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"Not Real Life!" Brave Teen Publicly Steps Out of the Social Media Spotlight

When looking at the never-ending supply of pictures on social media, it can be easy to forget that it’s all really just a well-thought-out posed version of life, just as the user wants it displayed on their page. But one Australian model and social media celebrity has come forward to remind us all that when it comes to social media, none if it is actually real.

Today reports abot 18 year old Essena O’Neil’s recent decision to bow out on her current social media presence in a very classy way, sending the message that social media addiction is real but a lot of the images we see every day are not. O’Neil came to the decision to delete more than 2,000 photos from her Instagram after realizing how badly she had become addicted to social media use and the vicious cycle of self-promotion she had created throughout her teenage years.

O’Neil wrote in her final Instagram post explaining, “I'm quitting Instagram, YouTube and Tumblr. Deleted over 2,000 photos here today that served no real purpose other than self-promotion. Without realizing, I've spent majority of my teenage life being addicted to social media, social approval, social status and my physical appearance.” The social media star seemingly had it all, well over half a million followers and many deals with brands who paid her money to promote their products.

Before she wiped all the photos from her social media accounts, she decided to give fans the real story behind a lot of the pics that on first look may seem like effortless perfection. She captioned one bikini photo revealing that it took over 100 attempts to make her stomach look good in that picture and she abstained from eating food that day in preparation for the swimsuit shoot.

There’s one photo taken on a beach where the internet model looks like she is enjoying a peaceful moment on a yoga mat on the beach. She captions this pic saying, “nothing zen about trying to look zen.”

O’Neil drives home the message to teens on her new website Let’s Be Game Changers, that life is more than how many followers or ‘likes’ you have and there is more to life than how perfect you look in a bikini. She says, “I'm the girl who had it all and I want to tell you that having it all on social media means nothing to your real life ... Everything I did was for likes and for followers. I did shoots for hours just to get photos for Instagram.”

What do you think of this teen’s decision to step out of the social media spotlight?

Do you think teens often get too caught up in social media and forget about the really important things in life?

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