Star Wars star Daisy Ridley has been off of social media for years now, but not just for the reasons most fans think. Ridley suffered extreme harassment when she became the lead in Disney's Star Wars sequel trilogy, and many people assume she left social media to escape the insults. However, in a new interview with S Moda, Ridley raised more general concerns about the addictive nature of social media.
"I have managed to separate my personal life well from my professional life, partly probably because I'm not on social media," Ridley said in the interview. The 28-year-old actress said that she watched friends become "completely addicted" to their phones, which ultimately led her to step away from the internet. She also cited "terrifying" statistics that link social media use to anxiety and other mental health issues — trends that are becoming more and more prevalent thanks to attention from scientists and journalists.
"The statistics that link them [social media sites] to anxiety are terrifying. I have friends completely addicted to their phone who have suffered with this problem," Ridley said. She admitted that sometimes she feels a temptation to log back in or register a new account, but she does not think she'll succumb. "I don't want to go back, but sometimes I think about it. But the truth is that no, I won't be returning," she said.
Of course the only downside — such as it is — is that Ridley does not have the personal relationship that so many stars now cultivate directly with their fans online. She said that she believes she now has a reputation for being "intimidating and aggressive" in the acting world, but in her mind, she is just being "enthusiastic."
"I've been told that I'm intimidating. That was on Chaos Walking. I was having my hair done, having my wig put on. I remember thinking, 'God, should I be smaller? Should I be quieter?" she said. "I've been called aggressive, too. My energy is 'quite aggressive.' That was during a meeting with a director."
Ridley's experience with social media is obviously unique, although er concerns are becoming more and more common. Studies that link frequent social media use to mental health degradation are mounting, and the practices of social media companies are raising more eyebrows too — from data collection to political promotions. Many of these concerns were summed up last year in the Netflix original documentary The Social Dilemma.
Ridley is promoting Chaos Walking, a new sci-fi action film coming next month. The movie premieres on Friday, March 5 in theaters.