I can do something wiser with my time – George Russell stops using social media

The 25-year-old Mercedes driver has nearly seven million followers combined on X and Instagram.

Philip Duncan
Sunday 22 October 2023 18:29 BST
George Russell has stopped using social media (Tim Goode/PA)
George Russell has stopped using social media (Tim Goode/PA) (PA Wire)

George Russell said he has banned himself from using social media and reading the news because it does not bring him any positivity.

The Mercedes driver has a combined following of nearly seven million on X and Instagram.

But Russell, 25, who was involved in a first-corner collision with team-mate Lewis Hamilton at the last round in Qatar, says he has stepped back from using the platforms.

Speaking to the PA news agency, Russell said: “I stopped using Twitter (‘X’) about six months ago.

“I work with a social team and everything that is posted is in my own words and is signed off through me. I want to stay connected with the fans. But I don’t use the app and I have started to do the same with Instagram.

“I respect that everyone has an opinion. But I don’t need to read the praise because that doesn’t bring me anything, and I don’t need to see the negative comments because that doesn’t bring me anything either.

“But when I stopped using Twitter (‘X’), whenever I was on my phone I was on Instagram, and when I stopped using Instagram, I thought I needed to look at something so I started to read the news. But every headline was negative.

“Other than being informed about what is going on in the world, reading negative headlines one after another didn’t bring anything to me, so now I am totally off social media.”

Russell heads into the final five rounds of the campaign eighth in the standings, 62 points and five places adrift of Hamilton.

“It all stemmed after the the summer break when I didn’t use my phone at all,” added Russell, who will line up from fifth on the grid for his 100th race in Sunday’s United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin.

“During that period when I had my family and friends around me I had an average screen time of 15 minutes. In a normal week I have an average screen time of three hours.

“I saw a post that said ‘if you use your phone on average for four hours a day, by the time you die you will have spent 15 years looking at your phone’.

“And when I read that, I was like, ‘Jesus I could spend 15 years of my life on my phone.’ I can do something wiser than scrolling through Instagram memes.”

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