But it seems like a different opinion is surfacing on the interwebs. Vegan YouTube bloggers Nina and Randa, who claim they are friends with Essena and hosted her as a guest in their home when she recently visited Los Angeles, posted a video yesterday with the title "Essena O'Neill Quitting Instagram Is a Hoax." Essena mentioned the trip in her initial video that announced her decision to quit social media, but Nina and Randa are saying that the stories don't match up.
In the video, Nina and Randa say they and their LA squad are not depressed, as Essena had claimed, and even go into detail about the relationship Essena had first mentioned in their video's comments section.
Yikes, they really get into some personal s***. Their main point, besides picking apart her story, is that "social media is not a negative thing," a sentiment which Cambio Advice Muse and fellow vegan YouTuber Tiffany Ferguson agrees with in her own reaction video.
"You yourself brought up X, a friend of ours for 5 years, as an example of fake, miserable LA people that lead you to make conclusions about social media," they write. "We merely pointed out that if the relationship with X had not abruptly ended, you would probably be living here in Los Angeles now. That's true, and the people who were around you at the time in LA know it."
To further put Essena on blast, Nina and Randa claim that she's only been able to continue her fight against social media by using social media.
Then, very early this morning, Essena posted a video asking media to continue the conversation about social media that she started, but to talk about something more important than her. She said she would delete her Instagram (which she did), and also appears to have wiped out her YouTube account as well. Essena doesn't mention whether she'd seen Nina and Randa's vid, but Nina and Randa mentioned that they were replying to her in their comments section. However, we weren't able to find Essena's comment (probably because her account has since been deleted).
LET'S TALK ABOUT SOMETHING MORE IMPORTANT THAN ME, please? from Essena O'Neill on Vimeo.
The mixed reactions extend beyond the YouTube sphere; social media company Rise9 CEO Zack James made a statement on Facebook yesterday, claiming that, essentially, social media is what you make of it. "Blaming social media, calling it a lie, further shows your lack of attempt to understand yourself," Zack writes. "Yes, deleting your social media is a step in the right direction. Disowning personal responsibility for your own happiness and shifting the blame is a step backwards."
Despite these points, Essena still has a lot of support in the comments sections of Facebook and YouTube. Whose side are you on?