Selena Gomez: ‘For my generation, social media has really been terrible’

72nd Cannes Film Festival 2019, Photocall film “The dead don’t die“

Here are some additional photos of Selena Gomez at the Cannes Film Festival this week. I previously covered Selena’s fashion on Cannes Opening Night, where she chose two Louis Vuitton looks, both in white and both… okay. For the photocall for The Dead Don’t Die, Selena wore a Chanel suit and kept the same center-part, slicked back bun. It’s a look… I mean, I actually like the Chanel suit (to my surprise) and I like that she looks very professional and pulled-together. I just think Selena’s hair is one of her best assets, and I don’t get why she’s hiding it!

Anyway, Selena has obviously been going through a lot the past few years, and she spent much of 2018 and early 2019 out of the public eye. She barely posts anything on social media, she doesn’t go to many events, and she’s not giving many interviews. The vibe is that she’s just prioritizing her physical health and mental health these days. She spoke briefly at Cannes about what’s on her mind these days and why she’s not very engaged on social media:

Selena Gomez took a moment at the Cannes Film Festival to lament a culture where everyone lives on their phones.

“I think our world is going through a lot,” Gomez said at a press conference in the South of France on Wednesday morning. “I would say for my generation, specifically, social media has really been terrible. It does scare me when you see how exposed these young boys and young girls are. They are not aware of the news. I think it’s dangerous for sure. I don’t think people are getting the right information sometimes.”

Gomez has more than 150 million Instagram followers, but she said that she’s learned to be selective about what she posts. “I think it’s pretty impossible to make it safe at this point,” Gomez said. “I’m grateful I have the platform. I don’t do a lot of pointless pictures. For me, I like to be intentional with it. It just scares me. I’ll see these young girls at meet and greets. They are devastated, dealing with bullying and not being able to have their own voice. It can be great in moments. I would be careful and allow yourself some time limits of when you should use it.”

[From Variety]

Years ago, whenever the younger celebrities talked about social media pressures, I would just roll my eyes and think “it’s really not that hard, just delete the app and get on with your day.” But I get it now, especially when someone like Selena – who has an intense following of very young girls – talks about the peer pressure the kids are facing with social media and how these “curated” images skew their perspectives and affect their body image and sense of their own self-worth. It’s easy for the adults to just scoff and say “just don’t go on Insta” but these are just kids and they’re being warped by these platforms and we still don’t even understand the long-term effects of it.

Photocall 'The Dead Don't Die', Cannes Film Festival 2019

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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24 Responses to “Selena Gomez: ‘For my generation, social media has really been terrible’”

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  1. Becks1 says:

    I actually like the Chanel suit, but I think the overall look is not very good for her. She’s really pretty, and this does nothing for her IMO.

    I find that social media is so hard to navigate. And, for many people, you cant just “delete the app.” I am on Facebook, and sometimes it really makes me feel negative about myself, about life, etc – I find myself getting into stupid arguments with people there, etc – but I cant delete it because I need it for my kid’s school (announcements, events, PTA, etc) and stuff like that. IG is easier for me, because I can just stop looking at the comments if someone is ticking me off. Or a site like this (which I know isn’t social media, but the comment section verges on that at times, ha), I can just stop reading the comments on a post if I am getting too frustrated, which I do sometimes.

    But it’s hard to just turn off Facebook or walk away from it when I need it for other aspects of my life, so I have to sort of walk the line between the positives and negatives.

    Anyway, the other thing with social media for younger people is that I do think it exposes them. I think many just don’t fully realize what people mean when they say “the internet is forever.” Or, not even that, but its like – you don’t HAVE to share every thought that comes into your head, or every share every meme that makes you laugh. Its okay sometimes to just not post.

  2. Eliza says:

    Social media is hard. It’s fake, curated, yet advertised as real and original. It must mess with young girls heads. Even if they too curate/ fake they feel like frauds because the others are “authentic”. I mean if you see these Insta models with halo lights and Nikon cameras posing for hours after 3 hours of hair and makeup and an hour of selecting 1 picture and photoshopping…. i mean nothing real about it. Just sad.

    I was lucky enough to be cynical in my life. Smiling girls with “best day ever” tags every other day were just sad girls with something to prove.

  3. Michael says:

    Photoshopping images of already perfect people should be prohibited. It is ridiculous how pictures are tweaked. Social media is a great servant but a very poor master. If you do it right you become a billionaire like Kylie Jenner. Do it wrong and it can crush you with all the trolls and personal attacks.

