Kendall Jenner: Most of my social media anxiety is the overwhelmingness of it


Kendall Jenner spoke to Dr. Jorge Partida, Chief of Psychology at LA County’s Department of Mental Health, about social media and anxiety as part of Vogue’s “Unpacking Anxiety” series. Their YouTube talk is below. Kendall has been open about her anxiety for years, and Kim has explained that Kendall may appear standoffish because of her anxiety. It also seems to be somewhat affecting her ability to do her job. I don’t mean that in a snotty way at all, part of Kendall’s job as a reality star and model is to post to Instagram. She told Dr. Padilla that she’s addicted to social media and that it can provoke anxiety in her to see how negative and judgmental people can be. I came away from this interview finding Kendall somewhat sympathetic. She’s not my favorite person, but I understood her a bit more. Here’s some of what she said. Also I know “overwhelmingness” isn’t a word. I didn’t put [sic] in the title because I feel like it’s not that big of a grammatical error.

On social media being addictive
There’s just literally too much. I find that the more I’m looking at the screen, the more detached I feel with my own body or to what’s happening right in front of me. My relationship with social media is a bit addictive right now, which I don’t like and I’m not proud to say that, but I also feel like that’s something that probably most of us can relate to.

On people making assumptions about her family
There’s an assumption of the kind of people we are that I could say is pretty inaccurate. We have a reality TV show a lot of people know a lot of our lives. There’s such a lack of knowing our character and who we are.

She was asked about a peak moment of anxiety related to social media
Something that upsets me the most is someone claiming a false narrative for me. The Internet bases things off such small moments with no context. They don’t know the before or the after. They’ll take that and they’ll judge you based off of this one little thing.

I have moments of feeling like I’m breaking or feeling like I can’t take it anymore. Sometimes it does feel like I can never do anything right.

On if social media has affected her identity
I’ve become numb to [criticism] in a way. That took time though and that took a lot of like talking to myself and hyping myself up. And because of social media, everything is highlighted. Most of my social media anxiety is actually more the overwhelmingness of it all.

[From YouTube]

Dr. Partida said that social media sends so much information that our brain shuts down and we get into a flight or fight response that can make us feel separate from what’s happening. He also said that people “trade their real life for the imagined life” instead of making in-person connections with others. At the end of the video, Kendall called it validating to talk to a professional about these things and to realize that other people are going through it too.

I rarely post personal photos to Instagram and I only use Facebook for my job, but Kendall needs to use Instagram to promote herself. You may think that’s not the case, but it’s the reality now and she does sponsored posts. These apps are designed and machine tailored to get us addicted, and they do affect our self image. One of my friends deletes and reinstalls Instagram so that she doesn’t use it as much. She says the ads are so good that they influence her to want the products. I’ve installed an app called AppBlock on my Android to set blackout times so I don’t waste time on specific apps. (On iPhone I think Screentime can be used for that.) While there are so many positive aspects of social media, especially how it has kept us connected this past year, I don’t think we know enough about how it affects us or how it’s affecting young people who grew up with it. It also has changed how we relate to each other.

Here’s that interview:

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30 Responses to “Kendall Jenner: Most of my social media anxiety is the overwhelmingness of it”

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  1. GrnieWnie says:

    I think ultimately she’s going to have to sort out a relationship to work that doesn’t involve exploiting her personal life.

  2. MrsRobinson says:

    Social media is dismissed as performative with good reason—it’s a constant performance with real-time metrics on how that performance is being received. And when it’s your job, it adds a level—imagine if at some point during each work day, you had to show what you’re doing for anyone who felt like weighing in to critique. When you are the work commodity, it’s also confused by where the boundaries are between who you are and who you’re presenting to the world.

    • Drea says:

      This is exactly right. People used to talk about how exploitative the modeling industry is. Social media and influencers just brought all that toxicity to the masses, and it’s hard to turn off.

  3. Lex says:

    I do not find it fair to say that the reason that there are dozens and dozens of stories out there of her being rude to colleagues, employees, and fans is because she has anxiety. This is not a get out of jail free card. She’s not a great person, and if she has anxiety or ocd I do wish her well with that, but that doesn’t erase her very toxic personality.

    • Léna says:

      Thank you!!

    • ElleV says:

      Cosign. I have anxiety. Many of my friends have anxiety. From my experience, people with anxiety usually go the extra mile to be polite to others (sometimes to their own detriment!)

      This is a famous person thing, not an anxious person thing. I don’t doubt having lots of people focusing on you, wanting things from you, would be an incredible stressor. But does she act out with powerful people? With people who can advance her interests? With people she admires? Somehow I doubt it, so behaving badly with people she views as less powerful, less important is a choice.

      PS not doubting she has anxiety tho – I just think that’s not related to her rudeness

      • Lemon says:

        Anxiety can co-exist with a personality disorder (hi, mom!) which is more likely to be the cause of dysfunctional social relationships and interactions.

      • Liz version 700 says:

        I just wrote the same thing lol I think we were writing at the same time.

