Selena Gomez has branded social media ‘terrible for my generation’ as she spoke out about the dangers of online platforms.
The singer and actress, 26, has one of the most followed Instagram accounts in the world with 150 million fans, but said it ‘scares’ her to see how ‘exposed’ young people can be on the internet.
The former child star addressed the perils of ‘dangerous’ social media during a press conference for her new film, The Dead Don’t Die, at the Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday, after taking on the role of a ‘wifi-obsessed hipster’ in the zombie movie.
‘Dangerous’: Selena Gomez has branded social media ‘terrible for my generation’ as she spoke out about the dangers of online platforms at the Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday
Asked about looming threats she and other cast members saw to the planet, Selena said: ‘For my generation specifically, social media has been terrible.
‘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.’
When asked whether as one of the most followed social media users she had a responsibility in making the platforms safer, the actress said that it was ‘impossible to make it safe at this point’.
The star, who uploads on average four posts a month on Instagram, added that she is careful about the frequency with which she posts and exactly what she shares.
‘Terrible for my generation’: The singer and actress, 26, has one of the most followed Instagram accounts in the world with 150 million fans
Speaking out: The former child star addressed the perils of ‘dangerous’ social media during a press conference for her new film, The Dead Don’t Die, at Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday
Tragedy of girl, 16, who asked on Instagram: Should I kill myself?
A girl aged 16 jumped off a building to her death after asking social media followers to vote on whether she should kill herself, police have said.
The Malaysian teenager ran a poll on photo-sharing app Instagram with the question: ‘Help Me Choose D/L’ – with D/L said to mean ‘Death/Life’.
Hours later she jumped off the roof of a building in Sarawak, a state on the island of Borneo, Malaysian police said. The poll showed 69 per cent of followers chose ‘D’, but in a tragic twist the poll continued and eventually 88 per cent urged her to live.
District police chief Aidil Bolhassan said a post-mortem examination will be conducted, adding that the girl, who has not been named, had a history of depression. Malaysian MP Ramkarpal Singh said those who voted for the girl to die could face up to 20 years in jail for abetting suicide.
Instagram urged users to alert the emergency services about ‘behaviour that puts people’s safety at risk’.
‘I’m grateful I have a platform’, Selena explained. ‘I don’t do a lot of pointless pictures. For me, I like to be intentional with it.
‘I see these young girls … I’ll meet them at meet-and-greets, and they’re just devastated by bullying and not having a voice. I would be careful and allow yourself some time limits of when you should use it.
As well as limiting her posts, Selena has taken several extended breaks from Instagram in the past, telling her fans in September that she was stepping away from the platform.
‘Taking a social media break. Again,’ she wrote. ‘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.’
New role: Selena plays a a ‘wifi-obsessed hipster’ in her new film The Dead Don’t Die
Selena returned to Instagram in January.
The star told ELLE Magazine last year that she doesn’t even like to have Instagram on her phone, and instead accesses her account from a friend’s handset.
‘I don’t have my password for Instagram,’ she said. ‘I have no apps on my phone, no photo editing apps. I have Peak, a brain game.’
‘The reason why is, it’s not real to me,’ she added. ‘I know my voice is very prominent, but I’m not careless with it. I’m selective.
‘As far as my personal life, someone sees me having a glass of wine? I could give two s**ts. I’m not trying to hide.’
‘That’s my life. I’m living it the way I want to live it. But it’s about making a conscious effort – if I can have a moment to be with my friends, I’ll take that time. So I don’t have any of it. I had to make that decision.’
Let me take a selfie: The star, who uploads on average four posts a month on Instagram, added that she is careful about the frequency with which she posts and exactly what she shares
Selena has recently returned to both her singing and acting career after seeking mental health treatment in October.
Her decision followed from issues that arose from her battle with Lupus, which resulted in a kidney transplant.
Written and directed by Jim Jarmusch, Selena’s new film The Dead Don’t Die sees the Disney Channel alum play Zoe who must fight for survival when the undead begin to plague the sleepy town of Centerville.
The zombie comedy takes a swipe at climate change deniers and pokes fun at the perils of an overly materialistic society, including with a gag about the smartphone-toting undead searching for a Wi-Fi connection.
The Dead Don’t Die, which is tipped for release in the UK on July 19, is in the running for numerous awards at the ten-day event, including the coveted Palme D’Or award – the highest accolade presented at the festival.
Work: Selena has recently returned to both her singing and acting career after seeking mental health treatment in October (pictured Wednesday in Cannes)