‘I would say for my generation, specifically, social media has really been terrible.’
During a panel at Cannes on Wednesday (May 15) to promote the 72nd annual film festival's opening movie, Jim Jarmusch's horror comedy The Dead Don't Die, Selena Gomez lamented the effect social media has had on her generation. The singer/actress, who has more than 150 million Instagram followers, said, "Social media has really been terrible for my generation. I understand it's amazing to use your platform, but it does scare me when you see how exposed that these young girls and young boys are and they're not really aware of the news or anything going on."
Gomez made her comments at a press conference alongside co-stars Tilda Swinton, Bill Murray and Chloe Sevigny the morning after the film debuted. Director Jarmusch swatted away suggestions that the film is political after some reviewers noted that star Steve Buscemi wears a "Make America Great Again" hat. Jarmusch said he sees the film as more of a reaction to the environmental peril the planet is facing, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“Watching nature decline at unprecedented rates for me is terrifying and concerning, and what concerns me is the apathy and failure to address something that threatens all living species,” he said, expressing frustration at some of the characterization of the film as having an agenda. “Politics is not of interest to me…this is not a political issue, and I don't understand how it can even be considered such. Politics doesn't seem to save anything. Politics is a kind of distraction.”
To Gomez's point, Jarmusch said his zombie comedy homage to schlocky 1950s sci-fi films is intended to promote a positive and optimistic message to teens, adding that he supports the younger generation of activists who are drawing attention to these important issues. "It's just very — I don't want to say selfish, because that feels rude," Gomez said of the way her generation is using social media while potentially ignoring the headlines. "I think it's a dangerous thing for sure. I don't think people are getting the right information sometimes."
When questioned about whether there should be some regulation on social media and tech giants — as Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes recently wrote in a New York Times op-ed — Gomez said it migh be too late to turn back time. "I think it's pretty impossible to make it safe at this point, there's no blocking anything, they're exposed to it,” she said, adding that she loves her 150 million followers, but has learned to put limits on what she shares. “It just scares me that I see all these young girls at meet-and-greets, and they're devastated dealing with bullying and not being able to have their own voice.”
Watch Gomez's comments on social media below.