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Instagram Star Quits Social Media in Powerful Goodbye Video

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In the age of “likes,” this is something you may not. Or maybe you will.

Essena O’Neill, 18, an Australian Instagram sensation with more than a half million followers, has released a thoughtful YouTube video in which she gives a detailed explanation why she’s quitting social media.

O’Neill’s 17-minute video explains the perils of social media:

I am the girl that had it all. And I want to tell you all that having it all on social media means nothing to your real life…The reason why I quit social media was because for me, personally, it consumed me. I was living in a 2-D world.”

O’Neill, who also works as a model, said her entire life was dedicated to views.

She deleted several photos from her Instagram account, but did keep some with changed captions:

O’Neill, who says she was “living a fake life,” also launched a website against social media. In addition, she says her reliance on social media caused her to become hooked on likes and comments, while also lashing out at the supposedly candid photos that are actually advertisements for the items in the pictures.

As she says, “I don’t want to support social sharing sites that makes billions off advertisements I don’t agree with.”

It’s a compelling and enlightening video, giving people a glimpse at the underbelly of social media.

What do you think? Will O’Neill’s words change how you behave online or do you think she simply got burned out?

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