Sarah Z. Wexler


Cosmopolitan (Philippines) - - You, You, You -

HOW many Hours have you spent wait­ing for peo­ple to Like your In­stas or watch your Snaps? For Essena O’neill, an 18-year-old In­sta­gram model with more than a half mil­lion fol­low­ers, it was too many. Last fall, she made head­lines for delet­ing thou­sands of pho­tos, quit­ting the so­cial plat­form, and shar­ing her strug­gle with be­ing “ad­dicted to so­cial me­dia, so­cial ap­proval, [and] so­cial sta­tus.” She made an ap­peal for a plat­form where views and Likes aren’t vis­i­ble. “Never again will I let a num­ber de­fine me. It suf­fo­cated me,” she said.

Oth­ers could to­tally re­late. In March, Time mag­a­zine named her among the 30 most in­flu­en­tial peo­ple on the in­ter­net, along­side the likes of Kim and Kanye, for hav­ing in fact re­moved her so­cial pres­ence (she’s since re­turned to In­sta­gram, where her posts are per­fectly frank: “There is noth­ing Zen about try­ing to look Zen…” and “I was paid for this photo”).i wouldn’t say check­ing my Likes tally has “suf­fo­cated me,” but it has messed with my mind. A few months ago, I spent an idyl­lic day with my dog at the beach where I ’grammed a pic of him run­ning at sun­set, fully ex­pect­ing a slew of Likes and “YAAASSS” com­ments.

In­stead, I got crick­ets—a measly four Likes, one of them from my dog walker. I cy­cled through the stages of grief. De­nial: It’s be­cause I posted it dur­ing happy hour! Anger: What’s wrong with my jerk friends? I Like thou­sands of their pics! De­pres­sion: Maybe th­ese pho­tos— maybe this whole day—weren’t as amaz­ing as I’d thought. Thank­fully, then came ac­cep­tance: What­ever. This day was awe­some, Likes or not. The thing is, many women fix­ate on the neg­a­tive feel­ings and can’t con­vince them­selves of that last Cos­mopoli­tan oc­to­ber 2016

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