Instagram queen Selena Gomez says ‘social media has been terrible’ for millennials
Selena Gomez has had enough of social media — even if it can’t get enough of her.
The 26-year-old singer and Taylor Swift bestie is the third most popular person on Instagram with more than 150 million followers (behind soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo and pop singer Ariana Grande.) But the “I Can’t Get Enough” artist blasted the platforms that have given her such a high profile, calling them “dangerous” and “selfish” during a Cannes Film Festival press conference on Wednesday.
‘I think our world is going through a lot, obviously. But for my generation, specifically, social media has been terrible.’
The actress was supposed to be promoting her new zombie movie, “The Dead Don’t Die,” which also stars Bill Murray, Adam Driver and Tilda Swinton. But she went on a tangent about the horrors of social media, instead, which research has suggested has a negative effect on some users’ physical and mental health(women in particular.) Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat have been linked to depression in millennials. And these social networks are even wreaking havoc on millennial spending habits, with more than half admitting they’ve spent money they hadn’t planned to because of something they saw on social media.
“I see these young girls, I’ll meet them and they’re just devastated dealing with bullying and not being able to have their own voice,” Gomez said. And she revealed that she gets “scared” of the exposure of young boys and girls on these platforms.
‘They’re not aware of the news or anything going on. It’s selfish — I don’t wanna say selfish because it feels rude — but it’s dangerous for sure.’
When asked how she could use her platform (and fan base of 150 million-plus followers) to make social networks a better place, she said it is “impossible” to make them safer at this stage. Instead, she tries to set a good example by only sharing things she’s passionate about, and in taking social media breaks.
“I’m very grateful I have the platform in any way,” she added. (Of course she is; each one of Gomez’s Instagram posts has been valued at $800,000 in marketing and influence value.)
Gomez has urged her followers to take social media breaks before, such as announcing in September (via an Instagram mirror selfie, naturally) that she was signing off for a while. (Indeed, she didn’t put up her next Instagram post until almost four months later.) And notable influencers such as singers Ariana Grande and Ed Sheeran, YouTube star Lilly Singh, and even internet-breaker Kim Kardashian have all gone on social media detoxes, as well. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently gave up her personal Facebook, and said “social media poses a public health risk to everybody.”
Gomez also told Coach’s “Dream It Real” last month that,“It is not that healthy to be on [social media] all the time. I noticed with me, I got kind of depressed looking at these people who look beautiful and amazing, and it would just get me down a lot. Taking breaks is really important. Just know that most of it isn’t real. And I hate to say that, I don’t mean to be rude, but it’s very unrealistic in a lot of ways.”