  4. Rapunzel says:

    Ok, so I’ll be 40 in Nov., and am only on FB. Last year, I spent a month in England and France for summer vacay, and posted vacation selfies. I had to block a “friend” (a friend of a friend I hardly know whose friend request I honestly should not have accepted because we so hardly know each other). The reason for said block? This jerk DMed me to tell me I should post pics of only scenery, cause my pics of myself were “not that attractive.” As if I should take 1000 selfies in the Louvre in front of the Mona Lisa like an a-hole till I get the right angles. Buh bye, douchebag.

    My point? I think Social Media is warping a lot of folks.

    • Jb says:

      Rapunzel yea social media is not to blame for your friend being an ahole, your “friend” is an ahole who now uses social media to be a bigger one. Social media is what you use it for, a great way to get your message across to so many people, connect with fam and friends or become a destructive platform that you wrap your life around…your choice.

      • Rapunzel says:

        JB- no, social media didn’t make this person a tactless jerk, but imo, it’s responsible for the idea of the picture perfect selfie, which is what he was expecting from me. I think social media has warped the idea of what people’s images should look like. But it’s all media, really. Social media is just more omnipresent.

  5. Rapunzel says:

    And in addition to body image problems, social media is ruining truth and critical thinking. That is the worst part.

    • Wow says:

      Ack yes “my truth” no, its the truth. If you are gay, were attacked had and experience that actually happened. Its just the truth. There is no individualized sliding scale of truth.

      Human interaction is also stunted. I have a nephew that was a tablet baby and graduated to a phone by 9 and that child has the social skills of a potato. He’s frighteningly self centered to the point of harming others and he is now at 14 entertained almost exclusively by human pain and suffering.

      He spent the summer with us 2 years ago and we have a no devices around the kids rule so his got taken away. It was a hard first few days, but after that he was like a completely different person.

      People can make all the excuses they want as to why they NEED Facebook, but its not a need. You can call or text friends and family and its not the only place information is held.

  6. Jb says:

    She makes millions from her Instagram, she’s one of the most followed on the platform . If it’s awful perhaps use that platform to tell her followers to disengage and get off social media. She won’t because she’ll lose money. Selina pays a lot of lip service to not wanting attention though her life and career depend on it. I get the impression if she got what she wanted (obscurity ) she would hate it. We’ll see I guess

  7. Leriel says:

    I’m 22, and a journalist, so: one side – it’s not Instagram, nor Facebook post dumb memes, fake instamodels, and radical content, it’s people. Platforms are not to blame here, just because they exist.
    But who a here to blame, it’s people behind platforms, who make this horrible algorithms to show you content just for making more money on advertising, I mean, I hate Instagram and Google advertising algorithms since 2017 probably, especially Google, they can show you political ads easily, because you are already 18 years old. And, obviously, radical content, which they don’t really want to fight with, because “freedom of speech”.

    So hear me out: we can’t blame Facebook for some radicalised dudes supporting Trump with memes, but we should call them out for horrible algorithms and zero wish for not dealing with this.

    And parents should watch their kids on Internet, I seriously believe in it, I’m not a parent, and my times in social media as a teen were when it was about Jonas brothers, One direction and end of Harry Potter,and definitely not younger Kardashians and youtubers, so I wasn’t hurt, but modern kids can easily get hurt, psychologically or worse (like spending money on some “influencer” stuff), so parents need to be aware at least and talk to their kids about general hygiene on internet (like, don’t overshare, don’t talk to strangers, etc, we learnt it in college).

    • Dazed and confused says:

      It’s not always as simple as parents watching their teenagers. I teach teenagers and they take advantage of their parents not being up on the newest tech. There is an app that looks like a calculator, but type in the correct thing and it’s a like to pictures a kid doesn’t want their parents to see. As always, there are so many ways teens maneuver around their parents. Not to say there are not parents who could step up their game, just that it can be difficult even when you are trying.

      I also taught teenagers during the Jonas Brothers years. Texting was the big thing at that time, if I recall. There were all sorts of texting shortcuts teens would use at that time. POS — parent over shoulder — was a big one.

      The uptick in anxiety, depression, lack of empathy, and loss of social skills in the past 11 years since smartphones became a thing is stark. I think smartphones and social media should not be allowed until you are at least 18. If a kid needs a phone so their parents can reach them, get a nice flip phone. They should not have access to the world at the touch of a button.

  8. Lizzie says:

    it is also hard b/c now celebs have to do promo, which is essentially free advertising, for everything on their personal social media. it is part of their contracts. so they can’t just delete the app anymore. it is part of their job.

  9. Seraphina says:

    All I can say is that I’m so thankful we didn’t have all this when I was growing up. I feel old saying this, but the 80s and 90s were simpler times.

