@essenaoneill / Instagram
@essenaoneill / Instagram

The reason a 19-year-old model quit social media has now gone viral.

Essena O'Neill took to YouTube on Nov. 2 to reveal the "truth" about social media and her posts.

Since she was 12 years old, the Australian-born model had accumulated over half a million followers across multiple social media platforms and made a successful career out of posting bikini shots, mirror selfies and photos portraying blissful adventures.

But Essena had had enough of that life.

"Without realising, I've spent majority of my teenage life being addicted to social media, social approval, social status and my physical appearance," Essena admitted. "It was never my conscious intention, but I deluded a lot of people...Call it deception, manipulation, lying, not saying the whole truth... I was both addicted to social approval and terrified no one would value me for myself."

She also got rid of all her accounts with the exception of YouTube and Instagram, where she deleted more than 2,000 pictures that "served no real purpose other than self promotion."

She did, however, keep some of the photos, but rewrote the captions "with short shots of reality."

"I wish someone would have shook me and said 'You have so much more in you than your sexuality' at 16," she said in one caption.

Essena said that her announcement should be a "wake-up call" to everyone that follows her, reminding people that social media is "not real life."

"We are not followers, we are beings of individuality and love."

Essena said she will continue to post videos revealing the true behind-the-scenes details of her "perfect" photos to her website, Let's Be Game Changers.