", "hits", "followers" they have. It's not true whatsoever, and it's good to remember that :)
      Hope school work is going ok, girl!
      xox

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  26. I genuinely can't believe how much this story has blown up... Power of the internet ey? Ironic!
    You wrote a great post summarising your thoughts and I agree with everything you said.
    The thing that annoyed me most about this was how she admitted to not liking the products she promoted... That just gives the wrong impression of working in social media, but I guess she was young and naive and only cared for the popularity at the time. xxx

    Kathryn | Chapters of Kat

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    1. Definitely, hon. Completely agree with you - that bit annoyed me a lot as well. Well, at least she came out being honest about what she did. I also couldn't believe how this story exploded on the internet. Also, one of the best tweets I read about this whole thing was "A girl deletes her IG and makes the headlines of the news. Was I accidentally transferred into a parallel reality where humanity is at the brink of destruction" *monkey covering eyes emoji*
      It's important to remember to be true to yourself and others :)
      Thanks for a great comment, K <3
      xox

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  27. I'd tried to stay out of this because I didn't really have a clue but I'm always popping over to your blog and I knew you'd write this in a non bias way, which was great. Happy I came to you for information, like obviously you have your own opinions but I got a real taste of the story.
    As I said, I haven't kept up in this story but from reading what you should, I have a few thoughts. I do feel really bad for her because social media can go wrong and you can enter a bad place. Obviously it messed with her view of herself and her self worth, she's much more than just likes but it's all got too much. I know that I had to leave tumblr because there were so many triggering and sad images on there that it wasn't putting me in a good head space. I think it's important to know when your thoughts aren't you and when to leave or deactivate an account.
    I thinks it's sad that she was promoting things she never liked, it makes you question and it gives a false impression to the new ages media like YouTube and blogging.

    I really enjoyed reading your thoughts, you write so beautifully Xx

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    1. Thank you so much for this lovely feedback, Sophie. I felt like writing what I thought about this whole story. Having grown up in a family with a History & Political Science Doctor of a Mum, you automatically learn to weigh both sides of the coin :)
      I completely agree with you hon. Sadly, she didn't get her goals right at all, got sucked in and it did mess up her understand of her own self-worth. That's amazing that you managed to make a choice about your Tumblr - what was going on there that put you off? Thankfully, I never even thought of starting to use Tumblr, simply felt like I couldn't be bothered :) At the moment I am considering taking myself off Facebook (personal account) and only run the blog one.
      As for the promotion and work with brands, we should all carefully examine what "influencers" recommend and evaluate either it's a simply paid commercial or a true love to a product.
      Thanks so so much again for your support hon :)
      xox

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  28. I loved reading this post. I actually love reading all of your posts because you write very well - detailed and in-depth, but easy to read and to understand!

    I saw Essena's story too, and I agree with what you write here. It can go both ways, either she lies or she means it. (I mean, she gained even more attention áfter she came out with this story - but that's on one hand understandable as well) I think social media is a great way to interact with your friends and family - Especially when you live in a different country than many of them.
    Anyways, you should always be yourself, also online. It doesn't help to promote brands just for the sake of money - I think you should only promote brands you like 1000%. And be unique - that's what I like so much about blogging: the fact that you have your own little space on the internet where you can be fully yourself!

    xxx Ilse
    www.ilsedanielle.com

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    1. Thanks so much for being so kind and for enjoying my blog so much, hon ;)
      So glad we made friends woohoo!))))
      I completely agree with you - we always have to stay true to ourselves.
      That's why I decline those PR posts with the products I don't trust or have never seen.
      Gotta stay true :)
      xox

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  29. I only work with brands I feel will work for me and my blog - I lot that she's taken a step back and shown the world what's really happening! Well done to her!

    Layla xx

    http://www.sprinklesofstyle.co.uk
    http://www.youtube.com/sprinklesofstyle

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    1. I know hon, I always say no to those brands that I don't believe in or don't trust. I will not share them on my blog or promote them.
      Agree on your comment, girlie <3
      xox

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  30. She really did shed light on a way that a lot of people use social media and how it can take control of our lives if used in the wrong way, I agree that it isn't evil but knowing how and why you're using it is the most important thing.

    http://rainbow-roseblossom.blogspot.co.nz/

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    1. Absolutely agree, Rainbow-Rose :) Social media is incredible but we all need to check ourselves. Essena's story is inspiring in many ways.
      xox

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  31. I loved reading your thoughts on this gorgeous! Most people out there are like Essena but I truly believe that social media is not 'fake' but people are. Social media is what you make it out to be & if you work in an honest manner then you have nothing to hide. However a lot of people do get stuck in the 'fame' and they end up being unhappy like Essena. I also believe that Media has a lot of role in the way the young generation thinks now because from a young age we are taught to look a certain way, or to act a certain way. So I don't think the media helps. This was such a good read Nadia! Well done <3 I hope you are doing well :)
    much love,
    Ramsha | Rose
    xxx

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    1. Thanks so much, sweetie! Such a lovely comment & love your thoughts on this matter hon.
      It's not easy on young generation to manage the pressure of social media but it's good to stay down to earth no matter what success we are coming into.
      Lots of love your way girl
      xox

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  32. what scares me the most about this story is how parents don't pick out on how dangerous social media can be to kids and young adults. If I had a child, I would never in million years allow it to use internet without supervision. They need guidance at that age and I'm so sad to see so many of them being left out on their own.

    Interesting subject! I did heard of this girl and I do think what she did was very brave. Whether she is completely honest or not, I do think she has sent an important message with her actions.

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