With 118 million followers, Taylor Swift is one of the most followed people on Instagram. As for the number of people Swift herself follows? That would be a big ol’ zero. While that may seem rather exclusionary, Swift’s reasoning for her lack of follow backs makes total sense. People read way too much into who you follow. Or in this case, who you don’t follow.
Swift has been busy promoting her upcoming seventh studio album Lover and was a phone guest on the UK’s Capital FM breakfast radio show this week. When host Rob Howard asked Swift about why she doesn’t follow anyone back on the ‘gram, the singer’s response made total sense.
“OK, so basically I found a couple years ago that, um, I found that, you know, social media started to feel a bit like the media’s way of monitoring my every move. And like I’m starting to realize that if I didn’t wish one of my friends a happy birthday on Instagram, there would literally be articles saying like, ‘Unsquadded,'” said Swift.
The singer continued, saying she would see headlines about friendships ending because she hadn’t publicly acknowledged someone in a few days. “‘She’s no longer friends with so and so!’ And I’d literally be at the person’s birthday party with them and because I hadn’t posted… I kind of reject this idea that if you didn’t see it on the Internet it didn’t happen.”
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Swift said that she made the decision to not follow anyone, even her besties, as a way to take back her own narrative. “So it was kind of my way of like not allowing my life to be controlled and monitored by social media. And I think we’re all kind of taking steps to try to figure out how to not let it take over our lives and our feelings and validation with our lives,” said Swift, who added that she’s trying to be more present and spend less time on social media.
“You can’t have a memory and take a picture of it and spend the rest of the day looking at the comments for that one snapshot of your day. You should just maybe be present for your whole day.”
hey, @taylorswift13 –
how r u? up 2 much? xo
just a quick 1. u still haven’t followed me. hahahalooool i’m not bothered tho. 😂😂😂😂
anyway, ly, whatever 🤷♂️
— Capital (@CapitalOfficial) June 18, 2019
Swift’s explanation about her lack of follow backs comes just one week after her close friend (or is she? They never post pics together anymore!) Selena Gomez revealed that she’s deleted the Instagram app from her phone. Gomez, who is currently the third most followed person on the social media platform with 152 million followers, trailing soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo and fellow popstar Ariana Grande, said that she decided to get rid of the app because of the negative impact it was having on her self-esteem.
“It’s just become really unhealthy, I think personally, for young people including myself, to spend all of their time fixating on all these comments and letting this stuff in, and it was affecting me,” Gomez said on a recent episode of Live with Ryan and Kelly. “It would make me depressed. It would make me feel not good about myself, and look at my body differently, and all kinds of stuff.” Instagram: can’t live with it, can’t go five minutes without checking it.