THE BLOG

Dear Essena: The Reality Behind My Instagram

03/11/2015 16:40 GMT | Updated 03/11/2016 09:12 GMT

As some of you might have heard of Essena deleting her Instagram account as well as all her other social media accounts. I hadn't heard but when I woke up this morning with 5 messages about it, I decided to write a blog post about it!

It's unsurprising that I received those messages because as some of you know, the majority of my business revolves around social media, and specifically Instagram so I thought I would share my view.

Dear Essena, I say congratulations, you did you and you stood up for what you believed in and that is extremely courageous, daring and mature of you. I love that instead of abandoning ship, you decided to use it to fuel the true message you want to spread and I think you are an excellent role model to many and if only a few people stop obsessing about the likes they are getting then that's incredible!

I, myself, reached this point right before my campaign. Prior to the release of Scarred Not Scared, I had consulted a number of social media experts to make sure the campaign had the right positioning, I am very open about that and have spoken about it both on Youtube and Periscope, I did this because I wanted surgery scars to be a big conversation, and not just involve people who had scars but everyone else who reacted to scars and whilst I valued their advice, I started feeling like shit.

I remember, one particular instagram post, about a week before I launched, in my perfectly curated instagram where I said I had been on a run. Only to get two texts from my best friend screenshotting my latest snapchat of me struggling to get out of bed with the caption "Pretty sure you aren't on a run right now". My instagram had become timed so I would reach the optimal amount of likes and all these posts had been pre-scheduled so in reality, when it launched, I was lying in bed. That run had been a run I went on a month before and that's when it all started feeling a bit yuck.

I wasn't going to do this campaign, if I couldn't do it my way. They wanted me to do it as a blog post, I didn't want to, I wanted to do it on Instagram. They wanted me to put a pitch at the bottom of my post to drive business back to Mindset For Life, I didn't want to do that either. They wanted me to pay for ads to drive traffic to my Facebook, and I didn't want to do that so the hour before I launched, I ignored everyone else's advice and did what felt right... and it worked and continued working. The video in which I slap my arse and jump in a pool, yes, I was warned not to do that but I was genuinely on the way to go swimming, I was genuinely standing in a bikini when I read that post, and I genuinely had that reaction.

That is what I believe has got me almost 8,000 followers, my authenticity. Essena deleted it because yes, it is easy to get obsessed with likes and follows and I did in the beginning but now I don't. Everyday I get over 20 unfollows and it's easy to let that get to you but the breaking point was when I got glandular fever. I couldn't gym anymore, I was barely doing anything and I had nothing to post, so when I didn't want to, I didn't. Simple as that.

I completely understood what Essena was saying because when I was posting inauthentic things, you start to feel like a fraud but where I differ from her is that I don't think my social media counters my message but instead is the platform I use to spread my message. I personally would much rather spend my time spreading my message on a platform that already exists that create a new one and I only use platforms I actually enjoy! I hate twitter, so I don't use it, I was really starting to resent the negative atmosphere on Youtube and so I've stopped posting on there for now.

Do what works for you and I think that's all that matters.