My Reaction to Essena O’Neill

social media real

In case you haven’t yet heard about Essena O’Neill, here is a BuzzFeed article that has all of the information collectively, or at least the best collective article I’ve seen.  If you don’t want to read it, she was an Australian beauty vlogger/model/Instagram personality who has recently “quit” social media, however, she is now running a blog, and has changed several of her Instagram captions to better explain what was happening in the picture, whether it was branding or how long it took her to pose for what was supposed to be a candid shot.

O’Neill wrote on several of her captions that she was paid to wear clothes and put them on Instagram but would never wear them out of the house. A lot of it went back to how she was almost sexualizing herself as a 15-16 year old girl. In her video she talks about how upset she was as a 12 year old, seeing people with thousands of followers and that’s what she wanted to be so she started cutting down on her size, measuring herself, doing what it took to be those people, at just twelve years old. This is so sad and scary to me, as my youngest sister is just 14 and I hate hearing things like that. I think it is almost because of this that she started to overly edit and pose for her photos. She created an image to be #goals and the person she always wanted to be, however it was entirely manipulated to become that person, it was never actually her.

To me, this idea is so interesting. I love social media, I love to research about it, I love how it connects people and how it is used for advertising. It’s fascinating.  The numbers also intrigue me, but it’s the meaning of the numbers that I find interesting. Each of those numbers is 1. a person, 2. add up to establish the “reputation” of the blogger/YouTuber/other social media “celebrity”.  It’s crazy to me how much of this could be manipulated, how many of these people we look at on Instagram/ YouTube/ blogs are faking it, or at least faking part of it.

I had heard that Dodie from doddleoodle posted a video response on her vlog channel, doddlevloggle about the subject, where she essentially said that you need to find the balance of who you are and branding yourself  and you  need to stay true to yourself, because you will not be able to live up to it, and I totally agree with that. My brand, if you can call it that, is me, one-hundred percent me, and my thoughts. Whenever I do something that’s not me,  I have to fix it because it makes me insanely anxious that  I am not being myself online. Like Dodie, I am an oversharer, so this is the perfect platform. She also went on to talk about how O’Neill is still going to be using social media as well, which isn’t bad, but she’s also not quitting.

I’m finding this whole discussion that social media is “bad” silly.  Social media is driving change throughout the advertising and marketing industry. You are ignorant to believe that if Zoella recommends a very specific store or if Bethany Mota promotes a product that hundreds upon hundreds of teenaged girls aren’t going out to buy it, why do you think so many YouTubers are now on the New York Times Bestsellers list? They have more influence than mainstream media cares to admit.  We live in a digital culture, social media has to be used, companies are going to thrive off of the “Insta-Famous” to promote their products and what it comes down to is the person who is doing the promoting and how they care to do it. If someone ever decides to pay me for a blog post, it will be clear that is a promotional post for a company, you don’t have to pretend it’s not a promotional things, people like it more when you’re upfront. Then you won’t have this anxiety that you aren’t being yourself and you are pretending to be the perfect person.

Since starting this post, her Instagram has been deleted. Maybe she is really trying to get rid of all social media, but her blog is still up. I don’t know. I understand where she is coming from, but social media will never go away. I feel bad that she struggled so much from her experiences with social media, but it will never go away. She wants people to connect over global issues rather than likes/followers/subscribers which makes sense, but I think you can do that without the worrying. She really emphasized the point that social media isn’t real, well I can’t say that I agree with that. It’s all how you decide to put words out and share yourself. I choose to be me, maybe I embellish my instagram captions (“lost in london” I wasn’t actually lost) but really the reality of social media is here to stay. While yes, we should put our phones away, trust me, it drives me crazy how attached I am to my phone as well as everyone else, but, we have them, we are on them, and it is part of our lives that will be here to stay.

Choose who you are going to be online, don’t be fake if it’s going to force you to internally combust. Take control of your life and who you are online.

Let me know your opinions in the comments, I look forward to reading them! Are you going to quit social media? I’m not, we are a generation of the internet, enjoy it, or don’t. That’s  your choice.

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100 Followers, What? + Giveaway!

