Selena Gomez Explains Why She Finds Leaving Instagram "Rewarding"

"I was more present. I was happier."

Selena Gomez attends the 80th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton on January 10, 2023
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If one of your ongoing goals is to lower the numbers on your weekly screentime report, you're not alone. Selena Gomez—who just happens to be the most-followed woman on Instagram, per Deadline—says she's happier when she takes time away from the app, too.

"I took four years off of Instagram and I let my team post for me," the Only Murders in the Building star said during a panel discussion at the Time 100 Summit (via CNBC). "I felt like it was the most rewarding gift I gave myself. I was more present. I was happier."

Gomez has 429 million Instagram followers, more than Kim Kardashian and Taylor Swift. But numbers are just that—and they don't replace IRL connections. The "Hands to Myself" singer explained at the Time panel that she felt "more human" when she talked to friends on the phone, instead of just interacting with each other's social media posts. "I think it's important to take breaks," she said of her Instagram pause.

A post shared by Selena Gomez

A photo posted by selenagomez on

Gomez has been open about her mental health in the past, too. Gomez has used her platform to discuss the stigma surrounding mental health treatment and released a documentary, My Mind & Me, about her experience in 2022.

The singer and actress also addressed her bipolar diagnosis at the Time 100 panel, explaining that it helped her understand what she was going through. "For years, I was so confused that my emotions were so intense," Gomez said (via Elle). "And once I finally found the answer, it wasn't, 'Oh, I have this problem.' It actually made me feel better to know and understand what was happening in my mind."

Using Instagram can be a great way to connect with friends and like-minded people. But there's no shame in taking a break from social media if it's negatively impacting your mental health—just ask the most popular woman on the app.

Meghan De Maria
Celebrity News Writer

Meghan is a freelance news writer at Marie Claire. Her work has also ppeared in Bustle, Refinery29, Popsugar, and other outlets. When she isn't writing, Meghan runs a community for plus-size people in the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina.