The singer and the world’s most-followed person on Instagram took a three-month break from social media back in 2016; she says she reached out to a number of people that she looked up to for guidance when she hit that breaking point.
“I asked teachers, coaches, managers, people that I respected [because of] the way they’ve lived their life. I asked them, ‘How did you get to this place? What were you like when you were 25? What were the things that you were thinking about?’ And from there, being with like-minded people. You are who you surround yourself with – 100 percent,” she said of the necessary steps she took toward self-care.
“If you’re around people who think that stuff is dumb, that think it’s ridiculous – ‘You’re crazy! You’re fine!’ – but you don’t feel that way, then maybe it’s time to reevaluate that,” she continued. “It’s a lonely journey to really figure out where all this stuff is coming from. And to detach from it. It becomes an addiction, it becomes a habit, retraining your mind to not go to these negative places when you say something wrong, do something wrong, when you wear a certain thing or represent a certain culture. But it is lonely, I had to lose a lot of people in my life to get there.”
Following her three-month social media break, the “Fetish” singer gave an emotional speech at the 2016 American Music Awards after she took home the win for Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist, in which she finally gave voice to the reason why she had to step out of the spotlight.
Popular on Rolling Stone
“I think it’s safe to say that most of you know a lot of my life, whether I liked it or not, I had to stop. Cause I had everything and I was absolutely broken inside” she said at the time. “I’m not trying to get validation, nor do I need it anymore. But if you are broken, you do not have to stay broken. And whether you respect me or not, that’s one thing you should know about me, is I care about people.”
Even now, with 126 million Instagram followers, Gomez explained that she still often feels isolated in her fame.
“You have to figure out the people that are in your circle,” she told the Business of Fashion. “I feel like I know everybody but have no friends. I have like three good friends that I can tell everything to, but I know everyone. I go anywhere and I’m like, ‘Hey guys, how’s it going?’ And it feels great to be connected to people, but having boundaries is so important. You have to have those few people that respect you, want the best for you and you want the best for them. It sounds cheesy, but it’s hard.”
Added the social media maven of today’s Millennial and Gen Z fans: “I see a disconnect from real life connections to people, and that makes me a little worried. I do think social media is an amazing way to stay connected, to learn more things about what’s going on outside your little bubble, but sometimes I think it’s too much information.”