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Spare me the constant updates about Selena Gomez’s on/off relationship...

...with social media, says a weary Emma Clarke. Stars step away from Instagram, Twitter/X and the like for all sorts of reasons – but nobody changes their mind more than Selena

Monday 15 January 2024 16:37 GMT
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‘The bold declaration came after Golden Globesgate’
‘The bold declaration came after Golden Globesgate’ (AP)

True to form, Selena Gomez lasted approximately 18 hours before she broke her latest vow to stay off social media in order to “focus on what matters”.

The bold declaration came after Golden Globesgate, where a seemingly very juicy conversation between Gomez, Taylor Swift and Keleigh Sperry went down – and proceeded to explode all over the internet.

The animated exchange was later interpreted by the Pop Culture Gal account on Twitter/X to be about Kylie Jenner, and how she refused Gomez a photo with her new beau, Timothee Chalamet. Gomez and Chalamet co-starred in Woody Allen’s A Rainy Day in New York and have been friends ever since.

Despite the fact that there is zero proof that Gomez said any of this to her gal pals and she and Timmy have since refuted the claims, it hasn’t stopped the online speculation. People were already tearing into Jenner with regards to her relationship, but tensions really escalated when Selenators caught wind of the awards show “snub”. No doubt Gomez never imagined that her enjoying a girls’ night out would become the most-talked-about moment of the year so far!

This isn’t the first time the two have had perceived “beef” either – which perhaps made the most recent incident all the more believable for some. A year ago, Gomez, Jenner and Hailey Bieber were embroiled in a very bizarre “feud” about… eyebrows (yup), and, just as she did last week, Gomez decided at the time to remove herself from social media, only to return in a matter of days.

In October 2023 she cited “horror, hate, violence and terror” around the world as the reason for taking a step back, following backlash for liking Amy Schumer’s pro-Israel post about the Gaza war. She was back online in less than 24 hours.

Before that, she took a string of hiatuses in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2020 – the reasons for which vary from mental health struggles and undertaking kidney surgery, to completing albums and breaking up with her ex, Justin Bieber. Each of these breaks were also over before they really started.

Discussing her relationship with social media with Vanity Fair last year, Gomez explained that she now gets an assistant to post for her, to decrease her interaction with trolls. “People can call me ugly or stupid and I’m like, whatever,” she said. “But these people get detailed. They write paragraphs that are so specific and mean. I would constantly be crying. I constantly had anxiety… I couldn’t do it anymore. It was a waste of my time.”

She also added: “There are wonderful things about social media – connecting with fans, seeing how happy and excited they are and their stories. But usually that’s filtered through [for me now].”

And look, it’s not that she’s in the wrong for wanting to protect her sanity and mental wellbeing – we can all relate to that and the impact social media has on our happiness, and we can all relate to, well, failing at staying off it.

She’s also far from being the only celebrity to take such breaks; Tom Holland, Billie Eilish, Elizabeth Olsen and Taron Egerton have all stepped away from Instagram, Twitter/X and the like at some point or another.

But if there’s one thing Gomez fans can be sure of, it’s that if she announces she’s taking a social media break, she won’t be gone for long. Her inability to stick to her word is actually comical at this point.

Literally no one is asking her to commit to these digital detoxes; she has sentenced herself to analogue life. So why, then, do we need these grandiose statements – and every two seconds at that?

If you want to disappear for a bit, you do you. But do you really need to announce it to the whole world and add to the drama of it all? I don’t think so.

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