Essena O’Neill, is she really quitting social media?

Photo ©2013 by mkhmarketing [CC-by-2.0]

In class on November 3rd, we were assigned a zero drafting topic of Essena O’Neill. She was an Instagram famous, YouTuber who decided to quit social media, saying it has created a ‘brainwashed generation’. She has changed her Instagram captions to things like, “A 15 year old girl that calorie restricts and excessively exercises is not goals. Anyone addicted to social media fame like I once was, is not in a conscious state,”. She also came out and said that she was sponsored by brands. Even though most of her photos looked candid, they were sponsored and she was getting money off of them.

I am all for Essena O’Neill sticking up to the big man and coming out and explaining her secret life. I totally love that she’s trying to help the younger generation and not obscure their views on people. But I feel like her “quitting social media” is all a stunt. A publicity stunt is a planned event designed to attract the public’s attention to the event’s organizers or their cause. Of course I may be wrong in assuming this, but everything she’s done have been factors of what a publicity stunt is. She’s come out to her thousands of followers and has told them the truth about her photos. Then she proceeds to delete her Instagram and YouTube accounts, and she creates a website about how she wants to change peoples’ views of social media. She wants to be a “game changer”.

But two fellow Instagram celebrities created a YouTube video, Nina and Randa Nelson who had let O’Neill stay with them at their house in Los Angeles express how they feel about O’Neill “quitting social media”. They believe that O’Neill quitting social media is a big hoax. Nina and Randa stated that they introduced O’Neill to her ex-boyfriend, who is supposedly the cause to her big stunt. Near the end of the video Randa says,  “Just because one person had a bad experience with it does not mean everyone should jump on the bandwagon and suddenly think that all social media is bad.” The two state that people who complain about how social media is such a horrible thing are hypocrites because they are complaining on social media platforms. They also allude to the fact that they think that O’Neill is a hypocrite; because of her website she is still connected to the internet and is still trying to get herself out there and obtain a following.

If she was so blinded by the numbers, why is she starting over and trying to get more numbers?


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