Selena Gomez, the current holder of Instagram’s most-followed account, doesn’t typically post on her own account (though she or her assistant will upload relatively real-time Instagram stories). And whether or not the app’s on her phone depends on the day, she tells the New York Times in an interview to promote Thirteen Reasons Why.
It’s the bullying that drives her off—and the comments she can’t help but read. “You can’t avoid it sometimes. I delete the app from my phone at least once a week,” she said with a “brittle” laugh. “You fixate on the [negative] ones. They’re not like, ‘You’re ugly.’ It’s like they want to cut to your soul. Imagine all the insecurities that you already feel about yourself and having someone write a paragraph pointing out every little thing—even if it’s just physical.”
It was different when she was younger; life was more joyful, she explained, because of social media’s absence. “When I was on Wizards of Waverly Place, we didn’t have social media really. Twitter had just begun. Every Friday, I’d get to do a live taping in front of all these little kids and make their life. That’s when I was the happiest. Then, as I got older, I watched it go from zero to a hundred…
Gomez said in another interview this month that she doesn’t even have the password to her account. “As soon as I became the most-followed person on Instagram, I sort of freaked out,” she explained. “It had become so consuming to me. It’s what I woke up to and went to sleep to. 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 shit when I look at Instagram. Which is why I’m kind of under the radar, ghosting it a bit.”