Social media is useful in so many ways, from staying connected to quickly obtaining information, but according to public figures like actress and singer Selena Gomez, it also has many inherent dangers.
Gomez was at the Cannes Film Festival to promote her new film The Dead Don’t Die, and she turned to the topic of all the turmoil in the world. Among the biggest issues, to her? Social media.
“For my generation specifically, social media has been terrible,” she was quoted.
Social media is useful in many ways, like for connecting with loved ones far away or staying informed of world events, but there’s also a lot of dangerous aspects. “It’s a useful platform but it does scare me when you see young boys and girls not really aware of the news going on,” she added. “It’s dangerous for sure.”
As one of the most followed people on social media, Gomez knows what she’s talking about, and she tries to use social media in a social and informative, but useful and safe way.
“I’m very grateful I have the platform in any way, I can still share things I’m passionate about,” she said. “I don’t take a lot of pointless pictures. I like to be intentional with it.”
Gomez felt the responsibility to speak up for her fanbase, many of whom are teenage girls experiencing cyberbullying and social pressure online: “I see these young girls, devastated with bullying and not being able to have my voice.”
Her advice to those on social media: “It can be great in moments, but I would careful and give yourself time limits in terms of when you can use it and not.”
Gomez has had her own experiences with cyberbullying in the past, and even had to step away from posting personally on her Instagram account due to the cruel comments she would see.
“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,” Gomez confessed.
On the other side of the coin, Gomez took advantage of her social media following to raise awareness for lupus and the importance of organ donation when she shared her own transplant surgery. In a September 2017 Instagram post, Gomez thanked her best friend, fellow actress Francia Raisa, for donating her own kidney when both of Gomez’ failed.
Like any means of connecting with others, social media has its ups and downs. The sense of responsibility Gomez shows toward her young audience online is one we can all learn from.
Our actions and words have an impact on others — whether on social media or in real life. It’s up to us to make sure that impact is positive rather than negative.