  10. Cat says:

    I closed my Instagram account for good last November and it’s been great in a lot of ways. I do use Twitter for personal and professional reasons, and keep Facebook because I’m in several groups that I enjoy. But being off Insta after a very , very shitty 2018 helped my anxiety and all around mood. I used to feel compelled to buy tons of things (some great, Insta is very good for brand awareness) that I couldn’t afford, and saw people’s lives and lovely homes and felt so shitty afterwords.And I’m quite older than Selena and still can understand the pressure and so much time spent on social media.

    • stephanie says:

      Facebook is what gives me anxiety. I want to delete it but I have 10 years of memories I’m anxious to delete it and walk away. Deactivating isn’t the same because it’s so easy to flip it back on.

      I’m torn.

      • The Voice says:

        I didn’t delete FB but I don’t post anything or look through my newsfeed. I’ve joined some groups and I’m on it just for those groups. I deleted the app from my phone so I never look at it. Funny enough I only got back on FB after a year hiatus to join a Buy Nothing group. This group just gives away stuff. It’s been great and that’s all I’ll use FB for. Friends who I care about will keep in touch via text or in person and that’s all I ever wanted anyway. After you stop using it you don’t really miss it.

  11. xdanix says:

    I get what she’s saying, and I respect it. On one level, that is. I like that she’s saying social media has serious negative impacts on younger people (it does to a SCARY level!) and that it’s ok, important even, to walk away from it and take breaks from it when you need to, and to limit your use. I hope some of her younger followers listen.

    BUT when she talks about using the platform it gives her for good, I don’t know how seriously I can take that? Because, she DOESN’T really use the platform it gives her. She talks about how young people are misinformed, how they’re not aware of the news, etc, but she hardly ever uses her platform to do anything about that. She’s not out there trying to make them more informed, she’s not saying much about what’s going on in America or the world, in fact she hardly ever posts about much at all anymore, she mostly just uses it as a promotional tool. And that’s fine! I get that it’s not her job to inform anyone of anything, if she just wants to use her social media for cute selfies and promo posts that’s absolutely her right. But then can she please STOP doing interviews where she talks on and on about Instagram and her massive following and using the platform it gives her to reach people and do good?!

  12. otaku fairy... says:

    She’s not completely wrong. although it’s not just one generation’s problem. People of all ages let out their inner bully and air their hate and bigotry for all to see. With it also comes a sense of entitlement- as in, “I’m allowed to say whatever I want to or about Subhuman(s) because free speech, but if I or other likeminded bigots get any backtalk from members of the groups I and the word feel entitled to shit on or from their allies, then those people just need to get their asses off of social media/the internet.” The racism, homophobia, biphobia, misogyny, victim-blaming, nasty bullying- all of it. Girls do get exposed to all that pretty young. As a woman who’s been in the public eye since she was about 14, she wouldn’t be completely unaware of that, since people dump all their ‘politically incorrect’ baggage on girls they see. Boys get exposed to it pretty young to. It can be dangerous both in how it impacts people and in ways it normalizes treating people badly.
    Still, it can also be used for positivity and fun. It’s all about what people choose to do with it.

  13. stephanie says:

    Social media is unhealthy. It ruins relationships and causes anxiety and depression

  14. Molly says:

    I’m thankful every day that I didn’t grow up with social media. I don’t envy folks who do.

  15. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    As parents, it’s never been more important to have constant conversations about everything. All the normal fare, obviously, but also how everything should fit together online. Our conversations here at home started as soon as they started playing online games and grew from there. The boys have always known prospective schools, jobs and companies will peruse online personas and parse personal information, and that information should be positive and not damaging. Online statements should never be sharp detours from real life encounters. I would think all this is obvious but alas, it’s not. I feel sorry for anyone thrown in deep Waters and told not to drown.

  16. perplexed says:

    Social media helps with networking. That’s why it’s hard to get off of it. People give invites on it now, and if you refuse to be on social media you’re sort of out of the loop. Sure, you can opt out, but I think for today’s careers you have to be on it.

  17. Valerie says:

    She makes a point. If you’re a perfectionist, social media can be difficult to navigate. I want to use it and I do, but I’m hypercritical of myself in a way that I’m not about others, and it makes posting hard. Totally my problem, but one that I think a lot of us face.

  18. adastraperaspera says:

    I like what Selena says about social media. We’re way past this being an individual issue–the platforms operate in a totally unregulated manner, and only to increase their own profits. It’s clearly damaging to mental health. But let’s not forget it’s killing democracy too–for starters, Facebook basically allowing Cambridge Analytica (name now changed to Emerdata) to steal our data and use it to get Trump elected. What are they up to next?