Essena O'Neill quits Instagram claiming social media 'is not real life'
An Australian teenager with more than half a million followers on Instagram has quit the platform, describing it as “contrived perfection made to get attention”, and called for others to quit social media – perhaps with help from her new website. Essena O’Neill, 18, said she was able to make an income from marketing products to her 612,000 followers on Instagram – “$2000AUD a post EASY”. But her dramatic rejection of social media celebrity has won her praise. On 27 October she deleted more than 2,000 pictures “that served no real purpose other than self-promotion”, and dramatically edited the captions to the remaining 96 posts in a bid to to reveal the manipulation, mundanity, and even insecurity behind them. O’Neill did not respond to requests for an interview. A photo of her wearing a bikini, once captioned “Things are getting pretty wild at my house. “Why would you tell your followers that you’re paid a lot to promote what you promote? “Yet I, myself, was consumed by it.
Related: Social connection
• Essena O'neill : There is nothing real