Few people have experienced the dark side of social media as extensively as Meghan Markle.
In fact, in a recent interview, Meghan reminded fans that she was named the most trolled person in the world in 2019.
Not quite as cool as becoming a duchess, buy hey — a title is a title.
Anyway, as more Americans are becoming aware of the dangers and drawbacks of Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, and Instagram, Meghan has become sort of a reluctant leader in the crusade to call attention to these problems.
She’s not opposed to social media, exactly — she just wants people to be aware of what can happen when they give these platforms too much of their time and attention.
“There are very few things in this world where you call the person who’s engaging with it ‘a user,'” Meghan said during a recent Most Powerful Women Next Gen Virtual Summit.
“People who are addicted to drugs are called users and people who are on social media are called users,” the Duchess added.
“There is something algorithmically that is in there that is creating this obsession that I think is very unhealthy for a lot of people.”
According to The Daily Mail, the online event was invitation-only and “attendees” were required to shell out $1,750 for admittance.
The outlet also claims that Meghan suggested that “all social media users are like ‘people who are addicted to drugs,'” but that doesn’t appear to have been the Duchess’ message at all.
The Mail pointed out that Meghan used to be a very active social media user and even curated her own lifestyle brand called The Tig, which enjoyed a large following on Instagram.
This seems to be an attempt to undermine her stance, but these days, Meghan says she steers clear of social media as much as possible.
“We had [an Instagram account] through the institution and our office that was in the UK. But that wasn’t managed by us that was a whole team,” Meghan said.
“I have made a personal choice to not have any account, so I don’t know what’s out there and in many ways that’s helpful for me.”
Meghan is surely aware that logging off entirely is not an option for many people, but she believes the damage can be reduced if users develop a more clear idea of what they’re getting involved with.
“I don’t even think people have started to scratch the surface of what [social media] is doing to us,” she said.
“Understand that it is not limited to that one moment, you are creating an echo chamber for yourself, so the more that you engage with things that are negative, not just for other people that you might not know, but what it’s doing to you as a human being.”
Asked how she would advise people who want to avoid the harms of social media, Meghan stressed the importance of consciousness and responsibility.
“It can really have lasting effects and that there is an alternative to engaging in that kind of stuff, so I would say just be really conscious and responsible,” she told summit attendees.
Following a period in which they mostly shied away from the spotlight, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are more visible than ever these days.
Meghan and Harry have signed a content development deal with Netflix, and they’ve been giving interviews that focus on the issues they feel are important.
It’s clear that the Sussexes are entering a new chapter in their public lives.
And the timing couldn’t be better, as the world is desperately in need of advocates for change.