Over the weekend, Selena Gomez did an Instagram Live with Dr. Vivek Murthy, the surgeon general under President Barack Obama, to discuss chronic loneliness as part of her Rare Beauty’s Mental Health Social Summit for World Mental Health Day. Gomez was candid talking to Dr. Murthy about her own difficulty coping with quarantine and the isolation it has imposed on everyone for the last six-plus months, saying she went through “a bit of a depression” initially.
“I’d say I’m a big-time extrovert so I get that it’s a bit harder,” Gomez started after asking Dr. Murthy about whether the experience is different for extroverted versus introverted people. “Or at least I feel that because my other [introverted] friend feels what you’re explaining as peaceful and having time to process. and I’m like, ‘I need to talk to someone! I need to do something!’ So I definitely get that.”
Gomez then admitted that “in the beginning, I couldn’t deal with it [quarantine] that well. I kind of went into a bit of a depression. And then I started going into a place where I was really writing and being active. And then I guess it just forced me to have that time. And again, I’ve been able to spend time with those quality people a lot more than I ever have. And spending a lot more time with my family, and I almost feel like I’ve become normalized in this situation that’s not normal.”
“But yeah, I mean, my job is a lot of travel, connecting with people, making people happy, and that makes me happy, so it has been a struggle,” she continued. “I think I even posted on my Instagram where I was crying, explaining to all the people who were following me how much I miss them. It’s okay [that it’s been difficult]. Slowly, toward the end, I’ve found the things that I’m doing are coming out and that was something extremely exciting for me. I worked on personal things like a beauty line that has—our goal is to reach $100 million in 10 years for mental health. And we have all of these different things so that has kept me busy. And recently, I’ve been able to go into the studio so I would say right now, I’m fully coming out again. I just think I had handle it the way I needed to handle it, and I got through that with the right people and doing the right things and doing the right steps to not make me go crazy.”
Gomez went on to talk about her relationship with social media and why she hasn’t had any apps on her phone for years. “Well, it took me years to really work on myself for that [to get to a better place] so sometimes technology gets blamed for this,” she began. “I’m very vocal about technology. I have not personally in two years had any sort of social media on my phone. Though I use the platform, I make sure I approve and write things that I want to write but I don’t look at it and it’s not on my phone so I believe heavily there is something about social media and its technology getting blamed for increases in loneliness and disconnection. I get pretty fired up on the subject.”
She asked Dr. Murthy his take on the subject, and he said the reason people are posting—seeking validation versus just having a moment of authentic self-expression—really matters.
“I agree,” Gomez said. “I appreciate what you’ve said about it because I have been so anti-social media, maybe too far just because of course the intake of social media on my end was about my personal life and it was used to say these things and I just felt like everyday, I woke up and I was like, ‘Why am I doing this?’ Like if I’m constantly doing things wrong or if they think I’m this sellout, fake, not real, not authentic, which is every part of my being, these words hurt, and they add nothing to my life. And the truth is they’re lies. So that is how I handled it by saying it, you know what? I’m going to step out of it because it’s not helping me at all.”
You can watch their full discussion below:
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