In the fashion world, many of us are guilty of embracing social media as a sort of second life: We have our real lives, out in the world with our friends and family, and then we have our social media lives. How many followers do you have on Instagram? How many likes did your last post get? What about comments?
Not only is social media a part of fashion reality, but also, it's become an increasingly large part of fashion business. But one ardent Instagram model, 18-year-old Aussie Essena O'Neill, decided to leave behind her lucrative life as a social media star—an entire career built around more than half a million followers on Instagram alone.
O'Neill makes a passionate plea for fellow members of her generation: not to define their feelings of self-worth by the numbers of likes, follows, and other instant feedback they get via social media.
"I'm the girl who 'had it all,'" O'Neill says in the moving clip (above). "I'm the girl who had it all, and I'm here to tell you that 'having it all' on social media means absolutely nothing to your real life. Everything I was doing was edited and contrived to get more likes, views, follows."
We have to admit she makes a very strong case against the social media–obsessed lifestyle she once lived (and that many of us still do). Would the world indeed be a better, more fulfilled place if people stepped away from their phones for a minute?
Watch her impassioned video above, then share your thoughts on the topic in the comments below! And while you're at it, shop Altruis's "digital detox" accessories that let you step away from your phone while remaining connected to only the most important notifications.