Guys, this is crazy! I’m in Starbucks today and I hit a hundred followers! Guys that’s insane. Well I actually hit a hundred followers a few days ago, with those who get posts emailed to them, but that doesn’t count to WordPress, so the official hit happened today. Anyway this is just really weird to me that a hundred people read my blog. Like that’s insane. I honestly can’t believe this. It took me longer to hit a hundred twitter followers which is weird because I know people on twitter and I only know two people in real life that follow me through actual WordPress and not email.  I’m so thankful to all of you because I don’t really blog about anything imparticular and I usually just put a bunch of feelings and annoyances here and you guys read it and it means a lot to me.  To be honest this is just really overwhelming and I’m so grateful for every single one of you! If I could I would hug you all, but I’m not really touchy so I might not actually do that even if I met you. Actually I might because if I met any of you in real life I would be really excited. Now I’m just rambling per usual.

So I really just wanted to come up with a way to thank you guys, so I decided to a (very,very) small give away! I think I’ve only ever entered one or two give aways on YouTube and I’ve been really unsuccessful, however they’re still fun so I’m going to do one. The things I will be giving away are things that I really like or I saw at Target and I thought they looked cool. So I’m just going to list all of the items and why I chose them and then I’m going to explain the rules and boring stuff like that.

  • Mixed Fruit, Fruit-Flavored Snacks, this is because I love fruit snacks so much. I love them. I love them. I love them. photo 1
  • Fruit-opia 8-pack of Crayola Crayons, because who doesn’t love to color? I know I do.                                               photo 2
  • Chalkboard Coasters, Katie pointed these out to me out Target and they’re just so cute so I thought why not throw that in this giveaway?photo 3
  • NYC Red Velvet Rope nail polish, it’s not like super red so I thought it would be a pretty spring summer color and painting nails is just one thing to do while you procrastinate, which is my area of expertise.                                                                                                    photo 5
  • NYC Tudor City Teal, it’s just so pretty and teal is just in lately.                                                                                                     photo 4
  • Finally, I had to include some type of chocolate and a lot of people don’t know this doesn’t exist so I thought I should throw this in there too, an m&m chocolate bar. It’s made up of mini m&ms, which are far better than regular ones if you ask me, and it’s just delicious, I’m trying not to eat it myself to be quite honest.                                                                                                                                                                                photo (2)

Okay so that’s the small giveaway items now for the rules and all that stuff. So obviously you have to be following me because that’s what this is all about obviously, thanking all of my lovely followers. I’m also going to ask you to like this post, and either comment with your favorite post that I’ve written or why you decided to follow me. I will chose the winner Saturday March 15, 2014 at midnight, so you have until 11:59 March 14 to enter. I will then reply to the winners comment with my email and ask them to email me their address. Seriously thanks again everyone, I’m so thankful for every single one of you and I hope that you’ll stick with me through the posts to come. If you have any questions comment with those too! I’m also not going to be putting this post on any social media sites so that you guys are the only ones who are open to this because I’m not thanking them, I’m thanking you guys! Thank you so much! I love you guys so much, you mean the world to me.

XOXO,

Mary.

Goals for the New Year

Every  year I make New Year’s resolutions and my original plan was to reflect on my last years resolutions except I did such a good job keeping up to date on it and I lost them, so I thought I would share with you my goals for the new year.

  • Blog everyday- I would like to try and really do this as well as have some sort of schedule for the postings.
  • Reach 300 followers, this is just a personal goal and if it doesn’t happen it’s totally okay I think it’s something I want to try.
  • Make a really good friend at school, someone to hang out with and get meals with on a regular basis.
  • Get a new job, and this doesn’t mean quit my current job because it’s a good safety net but I really need a new job to make more money.
  • A more positive outlook on life- I really need to stop being so negative and hating everything, and I want to try to be more optimistic
  • Go to a party for more than 30 minutes. This is something that I just need to do for myself, I don’t need to drink or do drugs or whatever people do at parties but I need to experience college better.
  • Try to overcome my anxiety. I just want to figure out and calm down so it’s not so bad because it hinders me from doing things that I really want to do and that needs to stop.
  • Stop cracking my knuckles- pretty self explanatory.
  • To be passionate about something- I feel like a lot of things, but I don’t feel like I’m really passionate about anything and I really really want to be.
  • 300 YouTube subscriber, which I’m seeing as kind of unrealistic right now but it’s something that I would like to hopefully achieve this year.
  • I would like to better recognize those who actually care about me compared to those who only want things from me.
  • I want to remember to tell those I appreciate how much they mean to me.
  • I need to keep in mind that I am really lucky especially when things are bad.
  • I would love to learn something new, so suggestions please! I need a cool new hobby!
  • Joe Sugg. Look him up, I’m in love with him. Tell him to love me.

So share with me your goals! Hope you enjoyed!

Happy (almost) New Year!

XOXO

Mary