Selena Gomez has 268 million followers on Instagram, 65.2 million followers on Twitter, 36.3 million followers on TikTok and 29.9 million subscribers on YouTube. What she doesn't have, however, is any of these apps on her phone.
"I do all of my posts through texting my assistant and the caption that I want," the 29-year-old singer, who at one point was the most-followed person on the 'gram, said in a new interview for WWD's Beauty Inc. issue.
In fact, Gomez deleted these apps three years ago. "I say that because that's a huge, significant part of why I feel like I've been as healthy as I have been," she continued. "I'm completely unaware of, actually, what's going on in pop culture, and that makes me really happy. And maybe that doesn't make everybody else happy, but for me, it's really saved my life."
So what led her to such a drastic social media cleanse? "To be honest, I was just, like, 'This is too much information,'" Gomez explained. "This is too much of my personal life spread out everywhere, and it just felt uncontrollable. I felt like my thoughts and everything I was consuming revolved around a million different other people in the world saying good things and bad things. And I just thought, 'Why would I—I don't get anything from it. Nothing is giving me life.' And I just snapped, and I was over it."
While the "Wolves" star initially wanted to delete her accounts altogether, her team convinced her to keep them. "I'm happy I didn't, because it is such a wonderful way to stay connected," she noted, "and when I do go on, it makes me happy to know that I'm just being completely honest and being true to who I am."
Gomez—who's been in the public eye since appearing on Barney & Friends as a child—also takes comfort in knowing that she's using her platform for good. For instance, she's a mental health advocate and has one percent of sales from her Rare Beauty brand go towards the Rare Impact Fund, which aims to raise $100 million over the next 10 years to provide more mental health services for underserved communities.
Opening up about her own mental health, the actress, singer and producer has discussed her battles with anxiety and depression, and in 2020, she shared that she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She's also talked about living with lupus and her 2017 kidney transplant.
"There was this immense amount of pressure I had growing up that I felt like I needed to be a good role model," Gomez told WWD. "And then I felt like maybe that was just unrealistic, and my life became very public really quickly, and I didn't know that I was going through my own journey with mental health at the time. So, it was really confusing growing up, and once people created this narrative of my life, I realized I can't be quiet anymore. I have to just address what needs to be addressed, and that's me reclaiming my story, which is, ‘OK, yeah, I was definitely going through a hard time, and this is why, and this is what I deal with.'"
And as she's grown, she's learned that the only opinion of herself that matters is her own. "It feels good to finally not care as much as I did," she said. "I think of how many years I wasted just caring so much about what people thought, and it was just suffocating. And I think I wasted time doing that. What I love so far about getting older is that I'm starting to just really be happy with who I am, know what I want and know what I don't want."