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Daisy Ridley: Social media is bad for your mental health

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that’s taken over our lives.


4aa00_gettyimages-881271590 Daisy Ridley: Social media is bad for your mental health

She wants to be social like, you know, a human being.


Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Recently, Facebook’s first president, Sean Parker, worried that the site was detrimental to children’s health.

He admitted that Facebook’s design deliberately exploited human vulnerabilities.

Star Wars actress Daisy Ridley has no worries. She seems certain that social media is bad for you.

In an interview with the BBC’s Radio Times, Ridley explained: “I don’t do social anymore. I came off it last September and I will never get back on. The more I read about teenage anxiety, the more I think it’s highly unhealthy for people’s mental health.”

It’s hard to view the obsessional, self-obsessional  nature of social media as a wonderful thing.

Indeed, scientists have long worried that increasing social media use brings with it increasing mental problems.

Too many people seem desperate not to be liked, but to be “liked.” You know, on Facebook and Instagram. 

Ridley herself used to be an enthusiastic Instagrammer. 

Now she says: “I find the whole taking pictures thing weird. I’d prefer to have a conversation than someone asking for a picture, but I guess people feel the need to prove they’ve had the interaction through social media.”

How much of an interaction is it, though, if the only words exchanged are: “Hullo, Daisy. Would you mind if we took a selfie together?”

As Ridley says, this isn’t a conversation. It’s an exercise in self-aggrandizement. Just think how many “likes” you’ll get for that selfie.

Of course, some stars choose to have staff perform their social media tasks for them. Their Instagram and Twitter accounts become a steady flow of anodyne messages designed to say: “Yes, I’m still a star.”

Yes, they want “likes” and retweets just as much as you do. Except they’re trying to sell you something.

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Daisy Ridley: Social media is bad for mental health

59926__99096196_gettyimages-881271590 Daisy Ridley: Social media is bad for mental healthImage copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

Daisy Ridley deleted her social media after becoming famous

Star Wars actress Daisy Ridley says becoming famous made her delete her social media.

The 25-year-old, who stars as Rey in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, quit Instagram earlier this year.

In an interview with Radio Times, she says she did it because of how bad it is for mental health.

Ridley says: “The more I read about teenage anxiety, the more I think it’s highly unhealthy for people’s mental health.”

She adds: “It’s such a weird thing for young people to look at distorted images of things they should be.”

Image copyright
Lucasfilm

Image caption

Daisy Ridley plays Rey in the Star Wars trilogy

Ridley’s big break came in 2014 when she was cast in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Before that she had only had minor roles in Casualty and Mr Selfridge.

She says her “life suddenly got a bit different” after being cast in the sci-fi film franchise.

“I’m definitely recognised more, but I find the whole taking pictures thing weird,” she says.

“I’d prefer to have a conversation than someone asking for a picture, but I guess people feel the need to prove they’ve had the interaction through social media.”

Image copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

Ridley with her co-stars Gwendoline Christie, John Boyega and director Rian Johnson.

Ridley deleted her social media in September, following the likes of celebrities like Adele, Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber, who have all deleted their accounts in the past after being overwhelmed by the online world.


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