Emily Blunt was asked why she doesn’t have a social media presence – and her answer was electrifying.
An episode of Black Mirror is usually enough to put us off social media for, ooh, at least a week? However, it can be hard to resist the temptation to log into Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – and no wonder: it’s where we find all of our news, stay in touch with our friends and, y’know, find funny cat videos on a daily basis.
It should, therefore, come as little surprise to learn that an adult of 45 and under uses an average four digital devices daily, and smartphone use has increased by 90% between 2013 and 2017 – an undeniably staggering rise in usage.
Emily Blunt, however, refuses to engage with the social media world – and for good reason, too.
In a new interview with Vanity Fair, the Mary Poppins star reveals that she recently relocated her family from Los Angeles to Brooklyn because she missed the intimacy of “brushing past strangers on the street” and being in “a vibrant, bustling city where you don’t feel isolated.”
Going on to explain how she finds the tech age challenging to her innately friendly nature, she continues: “Social media has changed the landscape so an encounter with you is valued more as a social-media currency than a genuine interaction.”
Maintaining a social media presence, though, can be undeniably conducive to a successful career – especially to a person in the spotlight. However, despite being asked by numerous studio executives to set up a Twitter account and promote her movies, Blunt has – so far – refused to adhere to their demands.
“I don’t think [social media] does s**t, to be honest,” she says frankly. “I think a movie lives or dies on word of mouth and the trailer. I have seen people do endless social-media campaigns and the movie tanks, so I don’t see a correlation.”
Blunt adds: “I strongly believe that my job is to persuade you that I am playing somebody else, so exposing too much personally is just something I can’t get on board with.”
It is for this reason, then, that fans shouldn’t be surprised if Blunt turns them down when they approach her asking with their smartphones. In fact, she has sought advice from a fellow Hollywood star on how best to combat the dreaded selfie request in as polite a way possible.
“Frances McDormand told us – she just makes my teeth ache I love her so much – when someone asks her for a picture, she says, ‘You know what? I’ve actually retired from that. But I would like to shake your hand and meet you.’”
Blunt is certainly on to something with her approach: scientists recently revealed that the “regular use of social networking can negatively affect your emotional wellbeing and satisfaction with life” – and we don’t doubt it. After all, maintaining that aura of ‘perfection’ takes a great deal of effort, scrolling through your news feed can spark feelings of envy and FOMO, and having so much of your life on show can feel a little overwhelming at times.
Psychotherapist Jason Shiers explained to The Huffington Post: “Technology addiction does have real life consequences, financial consequences as people become less effective and present at work, and interpersonal consequences. Technology is changing us many ways. The mental health field continues to adapt and develop its understanding to meet the needs of our changing society.”
If you are considering a digital detox, be sure to read what happened when digi-addict Jamie Klingler decided to consciously uncouple from social media.
We also have a digital detox plan on standby, which promises to help you to weed out the most energy sapping aspects of a life plugged-in, without going totally off the grid.
Images: Rex Features