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Photo: youtube.com

"How can we see ourselves and our true purpose/talents if we are constantly viewing others?"… "Many of us are in so deep we don't realize [social media's] delusional powers and the impact it has on our lives."

From fashion bloggers to fitness experts to simply photogenic everyday citizens, the "Instagram celebrity" has emerged as a new branch of fame in our social media-run world. Essena O'Neill, an 18-year-old from Australia, was a regular teen who amassed half a million followers on Instagram (on top of 200,000 followers on YouTube and Tumblr and 60,000 on her Snapchat, all now inactive) with selfies, outfit posts, and #fitspo photos. After building that up, she decided last week that she was done with social media.

She deleted 2000 photos, renamed her account to "Social Media Is Not Real Life," and changed the captions on existing photos with truthful anecdotes about posts she was paid for, how many tries it took to get the shot, and the pressures she felt to look perfect. 

"I've spent the majority of my teenage life being addicted to social media, social approval, social status, and my physical appearance, " O'Neill writes in her last Instagram post on October 27, "[Social media] is contrived images and edited clips ranked against each other. It's a system based on social approval, likes, validation, in views, success in followers. it's perfectly orchestrated self-absorbed judgement."…

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Watch the video:  Why I think Social Media sucks- Essena O’Neill

Essena- the darling of the social media

Photo: Instagram

The Pressure of Fame

"Our need to connect, it's becoming more like a series of interactions rather than connecting from depth and connecting from the heart. The connections we make online can give us that warm glow, but we mustn't mistake that for true connection."-Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, Physiologist

A still from Essena O'Neill's YouTube video explaining why she's quitting social media-Photo: youtube.com

Why I think social media sucks on Vimeo 

“Teens are so emotionally invested in social media that a fifth will wake up at night and log on”

             A reflection from a young person

      (June Eric Udorie, 16, is a student, blogger and feminist campaigner)

“The pressure to be perfect and always ‘on’ is overwhelming many of us.”

Photo: theguardian.com

“The digital landscape has put increased pressure on teenagers today, and we feel it. There are so many social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, you name it. I made a conscious decision to avoid Snapchat and Instagram because of the social pressure I saw them putting on my 14-year-old little sister. If my mum turned off the WiFi at 11pm, my sister would beg me to turn my phone into a hotspot. She always needed to load her Snapchat stories one more time, or to reply to a message that had come in two minutes ago because she didn’t want her friend to feel ignored. If I refused, saying she could respond in the morning, I’d get the “You’re ruining my social life” speech. Even as a teenager as well, I sometimes find this craze a little baffling.

A new study has found that teenagers who engage with social media during the night could be damaging their sleep and increasing their risk of anxiety and depression. Teenagers spoke about the pressure they felt to make themselves available 24/7, and the resulting anxiety if they did not respond immediately to texts or posts. Teens are so emotionally invested in social media that a fifth of secondary school pupils will wake up at night and log on, just to make sure they don’t miss out.”…

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Social media is harming the mental health of teenagers. The state has to act | June Eric Udorie | Comment is free | The Guardian

A Further Reflection on Social Media from an older person!

(Kamran Mofid)

Photo: gograph.com

Thank you Essena and June for what you have done and said. You speak for millions and millions of people, young and old. I, too, felt the same, and I am much older than you are. Please see below:

In December 2012 I posted a Blog, reflecting on my experience with Facebook and other social media under the title of “Is the Web Driving Us Mad?” Where I wrote:

“The other day, I “Successfully” de-activated my Facebook account. I say “Successfully”, because Facebook does not make it easy to say good bye, even though I was just trying a short-term separation and not a divorce! At least for now. {Since then, I have now permanently deleted myself from Facebook}.

You know, given human weaknesses to addiction, that is any form of addiction, I thought I was watching me and watching you to see if you were watching me, a bit too much: Watching who likes or dislikes whatever I post there. As if one click here or there is enough for me to know how good or bad I am doing!

My mind was going “digital” and I was becoming “virtual”: And I said to myself, Hey Kamran, watch where you are going man!

I thought I needed a time out, a time for some reflection and soul-searching. I do not know if you, too, are facing the same or not.”…

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The Digital Age and Us

See also:

Has loneliness become the new normal?

Has loneliness become the new normal?

Now instead of the harmful social media, allow me to offer you my heath-enhancing “Slow Reading Sunday"

Gems from my Wisdom Corner

“In an age of tech acceleration and the need to consume as much information as quickly as possible, “Slow Reading Sunday” is our journey back to wisdom. I believe in the wise words and sentiments of Mahatma Gandhi, when, well before the digital age of high-speed communication, just-in-time deliveries, social media and twittering, warned us against the pitfalls of living full throttle when he said, "there is more to life than increasing its speed"…

Continue reading: Journey to Healing: Let Me Know What is Essential

The Path to a Happy Life

What is this life if…?

A True Friendship- Real, Engaging and not "Virtual"