Racking up social media followers in today's world is a business.
If you have a lot of followers, you can begin monetizing your accounts and make real money.
Just ask blogger and social mediate Essena O'Neill who could make about $1500 per post for promoting companies.
"Everything... was for likes."
That's the message O'Neill is now trying to get out to girls everywhere.
She once dreamed of the life she managed to achieve, but now she's slowly coming to terms with the fact that maybe it wasn't all she thought it would be. In fact, she realized living that sort of life led to her being depressed and not having a real direction.
She explains in her redone Instagram captions and video below, that a lot of what you see in her posts are "contrived." Meaning, most of her photos are often the result of endless photo shoots, messaging from companies who are paying her and aren't as candid as they look.
As she explains, she's OK with people doing paid advertisements, but she doesn't want to partake in it anymore.
Mainly, she wants girls to know that this is not how life actually is. Don't yearn for what you see in photos as it's often staged.
When you see that perfect bikini shot, it's often because she used modeling techniques to appear that way, in a bikini she was paid to wear.
So if you're stressing that you need to project an image of a perfect life and a perfect body... stop. You don't have to pretend.
At the end of the day, it's sending the wrong message. This isn't paradise. This isn't real. This won't make you happy.
Just go out and live. If you happen to find a moment to share with your friends, go for it. If you really want to be an "Instagram Model," you can, just be aware that it isn't always what it appears to be.
You'll be faking it to some degree and that can make you feel even worse than you did before.
As Lil Wayne once said in his song "Paradice" off of "Rebirth:"
"She was a young girl in pursuit of glory and fame.
She would do anything she could to feel the flame,
When everybody knew your mood and the games you've played.
She finally made all her dreams come true and then she screamed:
Oh no, this ain't paradice."