8am: waking up. I check my phone for important what’sapp messages. Three new collaboration requests. Two new insta direct messages. Seven new snaps. Twelve new comments on YouTube. Twenty-four new comments on my latest pic on insta. I read all this and then lay down my iPhone. Tea and shower first.
11am: I talk to my snapchat followers about how happy I am to be back in Berlin. No makeup. They know what I look like and I don’t care.
12pm: I watch a YouTube vid while i cook breakfast. It takes me two minutes to decorate my bowl of warm buckwheat with fruits and sponsored toppings. Three minutes to take a picture. Time to eat. I’ll post afterwards. Oh, but don’t forget to snap it!
3pm: I take a break from the desk and check my phone. Six new emails. One from a desperate girl with an eating disorder. 28 new comments on my breakfast pic. Somebody wants to know whether I really eat my kiwi with the peel on (yes) and three questions on what blender I use (made a video about that). Replying to comments: five minutes. Answering all emails: 30 minutes.
5pm: time to upload a video I edited for an hour last night. Creating a thumbnail wile uploading: 10 minutes. Posting and sharing: 5 minutes.
6pm: on my way to dinner. Already told snapchat how hungry I am. Checking my phone on the subway. I post a selfie because it fits into my insta-shui.
7pm: I ask my friend to take a picture of me before we eat: 1 minute. I snap a picture of the food we eat: 1 minute. I’m unhappy with the photo because my friend obviously didn’t choose a good angle.
9pm: gym time! But first, dinner post. 9pm is a good time to post. Is the order of the pics fine? Can I link the restaurant?
10:30pm: post workout selfie for snapchat. Time to go home. One new invitation for a showroom which excites me.
11pm: bed time! I watch a YouTube video while responding to the comments on today’s pics.
11:30pm: I try to catch up on snapchat before I go to sleep. „Bad habit“ the brain says. „You’re right“ the sleepless mind thinks.
In between: I snuggled with my cat a billion times. My friend came over for lunch and we cooked together. Another friend called who I miss dearly and who I met through Instagram. I help my room mate with his printer. My dad calls and we have a really, really deep and long talk. My cat wants to snuggle more. I talk to an old lady on the subway and she gives me the sweetest smile. My friend who I meet for dinner complains about the guy she’s dating. We make plans to go out on Friday. My workout takes 30 minutes longer because I chat with three trainers at my gym. They’re too nice to not talk to. My cat wants to sleep in my bed. Snuggles while watching YouTube.
In other words: REAL life connections.
Just because one person started to define herself through her online appearance doesn’t mean I have to. Just because she got soaked up into her phone doesn’t mean I have to. Just because she got paid to work with companies she didn’t like doesn’t mean I have to.
No, it doesn’t make my day when someone tells me that my selfie is pretty. Yes, it would make me think if someone called me chubby. I’m a girl. We all go through that phase. If you’re a female under 25 and you think you’ve got it all figured out / congrats.
Yes, I spend a lot of time on my phone. It is my hobby, it’s where I get creative, it’s where I connect with people and it’s simply fun. Doesn’t mean I can’t put it away for real life/talks/ …
No, I don’t collaborate with companies I can’t stand behind. I once got offered 1000€ to review a fitness program. Looked into it, saw the heavy carb- and calorie restriction, declined. Would have been easy to get those 1000€ in return for a mirror selfie and a short caption, right? Call me stupid but my integrity and the honesty towards people who follow me is actually very important to me.
Yes, I do collaborate with companies but only if I like the brand and if I feel like they have good intentions regarding my followers.
I started following bloggers and models at the age of 16. I’ve always been into aesthetics, fashion and health. I always searched for inspiration and for things that would make me feel good.
Yes, I looked up „thinspos“ and read pro Ana blogs when I was suffering from anorexia. I typed the words into the search engine. Nobody made me. It’s not weheartit’s fault and it’s not google’s fault. It was mine.
When I was 12 years old, I wasn’t sucked into social media. I watched the things on TV which my parents thought were appropriate for my age. I had sleepovers with girlfriends. We talked all night about boys and we dipped chips into chocolate fondue. I had my first crushes. I picked cherries in our garden and I my biggest dream was to have a turtle.
If a twelve year old’s head is stuck in a phone, it’s the parenting’s and the surrounding’s fault, not the fault of the smartphone.
Instagram connected me with people who I now call close friends. It gave me a job, it gave me endless opportunities, it gave a place to express my thoughts, my emotions and my creative side. It gave me the chance to constantly challenge myself, work harder on myself, improve every day.
When a girl messages me that she found her way to veganism because of me, I could cry out of happiness. If I have moved and inspired only one single soul, my work is done.
Yes, there are accounts who show off wrong images of standards nobody can live up to. I personally don’t follow model accounts who brag with their lifestyle and wealth. Not interesting to me. If you want to follow – go for it.
When I see a pretty girl on Instagram I often think: „wow she’s adorable, maybe I can do the same with my hair“ or „whoa, that toga pose! I definitely won’t skip my practice tonight“. But at the same time I keep in mind that her lipstick didn’t draw itself on her face and that she probably worlds hard for her body.
It’s not the model’s responsibility if you wish you were her because you’re unhappy with your life, it’s your own. If she doesn’t want to show off her flaws, fine. You can follow an account that shows girls with tired faces, dirty shoes that just stepped into a dog’s shitpile or spilled coffee on white blouses. If this kind of authenticity is inspiring to you – again, go for it. What’s stopping you?
Yes, gaining more people who follow you is pretty cool. Because that means I can inspire more people and reach out to more brains to do good and make people think.
Of course you can create your own „private“ website and videos on vimeo which doesn’t show views and followers. But YOU, Essena, still see the number of views. YOU wouldn’t write and record and create if nobody was watching. You’re promoting your message against social media THROUGH social media. How does that work?!
You create a website you hope to make a living off while ranting and crying and screaming against what you’re trying to live off. Again: HOW?!
There are shitty accounts and people with bad intentions and these will always exist. Just because one person choose to drop out of the game doesn’t mean those accounts will disappear.
If you’re faking happiness and false emotions, it’s your responsibility.
If you’re not happy with your life, then it’s your turn to change something about it. Quitting social media might be good for you then. But it’s not social media’s fault that your life is shitty.
It’s your life and you choose what you do with it.
You need to take care of YOURself. If you don’t like yourself, take your time and take a step back.
It. Is. Your. Life.
YOUR. LIFE. YOUR. CHOICE.
That’s everything I had to say.