So. I don’t know if you’ve seen this video I’ve posted down below circling around numerous numbers of social media platforms. Well, if you haven’t I highly urge you to patiently watch and listen to what Essena Oniell has to say about social media and how it dictated her life.
She goes pretty extreme and obviously was very affected by the need for validation from other people that social media platforms provide; however, even if you don’t relate 100% to everything she’s saying, you can’t tell me that there’s not one point in the video that isn’t true.
I can confidently say that yes, I do enjoy participating in social media, a lot. Although, I never completely let likes, views, and followers dictate my life and my personal opinions about myself as much as she did. I’ve always very strong opinions, especially in the way that I don’t let what others think of me trump what I think of myself. But of course, there have been times in my life where I’ve posted something & even stooped down to the level of deleting the post because it wasn’t as successful as I wanted it to be. That is not how the social media system should function. We need platforms that don’t revolve around popularity, but raw, authentic content, common interest, real connections, inspiration, and appreciation.
Now my paragraphs below are going to be really scattered and raw because they’re my thoughts, but bare with the mess and try to hear my reaction to this video and how it inspired me to think.
I know, for one, what brings me joy is seeing something I’ve posted spark interest or curiosity in someone. Something that makes them think & inspires them to embrace what they love and not do it because its what someone else loves or what we think people will love. Our focus while posting content shouldn’t be a certain amount of likes, but about reaching someone and sparking that interest.
The way we are participating in social media is interfering with our REAL LIVES. Candid pictures are not candid. Perfect lighting and sun tan portrayal is the result of filters. Selfies on Instagram were not taken on the first try. There is such thing as photoshop. We are not our raw, true selves on social media. No matter if we don’t use photoshop or don’t pose candidly in every picture. You use one of those things mentioned above. Because when we take the time to edit all of our lives for social media, it’s 1) not honest and 2) takes away from the time we could’ve spent living and enjoying that moment captured, because we’re editing it. We need to bring authenticity to social media.
Social media should be about embracing who you are and the things that you’re passionate about. It should be about sharing those things so that other people can connect with you on them or it can provoke thought in others. It shouldn’t be about fitting into the social norms, but a platform where we can appreciate & voice our thoughts even if they may be controversial or different or taboo.
If we don’t embrace our true selves on social media, how will we do that in real life? Show the real side of you. When we worry about our portrayal on social media, we limit ourselves from focusing on our real passions and further gaining education on them.
She talks about quitting her social media. I don’t want to do that. See, I love fashion and capturing moments and voicing my opinions & thoughts and sharing and connecting and inspiring. I love social media because it allows me to do that. But it’s important for me to not lose sight of my main goal. To remember my sole focus and what I really want to get across with my blog.
For me, this is my sole focus:
I don’t want my content to be viewed or liked by people. But for it to reach people. I want my creativity to be heard. I want to inspire people who feel the same or believe the same things I do. I want to embrace my individuality. I want everyone to start embracing their individuality.
Instead of deleting my social media, I took it upon myself to delete all of my photo editing apps- filter apps, blurring apps, effects, etc.- and to only post raw, natural content on both my blog and Instagram for a week. I feel like to be authentic on social media, it must start with the content.
Take what you want from this video or my post. Obviously, bits and pieces of her video inspired me and I ran with it. That’s okay, you don’t have to agree with her thoughts on social media solely, but she does raise important discussion and brings up crucial points that spark inspiration. And that’s what I wish and want our social media outlets to provoke in us. Inspiration. Real connections. Embracing individuality. Creativity. And thoughts.