Selena Gomez Plans To Give Up Social Media In A Few Years & It’s Easy To See Why
In an in-depth new interview with W magazine, Selena Gomez gets candid about her relationship with social media. So candid, in fact, that she even gives readers and fans a behind-the-scenes look at the cleverly calculated nonchalance behind her posts, like when her manager told her to share an image of her hunky "Hands to Myself" video love interest with "no caption, nothing" and watch the response unfold. The result? A flurry of speculative headlines and 1.3 million Instagram likes to date. It's a notable example of the power that Gomez has on social media — and it may be one of the reasons why she told the magazine that "in a few years, I'll give all of it up."
"I'm utilizing social media right now because of my age and because, to be honest, everybody else in the world was talking about me, so I wanted a f*cking say," she told W. "I honestly had to, because I didn’t really expect my life to be as public as it was. Is this going to destroy me or make me? I still have to make that choice on a daily basis."
For the 23-year-old, social media allowed her to gain back the power from tabloid headlines and change the narrative she put out there. It's something that she (and her team) have total control over, which means that even though Justin Bieber may post Jelena throwback pics and the headlines can say what they want, Gomez can craft her own story through Instagram, too.
Why then, did the "Same Old Love" singer tell W that "in a few years, I'll give all of it up" when referring to her social media accounts? It's something that she doesn't elaborate on in the article, but she did drop a few telling hints of unease along the way.
Like, for example, the power of that "mystery man" Insta post of her "Hands to Myself" music video love interest. The photo was clearly a smart PR move, one shrouded in mystery that drummed up excitement not only for the video, but about Gomez's personal life as well. And maybe, just maybe, it was a not-so-subtle "eff you" to Bieber, who later on joked that he was jealous of the guy. But still, Gomez was well aware of the impact that the picture was going to have, telling the reporter bluntly, "Watch — it'll be crazy."
And though that kind of "craziness" is to be expected with both the media and the fans, maybe Gomez wants out. While social media is a marketing tool that offers you control over your brand and how you promote yourself and your career, each post also feeds into the frenzy and adds another story to the seemingly endless Google search of Gomez's name. It also leaves you open to intense scrutiny and cyber-bullying, something Gomez discussed in an emotional and heartfelt speech at Canada's WeDay in 2014.
"I know what it's like to be judged and to be put down. I know what it's like to have people form opinions of you, without even knowing you, trying to dim your light," Gomez said at the time. "I want to say, you are not defined by an Instagram photo, by a 'Like,' by a comment. That does not define you. At all."
"I want you guys to know that the trick is to focus on the love," she continued. "And what I want you guys to do with every rude comment you get, every person that tries to hurt you — personally or through the Internet — I want you to forgive them."
It's an important lesson and it's clearly one Gomez has learned. But no matter how thick your skin may be, some of those harsh words are still going to penetrate you. And without social media, Gomez wouldn't have to be prime for the picking apart — or as prime, I should say, considering she is still a public figure and therefore will be judged no matter what.
Taking time away from social media is a healthy way to remember what it is that's truly important in life, and should Gomez stick to her word and purge her socials in a few years, it could be the best decision for her mental health. Of course, if she also decides to keep them or have her team run them, it's an understandable decision as well. Clearly, she knows what's best for herself and is the kind of badass boss who will do exactly that, no matter what.