There is a slowly growing movement, a shift in consciousness, a moral righting of hearts, that is taking hold .... and in this mixed up world of popularity contests and who's more perfect then who, this growing movement is like a mirror being held up to our faces, reflecting back a truth that has been hidden by "likes" and "favourites" and the "me me me" world of the internet ....
This week I came across for the first time ever - Essena O'Niell - a now former Instagram star, who at the age of 19 has discovered that her value, her worth, lies beyond that "perfect" photo, that the number of likes and hearts and favourites really, in the grand scheme of things mean nothing .... her new website, her new vision, is ambitious, and swings clearly to the other end of social media, or as far as you can swing when still being on-line (check out her Gamechangers website here - Letsbegamechangers.com.
I admire Essena, I admire her passion and her drive for creating social change .... her ideas, thoughts, and feelings, driven by educating herself, reading books from some of the top thinkers of the day .... but she has had criticism - the main piece of criticism is that she is now more well known on social media then ever before ... But as she has responded to her critics - isn't this the point of social media she is trying to escape! We get so caught up in the personal lives of others, the perceived perfect lives they have, or inversely, we revel in the problems people have, the fights, bitchiness, and cattiness. Now I am not naive, I recognise that if she really wanted to get away entirely from the "2D" world she purportedly hates she would remove herself entirely from the online world, no social media, no website forum, no vimeo, nada, nup, nothing .... She hasn't though, she still has a presence, but her presence is changing.
Essena is not the only one who is revealing the reality of life behind the screen - Kayla Itsines has also raised the curtain, revealing that she has rules in place regarding her posts and that it takes a lot of hard work to get the shots for social media. Kayla also makes the crucial point that the life she portrays in social media is not exactly what her life is like AND shouldn't be what everyone aspires too. She encourages the very healthy idea that everyone's life is different and we should be accepting of this, "What I am trying to say is that I want you ladies to be YOU!"
We are, essentially, saturated in social media these days, our lives appear to be lived more online then in the beauty of the world around us .... perhaps people like Essena have it right, we should put down the camera's and phone's, and just appreciate what is in front of us right at this moment. We don't need thousands of photographs or words or likes or favourites to remember the great memories .... and to be honest to remember the not so great memories. To live life in the real world is to live and learn openly and slowly .... to put technology down and just breathe.
Now I have said all this, but I am not anti social media, I do believe it has it's purpose, and a good purpose at that - to connect people. I think we have to learn to take it in moderation though, really think about the what and why we are posting, and to also allow our times to have breaks, to not live our lives out on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Take a few days off of Facebook and Twitter each week, it really doesn't matter if you have no likes or retweets, what matters is that you are out there living, making, meeting, and embracing the magic that can be this world of ours.
"Your Determination is Limitless"
- Elizabeth Wright