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Daisy Ridley: Social media is bad for your mental health

Commentary: The Star Wars actress says she'll never return to Instagram and the like.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

Daisy Ridley on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon"

She wants to be social like, you know, a human being.

Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Recently, Facebook's first president, Sean Parker, worried that the site was detrimental to children's health.

He admitted that Facebook's design deliberately exploited human vulnerabilities.

Star Wars actress Daisy Ridley has no worries. She seems certain that social media is bad for you.

In an interview with the BBC's Radio Times, Ridley explained: "I don't do social anymore. I came off it last September and I will never get back on. The more I read about teenage anxiety, the more I think it's highly unhealthy for people's mental health."

It's hard to view the obsessional, self-obsessional  nature of social media as a wonderful thing.

Indeed, scientists have long worried that increasing social media use brings with it increasing mental problems.

Too many people seem desperate not to be liked, but to be "liked." You know, on Facebook and Instagram. 

Ridley herself used to be an enthusiastic Instagrammer. 

Now she says: "I find the whole taking pictures thing weird. I'd prefer to have a conversation than someone asking for a picture, but I guess people feel the need to prove they've had the interaction through social media."

How much of an interaction is it, though, if the only words exchanged are: "Hullo, Daisy. Would you mind if we took a selfie together?"

As Ridley says, this isn't a conversation. It's an exercise in self-aggrandizement. Just think how many "likes" you'll get for that selfie.

Of course, some stars choose to have staff perform their social media tasks for them. Their Instagram and Twitter accounts become a steady flow of anodyne messages designed to say: "Yes, I'm still a star."

Yes, they want "likes" and retweets just as much as you do. Except they're trying to sell you something.

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