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Instagram’s most-followed user doesn’t like Instagram


Selena Gomez / Instagram
Selena Gomez, who recently overtook Taylor Swift, Kim Kardashian, and Beyoncé to become the most-followed person on Instagram, isn’t a big fan of the app or social media in general.
In an interview with Vogue published this morning, Gomez said that she deleted the app from her phone and doesn’t know her own password — all of her posting is now done by an assistant:
“As soon as I became the most followed person on Instagram, I sort of freaked out. It had become so consuming to me. It’s what I woke up to and went to sleep to. I was an addict, and it felt like I was seeing things I didn’t want to see, like it was putting things in my head that I didn’t want to care about. I always end up feeling like shit when I look at Instagram. Which is why I’m kind of under the radar, ghosting it a bit.”
With 113 million followers, more than double her number at the end of 2015, Gomez’s feed is watched by more than 20 percent of Instagram’s entire active user base. A sponsored postof Gomez drinking a Coke was the most-liked photo on Instagram for nearly a year — with 6.5 million likes and 276,000 comments — before Beyoncé’s pregnancy announcement outdid it last month. That’s certainly more watchful eyes than your average IG poster can even fathom.
This is the most direct Gomez has been about her disdain for social media, though she’s mentioned it several times before. In August of last year she announced she would be taking a break from social media and all public appearances in order to deal with some pressing health problems.
When she returned to Instagram in November, she captioned the post, in part, “I've finally fought the fight of not 'being enough.’” She also accepted an American Music Award the same week, saying in her speech "I don’t want to see your bodies on Instagram. I want to see what’s in here [pointing to chest]. I’m not trying to get validation nor do I need it anymore."
Gomez isn’t the first social media superstar to get tired of being looked at, and studies have shown that internet-induced envy can seriously bum you out or even contribute to clinical depression. Her comments likely strike a nerve for anyone who’s caught themselves caring too much about how many hearts get stamped onto their selfies, as well as anyone who has spent hours wandering down an Instagram K-hole admiring all the glamorous or stylish or happy lives they feel like they don’t have.
Is there a solution to that problem for Instagram? Probably not. You can’t really reprogram human nature to make social media sharing less fraught.

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