Following my social media detox post yesterday, I read this about a 19-year-old model named Essena O’Neill who very publicly quit social media and is now going through the photos she used to post and editing the captions to describe how she really felt that day–which is often pretty cruddy.
I gotta be honest: sometimes I wonder if I’m too sensitive to social media in part because I’m not a social media phenom. But after watching a couple of O’Neill’s videos, I can see that at least if you’re a person who values more than appearances, it probably isn’t going to be satisfying to focus a lot of effort to get validation on social media, even if you get a lot of likes and followers as she did.
I don’t think the answer is total banishment. O’Neill is now using social media to spread her message about the emptiness of her old behaviors. There’s always a balance, and I’m not sure I’ve struck it yet, but I liked what my friend Flo had to say in response to my article: “When I use social media with moderation and intent, I feel it empowering me… But when I start using it to fill in a void, it creates a learned behavior that negatively impacts my ability to remain present in conversations, hangouts, etcetc.”