Essena O'Neill and The Longest Goodbye.

Hey, guess who’s back in Internet-Town?

Essena O’Neill!

She was the Instagram model who made a sizable fortune from her Insta-fame, only to then Insta-shame the very system that made her famous? Mmm hmm? Yeah?

Well. She’s BACK.

Upon hearing word that Essena was reaching out to her mourning fanbase, I checked her Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr AND Website pages for signs of life. Nothing.

And then a little birdy told me the Essena had actually sent an email to her followers. An email!

Tres retro, babe.

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If you are looking for Essena O’Neill, then please come back later. She is writing a book.

In the book lengthy email, Essena fills us in on her new life in the real world, where she is working in a pub, hanging out with non-famous buddies, and writing a book.

“I had the problem,” she wrote.

“I was suffering. I shared that. It went viral. I had no control. I became a trend and a way to guarantee views.

“For me the internet right now does not feel healthy.

“I’m getting a job at a local bar.


“I’m writing each day.

“I’m seeing a therapist. I’m not ashamed of that and I encourage anyone if they feel down or are stuck in a negative mindset to seek professional help.”

The whole thing gave the distinct impression that Essena suffered greatly at the hand of viral fame, and you know what?

Regardless of her untimely return to the very Internet she swore off – that sucks.

(You can read the full email she sent here.)

Essena, as someone who also fought the good fight at your age, as a young writer online, I thought I’d share a few tips on surviving the merciless world of digital existence with a shred of integrity still intact*. (Should you be intending to stick around after all.)

  1. Spell check. With your EYEBALLS. Or even someone else’s eyeballs – just not online spell check, mmk? Labelling yourself a “teen idle” would be rather genius if it was an intentional error, alas…
  2. Keep some secrets. You don’t have to tell us everything, you know. Your brave reveal surely served to comfort many young teenage girls and boys striving for the perfection you portrayed, but don’t feel like you need to maintain this level of intimacy into your life. Keep some things close to your heart, and don’t give away everything.
  3. Get off the internet. Like, for real. Get off it. Completely. Ban the bandwidth, girlfriend: and yes, that includes emails. And come back when it feels OK again.
  4. Learn the power of a short email. Less is more.
  5. Don’t take life too seriously. You are only 19 – there is plenty of time for whinging in the years. Wait until you start paying a mortgage. Or start getting client emails at 5.30am. I got a stress fracture just from walking, babe. Getting old sucks, so have fun now before it starts costing you lots of money.

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6,209 word email aside, we have a feeling The World’s Longest Goodbye has something good behind it, Essena. Keep up your dabbling in the real world – it’s pretty good out here.

*This does not include my Myspace or 2001 Tumblr page. That’s a noose I’ll never escape! 

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