Ariana Grande took a step back from social media and it’s both inspiring and a lesson in self-care.
With the advancements of technology and social media, it can seem as if celebrities’ lives are completely intertwined with our own. A quick glance on Instagram or Twitter can provide you with the rundown of what your favorite singer, actress, writer or artist is wearing and where it’s from, what he or she is doing and why, and where he or she is in the world.
For public figures, it is important to stay active online and continually engage with audiences, in order to build a bigger platform and network of followers. The more they share, the wider their reach, and the wider their reach, the more “success” they are considered to have.
Their monumental platforms can also be used to highlight deserving charities and social justice causes or shut down online rumors and bullying. One celebrity who has taken a very evident step back from this, however, is pop singer and actress Ariana Grande.
At only 25, Ariana Grande has already established herself as a household name. As an actress, her talents have graced the stages of Broadway in the teenager-led musical 13 and all of our television screens in shows such as Nickelodeon's Victorious, FOX’s Scream Queens, or NBC’s Hairspray Live. Her millions of followers are continuously drawn to her adorable looks, generous heart, love of her fans, and that powerhouse of a voice.
In the past few months, the spotlight on Grande has only beamed brighter with the release of her highly-anticipated fourth studio album, Sweetener, which instantly hit number one on the music charts. Also making headlines was her rapid engagement to comedian and SNL alum, Pete Davidson. The two had a very public and seemingly fast-paced courtship, which culminated in a proposal sometime around early June.
Considering the likelihood of an upcoming Sweetener tour, the joy of being a fiancee, and rumors that she is releasing new music soon, Ms. Grande should be more active than ever online, but instead, she has chosen to slow down and put her mental health first.
Although she has not removed herself from social media completely, Grande has significantly slowed down on her digital interactions for good reason. Whether you are a follower of the singer or not, you likely remember the Manchester terrorist bombing that took place in May of 2017 after Ariana Grande’s tour stop in the UK city.
The world was shattered by and is still recovering from, the attack but none more than the families of the victims and Ariana herself. Shortly after postponing the rest of the tour, Grande returned to Manchester and put on a benefit concert #OneLoveManchester, that featured a star-studded lineup of guests such as Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Victoria Monet and more.
While the news tends to move on after tragedies like these occur, the invisible scars they leave on our hearts take much longer to fade. Adding to this, it has only been a little over a month since the passing of Grande’s ex-boyfriend, 26-year-old rapper Mac Miller, whom she dated for approximately two years.
While most of us are not dealing with the trauma of Ariana Grande-level proportions, we can all relate to experiences of tragedy. Whether it is loss or disappointment or failure, there is nothing wrong with unplugging if it's’ necessary for your own mental care.
Regardless of the fact that we need to stay up to date or may genuinely enjoy connecting with others online, balancing the relationship between healthy mental stimulation and social media intake is incredibly important. This is definitely easier said than done, especially if you are a freelancer like myself and a big chunk of your time is spent scouring the Internet, but there are many ways in which you can reduce your intake.
Here are a few of my favorites:
Setting A Strict Time Limit
By setting very strict time limits, I get a daily taste of the social and digital buzz without going overboard. Let’s be real, it can be hard to quit the Internet cold turkey, especially when amazing women like Beyonce and Rihanna exist and are constantly posting, but I have never met anyone who has regretted taking a step back. When my time limit is up, an alarm clock usually indicates that it’s now time to redirect my energy to something else-usually something healthier like delving into a new book or meditating.
Scheduling Your Social Media
Similarly to setting a time limit, a schedule can also help you to reduce your online intake. For example, when I am trying to cut back, I make rules for myself. I am not allowed to check any social accounts upon waking up in the morning or after dinner time at night. I’ll allocate media time to my commute on the train or during a lunch break. That way, I can stay up to date with my friends and favorite accounts, but still, dedicate most of the day’s energy to other things.
Sometimes, we need reinforcements. Enter TweetDeck. If you need a Twitter break but want to keep an eye on certain keywords, lists, or accounts, etc. then this is the site for you! You can tune into specific searches without having to look at everything else swimming around your usual newsfeed. You can even include specific words that you don’t want to see if you find yourself being particularly triggered by something swarming around the news cycle.
Social media can be fun, engaging, informative, and exciting, but due to the overwhelming influx of content, it can also become very overwhelming. When the events in our own personal lives are already taxing, an abundance of unfiltered and random digital content can make things much worse. I continue to be inspired by Ariana Grande and anyone else who chooses to prioritize self-care and mental health over an online presence. It’s okay to just take a break.