Instagram model Essena O'Neill made international news this week by amending the captions on her Instagram posts, before deleting her account and swearing off social media. The 19-year-old Australian's photo captions revealed the crafted nature of her online life, the thousands of dollars she was sometimes paid for sponsored posts, and her desire to live a more authentic life in the real world, without constantly striving for likes, favs, and retweets.
The response was enormous, with O'Neill's new website LetsBeGameChangers.com acquiring thousands of, well, likes, favs, and retweets, and O'Neill herself posting a tearful video celebrating the possibilities of her new, honest lifestyle. While at least two of O'Neill's former online friends have called her project a "hoax" and others have noted that the once-prolific YouTuber will still be posting daily videos to Vimeo, I was inspired to take a long, hard look at my own online persona, and to amend some of my own posts with more honest explanations of what was going on.
Please allow me to take you behind the candelabra, to show you what life is really like, without the filters and the framing, without FaceTune and Facebook, when I'm IRL, just being… me.
If you like what you see, I'm @monicaheisey on Instagram.