Why Selena Gomez Had to Take a Serious Break From Social Media

Selena Gomez faced so many haters on social media that she felt the best course of action was to step away from it and focus on the things that matter to her. During a recent Instagram Live session, she and former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy discussed the negative aspects of social media.

Selena Gomez attends the Premiere of 'Dolittle Dolittle at Regency Village Theatre on January 11, 2020
Selena Gomez | Tibrina Hobson/FilmMagic

Selena Gomez discussed social media on World Mental Health Day

On Oct. 11, Gomez and Dr. Murthy explored some of the downsides of social media. During their Instagram Live session, the doctor shared that people lose meaningful connections with others because of technology.

Gomez shared how she’s been “vocal” about the dangers of technology, admitting, “I have not, personally, in two years had any social media on my phone.”

She added, “Though I use the platform, I make sure I approve and write things I want to write but I don’t look at it and it’s not on my phone. So, I believe heavily that there is something about social media and it’s technology getting blamed for increases in loneliness and disconnection.”

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Why social media can ‘weaken our connection’

Dr. Murthy asked, “Is [social media] helping or hurting our ability to connect with one another?” He answered, “I think that, in theory, that technology can be used in ways that strengthen our connection and that weaken our connection.”

The doctor went on to explain how everyone uses technology so much “that our in-person interaction with people … we find technology encroaching on those conversations as we’re often distracted” by looking at our phones.

He shared that his biggest concern is with how social media impacts our sense of self, as people begin to feel they aren’t “enough.” He explained, “You start to absorb that and think that that’s real and when you’re constantly looking at other people’s postings, which are so often curated and reflect the best parts of their life … we all compare ourselves to other people and you can be left feeling that your life isn’t as good.”

“When we don’t have a strong connection to ourself … we bring that worry, that anxiety about not being enough to our interactions with other people and we find that, when we’re talking to others, we’re constantly thinking about how they’re perceiving us,” Dr. Murthy added.

That can result in making changes to the way we interact with others “based on what we think they would appreciate and what they want as opposed to expressing ourselves in our true authentic form. And that ultimately hurts our connection with one another,” he explained.

Selena Gomez attends the premiere of Disney's Frozen 2 at Dolby Theatre on November 07, 2019
Selena Gomez | Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage

Gomez revealed why she stopped using social media

Gomez fully agreed with Dr. Murthy’s concerns because she found that the constant scrutiny and negativity became overwhelming. “The end take of social media on my end was about my personal life and, you know, then it was used to say these things and I just felt like every day I woke up and I was like, ‘Why am I doing this?,’” she explained.

Gomez continued, “Like, if I’m constantly doing things wrong or if they think I’m this sellout, fake, not real, not authentic — which is every part of my being — these words hurt and they add nothing to my life and the truth is they’re lies.”

The singer and actress said that the best solution for her was to cut it out of her daily life. “So, that is how I handled it by saying, ‘You know what? I’m going to step out of this because I don’t think it’s helping me at all,” she noted.