Essena Oneill is a popular influencer in the vegan and health/wellness community. Through her tumblr, youtube, and instagram accounts she brought awareness to many causes circling animal cruelty, the environment, and wellbeing and at the same time, building a brand around herself. I've been following Essena for almost three years now and to say the least, she has impacted my life immensely. More recently though, I've gone through a big change health-wise by converting to veganism. If I start going down that path, you'll beg me to shut up..
This past week, she announced that she will be quitting all forms of social media. When I first read her post, I sat there dumbfounded, yet everything began to clear up for me. Keep reading.... (I know, I know, it's Friday & it's a long post).
In her last Instagram post, she explains how society is consumed with social media and how everything perceived is "fake". Being someone who's job revolves around producing creative digital content, I see exactly what she means. If you scroll though Instagram, every post depicts some form of perfection, whether it be some one's physical appearance or the life they are show, the photo becomes #goals.
With that, Essena changed all of her old photo's captions to state what was really going on behind the image at the time- something I've written about before on a more comical note. Some photos explain how vanity was the only thing that made her happy or the idea she was going to be paid for posting this top. Going through her Instagram feed, it allowed me to reflect on my own content. I try to keep everything I post real and authentic, but sometimes things can be interpreted in the wrong light or don't go as planned. Through my Instagram (and website....), my main goal is to highlight memories and share content- that I enjoy/proud of- with you all. From the beginning, I've only chosen sponsorships that make sense with who I am and I believe it has granted me the ability to really have passion in what I do. Instead of on the contrary, having it be all about making money.
No doubt, Essena's new journey is very extreme, but it made me realize a lot. Along with the blurred lines between real & fake in social media, I considered the social media addiction our generation has. The world was spinning before cell phones, media, and constant screen time.... this addictive aspect of our life. Things like FOMO and hurt relationships have led our generation to be controlled by screens, whereas they should only be there to make our lives easier.
We've forgotten how to live in the moment and cherish the real world, not the world through the screen. I've written about the consuming world before, which always leads me to deep thoughts. It's taken me time to understand how little importance what I see on a Instagram account or YouTube video is; it isn't life or death. it's simply enjoyment. Key word...simple.
Please don't get the idea that I will be vanishing into the dark world, yet instead I'm being more conscious of what I post and focusing on the how I choose to live my life. I challenge you to do the same. It doesn't matter if you agree with all of Essena's points (hell, I don't either) or even mine.
I just challenge you to live in the moment and appreciate the present.
Surround yourself with genuine people and enjoy your time on this beautiful planet. Find the beauty in everything and savor it.
all my love, sloane
side note: I'm aware that today's post is different and very rambly, but I wanted to share some thoughts with you all. I had another exciting post planned for today, but evidently instead spewed all these thoughts. I'll see you here on Monday for that post.