Millie Bobby Brown, an actress and mental health advocate known for her role in the hit TV show Stranger Things and her work as a UNICEF ambassador, has revealed the negative impact that social media and online bullying have had on her mental health.
In an interview with Vogue Hong Kong, Brown discussed her struggles with anxiety and how she has had to alter her use of social media as a result.
“It was always really primarily social media and the media that would give me the most anxiety,” Brown said.
“Being followed and having articles written about you when you are young is overwhelming.”
Brown gained widespread fame in 2016 at the age of 12 when Stranger Things was first released on Netflix.
As the show’s popularity grew, so did the attention and criticism directed at Brown on social media.
Due to the constant trolling and bullying she experienced on social media, Brown ultimately decided to delete both her Twitter and TikTok accounts.
“You have 5,000 adults telling you that you didn’t look good or why do you look too good? Or that you gained weight and I’m like, did I gain weight? Now I’m going to go on the scale and obsess about that for five weeks,” Brown said.
Now 18 years old, Brown expressed that it is “really hard” to see other young actors go through similar experiences.
“It has to stop. These people are literally virtually bullying people every day,” she said.
“And why do you think we don’t want to walk down the street anymore? Why do you think we walk down the street and are shaking because we’re terrified of you because we have anxiety because you give us anxiety, you know, it’s, it’s like going to school and being bullied again. It’s horrible.”
In 2020, Brown shared an emotional Instagram Story with her fans after a distressing encounter with someone in public.
Through tears, she said, “It just makes me upset when people try and push the boundary and I wish people were more respectful. I’m sill trying to navigate this all and it’s still overwhelming.”
To cope with the negative effects of social media on her mental health, Brown has stopped using social media apps and now works with her team to stay in touch with her fans.
“In order to keep in touch with her fans, she works with her team so she can still engage with her followers,” the Vogue Hong Kong interview stated.