Isabella Manfredi unpacks the toxic side of social media and how to avoid getting sucked in
23.11.2020

Isabella Manfredi unpacks the toxic side of social media and how to avoid getting sucked in

Words by Eva Marchingo

“What shows up on Instagram and Tik Tok is not necessarily going to reflect itself in [reality].”

Isabella Manfredi, also known simply as izzi, is a singer-songwriter from Sydney. You might also know her as the lead singer of iconic Australian band, The Preatures, or as being a legend of the Australian music industry.

From keeping Sydney open to the #MeToo movement, izzi has held herself with strength and sangfroid in discussions around the destructive sides of the music scene.

In her most recent interview as part of Mushroom Group and the Victorian government’s Brand YOU series, she pondered how young women survive the feelings of inadequacy concomitant with social media consumption.

“It’s very easy to conflate Instagram followers and likes and social media traction and engagement with real-world success. And actually, it doesn’t always translate like that,” izzi says.

“At least with awareness of how you’re being manipulated, you can start to make conscious, authentic decisions for yourself about how much power you give it and where you have little pockets of your own sense of [what is right for you].”

For izzi, having rules surrounding her social media consumption is crucial to her wellbeing.

“I deleted Twitter and Facebook and limited myself to Instagram and a bit of Tik Tok.

“I haven’t been on Twitter for about two years and my mental health has evened out a lot in that time.”

 

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She believes there is a vulnerability in social media that is often disregarded.

“Your profile is a bit like your own world, it’s a bit like: come into my world, come into my room.”

She recalls times where marketing requests from brands made that intimate space – despite being digital – feel violated.

izzi says she has always felt uncomfortable being sent products under the guise of a ‘gift’, which then often have explicit instructions for what the brand or supplier would like in exchange.

“You have to actually constantly check in with yourself instead of constantly checking in with what’s happening out there,” she says. “It actually means you have to check-in and go: does that work for me today?”

Despite successfully managing her relationship with social media, izzi is adamant, “there is no substitute for real-life”.

“What shows up on Instagram and Tik Tok is not necessarily going to reflect itself in [reality].”

There is something about izzi that is reminiscent of a young Patti Smith. More than a familiar mop of black hair on creamy skin, they share a perception of true artistry and sagacity. And more than that, izzi radiates a similar drive to make the world a better, more equitable place for marginalised people.

izzi wonders why recusancy is not encouraged in young women.

“We’re not fostering women to be rebels in school,” she continues. “We’re not rewarding them for questioning the status quo or going against the status quo – and that’s actually not preparing them for being their own people once they hit certain industries.”

izzi is an unpretentious and altruistic visionary who, with meticulous insight, allows female-identifying people to be unyoked from the gendered confines of young adulthood.

Watch the recent interview with izzi here and check out the other Brand YOU interviews via our Facebook Videos page.

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