Instagram Star Essena O’Neill Who Shut Down Accounts Posts Emotional Video

Teen Instagram Star Shuts Down Social Media Accounts With Powerful Message


by Lauren Smith |
Published on

Teen Instagram sensation Essena O'Neill, who made headlines after she dramatically quit most of her social media accounts, wasn't prepared for the overwhelming response she receieved from fans. Now she's posted an emotional video thanking her followers and telling them there really is more to life than likes.

Essena, who had more than half a million followers, and could make $2000 a day from her outfit posts, dramatically rejected the platform that gave her fame in a Youtube video, and wrote new captions on her Instagram posts that exposed the artifice behind them, telling fans: "I just want younger girls to know this isn’t candid life, or cool or inspirational. It’s contrived perfection made to get attention.”

After completely deleting her Instagram account on Tuesday night, she's posted a video to her new Vimeo account, linked to her site called, which "aimed to inspire constant QUESTIONING”, where there’s “no likes or views or followers … just my content as raw as I want”.

"I don't ever think I've been happier than this moment," she sobbed. "I was scared that no one wants to hear the truth, that everyone's going to think I'm an attention-seeker, that I'm just complaining. But this message that likes, followers, views — that we're more than a number — it's going global."

Watch the video below:

“Why would you tell your followers that you’re paid a lot to promote what you promote? Why would you tell your followers that you literally just do shoots every day to take pictures for Instagram?” she said.

"Like, it’s not cool. No one thinks that’s radical, or revolutionary...Yet I, myself, was consumed by it. This was the reason why I quit social media: for me, personally, it consumed me. I wasn’t living in a 3D world"

She added: "I remember I obsessively checked the like count for a full week since uploading it...It got 5 likes. This was when I was so hungry for social media validation ... Now marks the day I quit all social media and focus on real life projects.”

Essena also wrote on her Instagram:

"I'm quitting Instagram, YouTube and Tumblr. Deleted over 2000 photos here today that served no real purpose other than self promotion. Without realising, I've spent majority of my teenage life being addicted to social media, social approval, social status and my physical appearance. Social media, especially how I used it, isn't real. It's contrived images and edited clips ranked against each other. It's a system based on social approval, likes, validation in views, success in followers."

Essena added that because she doesn't "agree (with) social media as it currently is, she wants people to " make something that isn't based on views, likes and followers." She has created a new site called, which "aimed to inspire constant QUESTIONING”, where there’s “no likes or views or followers … just my content as raw as I want”. In her first post she challenged her followers to go a week without social media.

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