    • Liz version 700 says:

      I have mild anxiety and though no two cases are the same, I am extra nice to people. I tip and treat service folks extra politely because I have been there and see what they deal with daily. I am only rude when I run into Karens or Chads who force me to be rude. On behalf of people with anxiety and/or depression I call BS. Even seriously severe anxiety doesn’t force you to be rude. You may behave in ways others don’t understand, but you don’t act like a Kardishian

  4. josephine says:

    this feels like they are taking advantage of the new focus on mental health, like they decided that one of the should pursue this angle. because they constantly try to interject themselves into whatever is trending/getting attention.

    i love her attempt to claim that the world doesn’t know the “character” of her family. i think the lack of character is widely and easily known

    • Midge says:

      They make so much money off the images they project and then claim to be victims of those images Ex: Khloe’s fake body and face and it’s photoshopped-to-hell-and-back quest for “perfection”.

    • ElleV says:

      I mean that may be true, but I don’t like questioning the validity of people’s mental health struggles for a couple of reasons:

      1) it’s not possible to tell from the outside who is mentally ill and who isn’t
      2) even if someone is leveraging illness for attention/profit, that’s not exactly something a mentally well person would do, so why split hairs
      3) having mega-celeb status seems like a massive risk factor for mental health/esteem issues, especially if you’re exposed as a kid like Kendall and Kylie

      re: midge’s point – why is it so hard to believe that a person could both perpetuate/profit from something that harms them? that’s not mutually exclusive – that’s codependent! lol

    • BountyHunter says:

      Exactly this.

    • missskitttin says:

      Agree. Can also be an arch for a show episode. Or she can be the mental health one like kloe is the workout one and journey theceat healthy one etc.

  5. BrainFog says:

    “Kendall needs to use Instagram to promote herself” – no, she doesn’t. She has the ressources to go to school or university or whatever kind of education she likes, and she could easily try working in a normal job, like the rest of us. No pity from me for that part, as she chose this lifestyle for herself. You cannot have your cake and eat it too, girl.
    However I find it helpful that she is making people aware of the toxicity of social media. It is so very bad for the brain and I hope that we can leave this phenomenon behind one day.

    • lisa says:

      100%! I work with VIP executives who LOOK like they are promoting themselves on social media but it’s just their teams doing it. And it’s not that expensive to hire someone to do it. She should delete all the apps and go back to school and no one would ever know, her team would just keep the machine going.

  6. Léna says:

    Can’t she just … pay someone to handle her social media?

    • MaryContrary says:

      Coming on to say the same thing. Her PR team should have a dedicated social media person.

      • Léna says:

        And it would be easy enough to “fool” the audience, we probably wouldn’t even notice it’s handled by someone else!

      • MaryContrary says:

        @Lena-right-they just hire some 20 something who is social media savvy- and knows their audience. It could only help her image to have someone smart handling her social media.

  7. Midge says:

    She is not a fully formed adult woman. Of all of the Kardashian Jenners, she exhibits the least amount of intelligence and personal development. I’m not here to downplay anxiety, but there is an entire generation of young people who use it as an excuse for anything unsavory in their lives. Life is hard and you need to work through it. Anxiety is a real illness but there are so many effective treatments for it. Behavior modification, therapy, exercise, meditation, medication. As for Kendall, maybe she should just not “read her reviews” so to speak, and work on herself.

    • molly says:

      Kendall and Kylie never stood a chance of being fully formed adults. They were 9 and 11 when KUWTK started, including them, against their will. I have a great deal of sympathy for those two women.

    • Humbugged says:

      Which she was doing until she had 2 stalkers threatening to kill her in the same week and she had to move for the second time in two years after another guy was stalking her

  8. Watson says:

    She probably feels this anxiety because she was first placed in the spotlight at 11 years old. That ain’t normal, folks.

    • Sof says:

      Absolutely, she grew up in that environment, it’s super valid that as an adult she is seing things differently.

  9. Mimi says:

    I still can’t stand her

  10. Jules says:

    If she has anxiety, she should deal with it instead of flaunting 99% of her life online and then blaming social media. Kendall and the rest of the Kardashian klan are part of the problem, and led the way for social media influencers to be so gross and toxic, usually preaching about crap they know nothing about.

  11. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Believe me, if it wasn’t social media, it would be something else. Also, all the helicopter mommying done now (for about maybe a couple of decades), imagine having to be exact and precise about EVERYTHING because there’s no readily available phone. No quickly checking in. Moms and dads expected kids to know everything all the time. Numbers. Addresses. Dates. Times. We read maps. Online slander was simply in person and loud. Lol. Everything is relative and we can all complain and dismiss complaining because… I have more sympathy for normal kids and young adults maneuvering real world jobs, lives and problems.

  12. Midge says:

    List your Kardashians in order of least to most annoying.

    1. Kourtney
    2. Kim
    3. Kylie
    4. Kendall
    5. KHLOE for the Win!