Do Celebrities Who Avoid Social Media Have the Right Idea?

Social media seems to rule every aspect of our daily lives. We scroll and scroll, keeping up with the lives of others to pass time or to look busy — most of the time, it’s people we’ve only talked to once or twice, but the urge is still there. In order to feel not just like a passive observer, we eventually post too, something that often masks what we really meant or wanted to say in order to post something pleasing to others. It’s a fake world, and we’re all just continuing to pretending to be someone else with each post, every comment, and whenever we follow a new account. 

While it’s a toxic world for those of us who aren’t famous, for celebrities, social media can either act as a confirmation for public perception or instead as a cesspool of negativity. They are constantly being critiqued by complete strangers, and a lot of the time it’s not even something relating to a user’s dislike of the post, but their dislike of the celebrity. 

I’ll never forget how nasty people were to Khloe Kardashian’s daughter True Thompson about her appearance. Regardless of if you’re a fan of the Kardashians or not, no one deserves that kind of treatment, and no hate should ever be spewed at a defenseless child. And while the Kardashians still use social media on the daily despite receiving hate comments, many celebrities have vowed to stay clear of social media, and it makes one wonder if they are much better off than a great deal of society who is glued to their phones most of the day, including myself. 

Photo credit: Instagram

One very famous actress who has removed herself from social networks is Jennifer Aniston. In a recent interview with InStyle, Aniston stated that she “worries about the damaging effects of social media on young people figuring out their identity,” and she’s not wrong. According to a study conducted by the UK Millennium Cohort, 18% of girls who spend 1-3 hours a day on social media show symptoms of depression. While this may seem excessive for some, when we think about how many times we open up these apps on a daily basis, it comes fairly close to somewhere in this range. And while some may argue that it’s easy for Aniston who is not a millennial to make the case of social media toxicity, plenty of young celebrities have made similar cases. 

Emma Stone, who is most known for her roles in La La Land and Easy A, left the social media world initially after being hacked in 2012, but there was more to her decision than the breach of privacy. In a 2018 interview for Elle Magazine with Jennifer Lawrence, Stone stated, “if people can handle that sort of output and input in the social media sphere, power to them.” Stone was only 24 at the time she made the choice; an age not older than most college students. Lawrence also has made it very clear she is not a fan of social media.

Photo credit: Getty

Though female celebrities are far more scrutinized than male celebrities, a few A-List actors have vowed to steer clear of social media. These include Bradley Cooper, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Benedict Cumberbatch, for reasons ranging from social media changing fan views of them as actors, to worrying about saying something they’ll regret. 

It’s an interesting observation to make that far more female celebrities have sworn off social media, or at least their choice to avoid having public accounts are better documented. These include Kristen Stewart, Scarlett Johansson, Julia Roberts, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Daisy Ridley, Keira Knightly, Sandra Bullock, Angelina Jolie, Kate Winslet, and Mila Kunis. As they are all very well-known actresses, it’s hard to imagine at first why any of these women wouldn’t want to receive direct praise from fans. But these smart ladies know that with the positive comments, comes the negative. In a sea of compliments, all it takes is one derogatory statement to bring someone down, and after all, celebrities are real people too and are just as sensitive as the rest of us.

Photo credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage

In a perfect world, those who are not fans of social media would avoid it altogether, but unfortunately for many of us, it’s survival. It’s a way of keeping in contact with one another, a way to be aligned with the current trends of the world, and without it, we would always wonder about what is being said without our presence. Celebrities have the luxury of not having to worry about some of these issues that regular people might worry about because they are already well-established names. Also, their lives are constantly on public display, and social media adds that extra added window view into their world, which is not something every public figure is comfortable with. 

Social media ― it’s a catch-22. We can be annoyed with it, but we live in such an interconnected world that without we would feel ten steps behind each day. The only hope is that eventually, people will only use the outlets to post content that brings a smile to not only their face but those that follow them as well. But living in such polarized times, where people can’t seem to agree on very much, pleasing the self and an online audience is quite a hard task to accomplish.  

 

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