Selena Gomez has revealed that she prioritised her mental health by giving the logins to her social media accounts to her assistant and deleting the apps from her phone.
The 29-year-old spoke candidly about her relationship with social media, and why she ultimately decided to hand over the reins to her accounts in 2017, during a new interview with Elle, where she revealed that she provides photos and quotes but does not post herself.
According to Gomez, she made the choice after struggling with the negativity on apps such as Instagram, where she was previously the most-followed user.
The former Disney star, who has been in the spotlight since she was a child, also admitted that, for a while, she felt “like an object”.
“It felt gross for a long time,” she said.
Reflecting on the decision to give up social media now, Gomez said it was hard at first, but that it taught her how to “be with [herself]”.
“I don’t have it on my phone, so there’s no temptation. I suddenly had to learn how to be with myself. That was annoying, because in the past, I could spend hours looking at other people’s lives,” the Lose You To Love Me singer said. “I would find myself down nearly two years in someone’s feed, and then I’d realise: ‘I don’t even know this person!’ Now I get information the proper way. When my friends have something to talk about, they call me and say: ‘Oh, I did this.’ They don’t say: ‘Wait, did you see my post?’”
“This tiny little phone that had 150 million people on it – I just put it down,” she continued. “That was such a relief for me.”
The Rare Beauty founder also said giving up social media meant she could focus her attention on other projects such as her makeup brand, a change she called “so nice”.
“I felt like I was suddenly able to be so present,” she revealed.
According to Gomez, her diagnosis with bipolar disorder in 2018, which she has spoken publicly about on a number of occasions, helped her make sense of some of her mental health and anixety struggles as well.
“I felt a huge weight lifted off me when I found out,” she recalled. “I could take a deep breath and go: ‘Okay, that explains so much.’”
This is not the first time that Gomez has been transparent about her negative relationship with social media, as she previously revealed that as soon as she “became the most followed person on Instagram, I sort of freaked out”.
“It had become so consuming to me. It’s what I woke up to and went to sleep to,” she told Vogue in 2017. “I was an addict, and it felt like I was seeing things I didn’t want to see, like it was putting things in my head that I didn’t want to care about. I always end up feeling like sh*t when I look at Instagram.”