With 310 million followers and counting, Selena Gomez has the fifth-most-followed account on Instagram. Clearly her social media platforms are active, but the 29-year-old singer and Rare Beauty founder told Vogue last year that her assistant is responsible for sharing her content. For more than four years, Gomez has cut herself off from social media in the name of preserving her mental health.
In a new interview with Good Morning America, during which she drew attention to her new mental health destination, Wondermind, Gomez said: “I haven’t been on the internet in four-and-a-half years… It has changed my life completely.” And it doesn’t seem like she will be changing her mind any time soon. “I am happier, I am more present, I connect more with people,” she said in the interview.
In an Instagram Live chat with Miley Cyrus in 2020, Gomez discussed her bipolar disorder diagnosis “after years of going through a lot of different things.” Bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic depression, is a mental health condition that causes severe shifts in mood, which can range from extreme highs (leading to feelings like elation or boosted energy) to extreme lows (causing feelings like indifference, sadness, or hopelessness). Prior to this, Gomez was candid about living with depression and anxiety. In a 2018 Instagram Live, which occurred before her social media hiatus, she spoke openly with her followers about how mental illness took over her world. “Depression was my life for five years straight. Depression and anxiety were at the forefront of everything that I did in my life. Every single thing. I would make myself have the courage to just keep going,” Gomez said.
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In her Good Morning America interview, she said that quitting social media is part of her larger plan to prioritize her mental and emotional well-being. “I can’t believe that I’m where I am mentally, just because of how I took the necessary steps in order to kind of remove myself from that,” she said
Of course, Gomez is no stranger to the undeniable magnetism of the internet. “I understand how powerful the internet is, and in so many ways it’s done the best things for the world,” Gomez said. But she said that removing herself from social media means she no longer feels plagued by the intense scrutiny that Instagram, in particular, was placing her under. “I woke up one morning and looked at Instagram, like every other person, and I was done,” Gomez recalled. “I was tired of reading horrible things. I was tired of seeing other people’s lives. After that decision, it was instant freedom.”