Last week saw popular Instagram model Essena O'Neill (see above) drop the mic (rhetorically speaking) and walk away from, wait for it... social media. Are you gasping with your hand to your mouth right now? I know how you feel. This is crazy talk in a digitally connected world such as ours; where people wake up with their phones and go to sleep with their phones. Heck, most of us check our phones before even brushing our teeth.
And then, while we were still reeling from O'Neill's tearful goodbye on YouTube — "Taking myself off social media is a wake up call to anyone and everyone who follows me... it's not real life" — the second bomb landed: @socalitybarbie, everyone's favourite online doll, also quit Instagram. Shut. Up. We just need @mensweardog or @rokuthecat to throw in the towel, and this social media exodus will officially be a trend. Is this the end of the world?
In the hope to stem the tide and, quite selfishly, preserve my favourite online accounts for my personal viewing pleasure, here are my top ten reasons why you should continue (repeat, continue)with your shameless social sharing:
10. If it didn't happen on social media, did it really happen? The answer, of course, is no. How else will people know that you camped out in front of H&M for three days and three nights (kudos to the kids who whipped out a tent; smart thinking peeps) to nab yourself a piece of #HMBALMAINATION? Exactly.
9. And what are you going to do while waiting for a cab? Or a train. Or a bus. Or your morning cup of Joe when some drainer in the line in front of you is ordering an extra-hot-soy-chai-latte-with-fake-sugar. Socials = Boredom killer.
8. Fit-spiration When you see the likes of @isnathan executing muscle-ups in the park or backflips on the beach, you get off your lazy ass and move some weights. Conclusion: Social media encourages healthy living. Granted, we might take a mirror #selfie afterwards, but hey, it's proof that we actually went to the gym okay.
7. Documenting your #ootd On the topic of #selfies, how else can you share your latest purchases — oh, I don't know, say a vintage Hermés toile canvas bag for instance — than on Instagram. The joy of the purchase is in the sharing.
6. Because sharing is caring It's also about spreading the joy of your successes (Awesome, you climbed a mountain and your makeup is still flawless) while spreading the burden of your losses (Flight to Bali cancelled due to volcanic ash. #MassiveSadFace).
5. FROW-ing at fashion week Here are some home truths: Socials provide unparalleled access into the rarefied world of fashion. Want to know which shows Karlie, Kendall or Gigi walked in Paris? Instagram. Lucky Blue mobbed by rabid fangirls in Milan? Snapchat.
4. Breaking newsin 140 characters They call it Twitter, I call it BBC in my pocket. No one has the time to wait for the newspapers to, shock horror, print the news. This ain't Downton Abbey.
2. Keeping it real with the parentals By which I mean, not keeping it real at all. When your olds are on Facebook, but haven't figured out the other platforms, you smokescreen them with Facebook posts of you at church, or more realistically, working at a café with a top-down coffee shot that also catches your Macbook. IRL, you're dropping the moolah at a sample sale and recording all the action on Snapchat. Tell me I'm not the only one here?
1. This is real life So whether you're foiling your followers with highly-curated posts (sorry mothers) or keeping it legit, this is real life. Why? Because everyone knows that, for the most part, what we see on socials is just a glorified and filtered portrayal of the best bits. Deal with it. And you know what? You can post a picture of yourself drinking a coconut while sun-baking in the Maldives, and still enjoy that moment too. The two aren't mutually exclusive. The cherry on top? PM'ing your cousin in freezing Melbourne to induce severe FOMO. #WishYouWereHere