The model called social media platforms "a breeding ground" for cruelty.

By Faith Brar
January 06, 2020

It's no secret that Hailey Bieber and her husband, Justin Bieber have a lot of eyes on them. The young couple seems to make headlines daily, and with that exposure comes a lot of pressure—something Hailey opened up about in a heartfelt Instagram post over the weekend.

The model began her post by sharing her passion for connecting with people: "I would say my most favorite part of existing is human connection," she wrote. "I absolutely love connecting with other people, I love finding common interests between me and others, hearing people's [stories], I love laughing with others, and I love crying with others."

But with that connection comes vulnerability, continued Bieber. "The reason I say all of this is: because I love to connect, I do my best to expose my heart which means I love freely and I empathize deeply, and because of that I also hurt very easily when I feel like people don't see my heart and see me for who I am," she wrote.

And putting yourself, not to mention your emotions, out there can be especially tricky when sharing those personal details on social media—a platform Bieber called "a breeding ground for cruelty". (See: Lizzo Called Out a Troll Who Accused Her of "Using Her Body to Get Attention")

"Because people don't take the time to connect with each other on an honest level before they resort to hatred, it starts to damage what could be really beautiful human interaction and connection," wrote Bieber.

While some people might assume a celebrity like Bieber is immune to trolls and hateful comments on social media, the model said she wants people to know she is affected by that cruelty sometimes. (BTW, this is the best social media app for your happiness.)

"NEWS FLASH: it hurts to be torn apart on the internet," she explained in her post. "It hurts to be compared to other human beings every single day, it hurts for people to jump to conclusions and make assumptions. It hurts to be called names, and to feel like you don't measure up to a certain standard.. the list goes on and on."

Bieber is far from the only person to feel this way. Social media platforms like Instagram (which some have called the worst social media platform for your mental health) are flooded with trolls who ruthlessly put down both people in the spotlight, as well as everyday folks. Case in point: the time Lady Gaga defended her "belly fat" on Instagram, or when Demi Lovato called out a journalist for suggesting her weight was the most newsworthy thing about her. Even TV news anchors have had to deal with social media trolls.

ICYDK, some people actually feel compelled to take breaks from social media so they can step away from the negativity and focus on their mental health. Gigi Hadid, Selena Gomez, and Camilla Cabello have all opened up about taking social media hiatuses for the sake of their mental well-being. (Did you know that not "liking" photos on Instagram could be making you depressed?)

On the bright side, some social media platforms are doing more to tackle the negativity. For instance, Instagram uses machine-learning tech to proactively detect bullying in photos and captions, which are then sent to Instagram's Community Operations team to review. The app also has a comment-filtering feature that automatically finds and hides comments that attack a person's appearance or character and/or threatens their well-being or health. Of course, though, when you're getting thousands of negative comments a day, like Bieber and other high-profile celebs, it's possible that some of those comments may slip through the cracks and continue to take a mental toll on you. (Here are a few healthy ways to approach social media if it's affecting your mental well-being.)

Bieber shared her real-talk post about social media "because it's important to be honest about how these things affect us mentally and emotionally," she wrote. "Hopefully it speaks to someone struggling with the same."

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