Essena O'Neill has finally quit quitting social media, because it's 2016 and anything is possible. In case you've been living off the grid, O'Neill is a former Instagram model who publicly left social media two months ago, only to release a series of videos and a website promoting her new, somewhat confusing cause.
This left many questioning if her tirades against social media were genuine, seeing that they furthered her popularity on the internet. Some people wondered if she was generating publicity for an upcoming book about how to be famous on social media.
But now that her Vimeo videos have been removed, most of her Instagram posts have been deleted and her former "Let's Be Game Changers" website has been changed to essenaoneill.com, fans and critics alike are wondering if she's really gone for good.
According her Tumblr, one of Sheehan's followers had reached out to her regarding O'Neill's email. Sheehan, who initially responded that she had not read it but would reach out to O'Neill, later posted the newsletter to the site in its entirety. MTV News has reached out to Sheehan for comment and will update if we receive a response.
Judging from the content of the email and the lack of continued internet presence for O'Neill, this ~lengthy~ letter seems legit. The first half of the letter addressed what many of her rants did -- how she got into modeling on Instagram and how it negatively affected her.
"What’s ironic, during all of this struggle I was getting more and more followers, thinner and thinner, better and more visually appealing pictures ... online it looked like I had the perfect life ... yet I was so completely lonely and miserable inside," she wrote of the time leading up to her quitting.
O'Neill also discussed the backlash, which was much worse than an innocent eye-roll:
"I received so many death threats, ‘Kill yourself you attention seeking whore that only cares about herself and cuts out all your friends, you deserve to die, so please just do it now and save the world some more embarrassment.’
I had a family member say how much of an embarrassment I was and how I was lying because I was smiling in past pictures ... as if one can’t fake a smile.
As if being perfect, smiling and happy online was okay, even if you’re hiding real pain and torment inside -- the world loves that girl, celebrates and adores her. But the second you say something out of line, you’re a hoax."
Regardless of how you feel about O'Neill or social media in general, no one deserves this. O'Neill has since decided to focus on writing, and this time she's doing it offline and focusing on fiction. We sincerely wish O'Neill the best of luck and will keep Instagram warm for her while she's away.
Read the full email here.