Selena Gomez has opened up about the “devastating” effect social media has on young people, describing its influence as "terrible" for her generation.

On Tuesday, the singer and actor took the opportunity to discuss the pitfalls of using social media during a press conference for her new zombie comedy The Dead Don’t’ Die at Cannes Film Festival.

“For my generation specifically, social media has been terrible,” the star, who has over 150m Instagram followers, said.

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“I understand that it’s amazing to use as a platform but it does scare me when you see how exposed these young girls and boys are. I think it’s dangerous for sure.”

The 26-year-old added that it was “impossible” to make social media platforms safer, adding: “I’m grateful I have a platform. I don’t do a lot of pointless pictures. For me, I like to be intentional with it.

"I see these young girls … I’ll meet them at meet-and-greets, and they’re just devastated by bullying and not having a voice.

“I would be careful and allow yourself some time limits of when you should use it,” she advised users of social media.

Over the years, Gomez has taken several breaks from social media in order to prioritise looking after her mental health.

The “Bad Liar” singer’s latest social media hiatus was last September, before which she notified her followers that would be taking some time off the platform.

"Taking a social media break. Again," she wrote in the caption of an Instagram post.

She continued: "As much as I am grateful for the voice that social media gives each of us, I am equally grateful to be able to step back and live my life present to the moment I have been given. Kindness and encouragement only for a bit! Just remember- negative comments can hurt anybody’s feelings. Obvi. [sic]"

A month later, the singer entered a treatment facility to address ongoing issues related to her anxiety and depression.  

The star previously told ELLE magazine that she doesn’t have apps on her phone nor is aware of her Instagram password.

“I don’t have my password for Instagram," she told the publication

"I have no apps on my phone, no photo editing apps. I have Peak, a brain game.”

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“The reason why is, it’s not real to me,” she added. “I know my voice is very prominent, but I’m not careless with it. I’m selective. As far as my personal life, someone sees me having a glass of wine? I could give two sh**s. I’m not trying to hide. That’s my life.”

Gomez’s comments come amid a new study that found that social media might be ruining some of life’s most important events.

To mark Mental Health Awareness Week (13-19 May), Bupa Health Clinics carried out a Censuswide survey of 2,266 UK adults in April to find out how social media affects the way Britons feel about major life events.

The organisation found that one in 10 respondents have felt unhappy about an event or significant moment in their lives as a direct result of social media.

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