Selena Gomez doesn't take her fame or her followers for granted. At only 25, the actress/producer/singer has acquired one of the world's greatest fan bases, boasting an astounding 133 million Instagram followers. But, as much as she loves posting tidbits of her life with her fans on the photo-sharing platform, she can't help but struggle with how Instagram impacts millennials emotionally and mentally.
In a recent interview with Harper's Bazaar, Gomez praised Instagram for giving her "a voice amid all the noise of people trying to narrate my life for me."
"[Instagram] allows me to say, 'Hey, I'm gonna post this, and this is gonna take care of the 1,200 stories that people think are interesting but actually aren't, and aren't even true," she said. "So it empowers me in that way because it's my words and my truth and my voice."
Still, she can't help but feel that the current online culture sometimes skews people's perceptions of reality.
"The only thing that worries me is how much value people our age place on social media," she continued. "It's an incredible platform, but in a lot of ways it's given young people, myself included, a false representation of what's important. So, yeah, it's a complex relationship. Probably one of my most difficult relationships."
Gomez is right in believing that social media can negatively impact our overall health. Plenty of research, including a study published in the New Media & Society journal, suggests that scrolling through Instagram can change the way we view our bodies. For some, the seemingly normal act of sharing a photo from a weekend outing could actually highlight depression. It's quite valuable to hear influencers like Gomez recognise that things aren't always as they appear.
She knows that better than most. The singer went for months without revealing that she'd had a kidney transplant and, in the past, she's talked about what it's like to put on a brave face despite mental health struggles.
Of course, Gomez seems to understand the power of not sharing, too. She's remained silent on the state of her other difficult relationships, namely the one she shares with on-and-off beau Justin Bieber. Guess we'll just have to keep waiting to learn if our Jelena dreams will ever officially come true.