06 November 2015

opinion: "social media is not real life"

My take on the topical issue of social media lately thanks to infamous Essena O'Neill (through my eyes/experiences) is that we have full control over how we portray ourselves on any given social media platform. Also that it is unhealthy and unsustainable to upkeep an unrealistic profile of yourself constantly. Young, 19 y.o Essena has found this out the hard way who apparently has what I’d call ‘social media burnout’. 

When I started Opinionslave, not once was I trying to be someone who I wasn’t. If people liked what they saw, sure, they were free to follow me. I edit photos just like everyone else, but mainly just for colour, lighting and simple spot blemishes. I definitely do not spend hours trying to take the perfect shot and then mutilate my appearance. Firstly, I have better things to do, but secondly it's because I feel it wouldn't be a true representation of who I am as a person. My blog has always been a second priority to me as it has only ever been a hobby; my career, family, friends, wellbeing, happiness and education have always come first. 

I have been fortunate enough to meet other bloggers along my journey and yes, I have met girls who annoyingly just don’t live in the present moment. Most of what they think or do is for the general rule- “How will this look on Instagram?” I knew a girl who graduated from uni, but didn't get a job in her field for years (and probably still hasn't) mostly due to a lack of drive & perseverance, and what would annoy me is that she would always complain she had no money when we wanted to make brunch plans; however she projected on Instagram that she lived a lavish life. 

Let's personify 'social media' and think of it as 'that couple who get together and then drift away from all their friends'. What happens if they split up? What happens if tomorrow, Instagram got hacked and you lost your whole profile? Then what and who would you turn to? I hope you've got something going for you. Deep down these profiles are mostly just a reassurance for our self-consciousness, to affirm the importance of our existence and/or social-economic status. Things in life are so much more important- your education, career (unfortunately money makes the world go round) & ultimately, your happiness. 

There are times where I need a break from social media and therefore, I don’t post for a while then return to it as I don’t feel it’s a life necessity. My own happiness comes first and simply, it’s up to you and the importance you place in creating content for your ‘followers’, and I use that term loosely because I believe loyalty is rare these days, so who are you really trying to impress? Just be yourself.

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  1. I've missed your opinion pieces! Beautifully written, Francesca.

    It's no secret that I adore Instagram, not just to be inspired by others, but also because I simply love creating beautiful images. After all, one of my passions is art direction; it's what I studied and made a career out of, and hey, it's fun. I also studied advertising, like you, and found my specialty in social media, so having a blog (and social media accounts) was just a natural progression.

    I actually don't have a problem with the 'insta stars' and 'insta models', but then again, I was an adult when social media came into fruition and therefore I know that there's more to their lives than travel, beauty and luxury. The challenge is understanding that they're just real people like you and me, which perhaps, for some, is difficult.

    The majority of bloggers/Instagram-ers I've spoken to and met over the years are genuine, wonderful people. And they're exactly what I expect them to be like, thanks to their blogs and their Instagram's that are a true reflection of themselves. Obviously Essena wasn't the person she reflected through her Instagram account and I can only imagine how difficult that would be when it came to the far more important 'real life' stuff.

    I don't know about you, but I am just loving reading everyones opinion on this subject, and must admit that almost everyone makes some really great points, no matter what 'side' they're on. At the end of the day, do yourself a favour and your followers a favour and just be yourself.

  2. Love this post xo