Selena Gomez Says Getting Off Instagram Was “The Most Rewarding Gift I Gave Myself”

There are few people in the world better at Instagram than Selena Gomez.

The actor, singer and entrepreneur is the most-followed woman on the platform, with a staggering 429 million users following her account.

But in a recent appearance at the 2024 TIME 100 Summit, the 31-year-old said getting off of the app was one of the best things she ever did.

All of Selena Gomez's Social Media Breaks and Returns

The “Spring Breakers” star said during the panel discussion that taking an extended break from Instagram was helpful for her mental health.

“I took four years off of Instagram and I let my team post for me,” she said. “I felt like it was the most rewarding gift I gave myself. I was more present. I was happier.”

Gomez, whose Instagram follower count is eclipsed only by that of soccer superstars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, said it was great to hear friends tell her about their days over the phone rather than seeing what they posted on their stories.

Selena Gomez on Instagram, Rare Beauty and Mental Health | TIME

“It’s more human,” she said. “I think it’s important to take breaks.”

Gomez’s takeaways are supported by experts, but kicking a social media habit is easier said than done.

Raquel Martin, a clinical psychologist and assistant professor at Tennessee State University, told CNBC Make It last year that in order to successfully achieve your goals, you need to be specific about what you want to accomplish.

″‘I want to decrease my phone use’ is too abstract of a goal,” she said. “You need to know how much you’re using it to know how much you want to decrease it and set realistic expectations.”

But like Gomez said, the results can be rewarding. Martin told Make It that making an effort to limit your time on social media if you’re a heavy user can have a positive impact.

“You get the chance to actually engage with the world a little bit better,” she said. “You get the chance to spend your energy in other places.”

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