While the rest of the world is sharing pics of Unicorn Frappuccinos
During the debut episode of Arianna Huffington’s The Thrive Global Podcast, Aniston explains that she doesn’t feel the need to prove herself by exposing details about her life on Instagram. “For me, it’s self-preservation. There’s enough written about me out there and enough that’s not true,” she quips. The actress knows that caring for herself and her own mental health is top priority.
“There’s one school of thought, which is: ‘Why don’t you be on social media and show who you really are?’” says Aniston. “But I don’t need to. This is the one place I have that’s really protected and is mine and is what my life is without a camera rolling or paparazzi or media exposure.”
While Aniston isn’t sitting around her mansion feeling left out of the social-media action, she admits that the occasional pet vid can pique her curiosity. “I don’t feel I’m missing out, but I do sometimes feel that I’m not keeping up or that things are happening at a speed at which I’m going to be left behind in the dark ages,” she explains. “There’s that curiosity that I have of, ‘What is that? What’s so funny? What’s so interesting? What cute pet video is that?’”
Although she doesn’t have her own account, Aniston admits to occasionally finding herself on Instagram after Googling something buzz-worthy. (It probably helps that her husband, actor Justin Theroux, is the owner of an account on which Aniston occasionally appears.)
In addition to living a social media-free life, Aniston admits that she occasionally partakes in “liberating” digital detoxes during yoga retreats and also while on vacation. “I’ve made the decision to go and vacate,” she explains about her tech-free getaways.
While she does cop to sleeping next to her phone and using meditation apps to help her fall asleep, she realizes that it may do more harm than good. “If I think back [to] before devices, I’m trying to think which came first: my bad sleeping habits or a device?” she ponders. “I honestly think I used to sleep beautifully, and I don’t think I attributed [it] to the fact that these phones came into our lives that have actually started to disrupt our sleep.”
Fortunately for Aniston, smartphones weren’t a thing back in 1994, or else her breakthrough role may never have existed. “We were jokingly saying that if ‘Friends’ was created today, you would have a coffee shop full of people that were just staring into iPhones. There would be no actual episodes or conversations.” Imagine: No Central Perk, no Holiday Armadillo and no lobster theories.
While Aniston’s interview is all in good fun, smartphone and internet addiction is nothing to laugh about. A recent Time magazine poll found that 25 percent of people check their phones every 30 minutes, while 20 percent check it every 10 minutes. What’s more, one-third of those surveyed admitted that being without a phone for even a short period made them feel anxious.
Do you feel as though you may be in need of a digital detox? Take this quiz to find out.
What Do YOU Think?
Do you agree with Jennifer Aniston’s reason for staying off Instagram and social media? Have you ever gone on a digital detox? How do you maintain a healthy balance between the real and digital worlds?
Leah Groth is a writer and editor currently based in Philadelphia. She has covered topics such as entertainment, parenting, health & wellness for xoJane, Babble, Radar, Fit Pregnancy, Mommy Nearest, Living Healthy and PopDust.