Back story that you need to know first: the top 3 biggest people on Instagram are @cristiano (Cristiano Ronaldo), @arianagrande and @selenagomez.
This week, Selena Gomez said in an interview that she doesn’t have the Instagram app on her phone, and only uses a friend’s phone periodically to check in on her account. I talked about this at length on my show, but here’s her reasoning. “It’s just become really unhealthy, I think personally, for young people including myself, to spend all of their time fixating on all these comments and letting this stuff in, and it was affecting me. It would make me depressed. It would make me feel not good about myself, and look at my body differently, and all kinds of stuff,” she explained.
When the 3rd most popular person on your platform has 153 million followers and removed the app for their own personal well-being, then describes using your app as making them “depressed”, there’s a big problem.
Instagram’s head, Adam Mosseri, said he’s ‘disappointed’ that Selena Gomez deleted the app from her phone, but also pointed out that she is not your typical Instagram user. “She has over 100 million followers, it’s a whole other world,” he said. “We need to make sure that creators like her are getting value out of the platform, that they don’t get depressed by the platform. We like the criticism, we like to have the conversation,” he continued. He admitted that mental health needs more attention here : “We were under-focused on the downsides of connecting people. Technology is not good or bad — it just is,” he concluded.
There are 3 key takeaways here.
1. More followers isn’t always better. Even if you had millions of followers, your life might not have improved.
2. Periodic breaks are needed. I take breaks all the time. I have been on a break from Stories (watching and posting) for weeks and only started posting again a couple of days ago.
3. There are no tools in place to ensure your digital well-being while using Instagram, so if you need to delete it for any reason, go ahead.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Have your ever deleted Instagram? What made you do it and how long did you go without it?