Selena Gomez: ‘Social Media Has Been Terrible For My Generation’
Singer Selena Gomez says social media has had a “devastating” effect on young people and has been “terrible for my generation.”
“For my generation specifically, social media has been terrible,” Gomez said. “I understand that it’s amazing to use as a platform but it does scare me when you see how exposed these young girls and boys are. I think it’s dangerous for sure.”
And Gomez says there’s no way to fix social media, adding that it’s “impossible to make it safe at this point.”
“I’m grateful I have a platform. I don’t do a lot of pointless pictures. For me, I like to be intentional with it she said at a press conference for her new zombie comedy The Dead Don’t Die.
But she said she fears for others. “I’ll see these young girls at meet and greets. They are devastated, dealing with bullying and not being able to have their own voice,” she revealed. “It can be great in moments. I would be careful and allow yourself some time limits of when you should use it.
“It does scare me when you see how exposed these young boys and young girls are,” she added. “They are not aware of the news. I think it’s dangerous for sure. I don’t think people are getting the right information sometimes.”
The singer has more than 150 million followers on social media, and she occasionally takes a break. “Taking a social media break. Again,” she wrote last September. “As much as I am grateful for the voice that social media gives each of us, I am equally grateful to be able to step back and live my life present to the moment I have been given. Kindness and encouragement only for a bit! Just remember- negative comments can hurt anybody’s feelings. Obvi.”
She also said she doesn’t have social media apps on her phone so she can get away from them.
Reports on the ill effects of social media on young people have become more prevalent. A recent survey of 14-24 year olds by the Royal Society for Public Health found that Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram led to feelings of depression, anxiety, poor body image and loneliness.
A study by researchers at the UCLA brain mapping center found “that certain regions of teen brains became activated by ‘likes’ on social media, sometimes causing them to want to use social media more,” Very Well Family reported.
During the study, researchers used an fMRI scanner to image the brains of 32 teenagers as they used a fictitious social media app resembling Instagram. The teenagers were shown more than 140 images where “likes” were believed to be from their peers. However, the likes were actually assigned by the research team.
As a result, the brain scans revealed that in addition to a number of regions, the nucleus accumbens, part of the brain’s reward circuitry, was especially active when they saw a large number of likes on their own photos. According to researchers, this area of the brain is the same region that responds when we see pictures of people we love or when we win money. What’s more, researchers say that this reward region of the brain is particularly sensitive during the teen years, which could explain why teens are so drawn to social media.In another part of the study, researchers could see a correlation between social media and peer influence. Participants in the study were shown both neutral photos and risky photos. What they found is that the type of image had no impact on the number of likes given by teens in the study. Instead, they were likely to hit “like” on the popular photos regardless of what they showed. Researchers believe this behavior shows that peers can have both a positive and negative influence on others while using social media.