I think we've all heard about Essena O'Neills story by now: about how she deleted her social accounts that were filled with sponsored posts and pictures that didn't represent her real life - about how she thinks social media 'isn't real life'. Even though she couldn't be more right: social media, including Instagram, definitely isn't real life - I think this action says more about her than about social media in general. I seem to be the only one who thinks that social media aren't all that bad: sure, (photo) advertising and sponsorships are 'real' things. But haven't they always been in our modern society? We are the ones who post pictures, we are the ones who decide whether or not our pictures represent our real life. I think social media are great: everyone has a chance to get his/her opinion heard, we can all inspire each other. Scrolling through photos of people I follow on Instagram, endlessly motivates me to create. I don't think social media are bad, even though they're not real life. Maybe that's because I never work with companies I don't genuinely like, I also post photographs of bad days and am not addicted to my phone/laptop/social media in general in any way - I don't know. But I don't believe in this 'social media revolution', I think we should all be thankful for the opportunities and possibilities living in a modern age gives us - and I think we shouldn't blame 'social media' for not representing real life: have media ever represented real life? - we are the ones who post the pictures. Instead of deleting a successful Instagram profile and creating a new website asking followers for money, that girl could've made the decision to start posting more genuine pictures. To stop working with companies she dislikes and doesn't believe in. Maybe the pressure was too much, maybe it was just a marketing strategy to start a 'revolution' and earn more money in this way. I have no clue, I just don't like how it has shaken up the internet, how girls and boys started deleting pictures, started posting pictures with captions like 'my feed is not my real life!'. Of course it isn't! But isn't that common sense? How could pictures we take and edit, words we write and selectively post on the internet ever represent a real situation?
I think we should all look at the good sides of social media: of how we all can inspire others, of how we can all get our personal opinions across, of how beautiful friendships can emerge from online contact only. Yes, social media isn't real life. What should be remembered is that real life is real life, social media should be an extension of it.