Another week, another Shama TV post! This week, Shama discusses the recent controversy of Australian Instagram model Essena O’Neil, who’s come out strongly against social media after amassing more than half a million followers on Instagram and almost 300,000 on YouTube. Watch the video to hear Shama’s take on what can be learned from O’Neill’s high-profile turnaround. For a transcript, scroll on down.
Hey Zen Nation, Shama here. Today we answer an age-old question: “Is social media fake?”
Recently, an 18-year-old Australian Instagram model named Essena O’Neil has sparked quite a controversy around social media. She has come out with a very strong stance against social media claiming that a lot of her pictures were contrived and she wasn’t really happy when she was actually positioning herself as positive and happy and gleeful.
She’s gone back actually to a lot of her Instagram pictures and re-captioned them with what she considers “the honest truth.” So, for example, she talks about taking hundreds of pictures just to get it right and going without meals just to look good for a picture. She has really come out swinging against social media and getting people to realize that a lot of what’s out there is fake and pretend and not to buy into it.
And of course, I have had a lot of people ask my opinion on this. In fact a couple of days ago, I was on Good Day Fox, talking about this very topic. So I thought I would share with you my two lessons or takeaways from this whole situation.
The first thing is to realize that social media is a very powerful platform and these tools can be used for good or, in many ways, evil. Even though Essena has sworn off her usual social media, she has kept all her Instagram followers and so forth, she has now changed her account to be called “let’s be game changers” and what she really wants to do is use these platforms to give a voice to actual things that matter to her, whether it’s veganism or social inequality, social justice.
I applaud her for this. I think it just showcases that you can use these platforms for whatever you want. It’s kinda like Taylor Swift hating TV or radio. These are just mediums, and it’s all on you as to how you use those mediums. So that’s my big lesson number one.
The lesson number two that I get from all of this is: transparency in social media is really important and there’s only so long you can go on faking it without it eventually all imploding. Whether that’s someone on the outside calling you out and saying, “Hey, is that really true?” and there being a disconnect, which can really hurt your brand image and trust, or more of an implosion if you will, where she got tired of living a fake lifestyle.
I think it’s really important to be authentic on social media, be able to tell her story to own it fully and to use these platforms for good. So, no, I don’t think social media is fake, I think that it’s actually really hard for anything fake to have a long shelf life – but I do think social media gives us lots of powerful tools. I mean, after all, people are the media and you can leverage that for good or evil.
That’s it for now guys, make sure to subscribe so you can keep up with all our content. Until next time, market like a Zen Master!