Selena Gomez, who's no stranger to the pitfalls of social media and phone-attached-at-the-hip syndrome, said in a new interview with The New York Times that the culture of bullying has changed a great deal since she left Wizards of Waverly Place in 2012.

Gomez, who aimed to avoid nasty internet trolls by performing her own phone hiatus in 2016, said she could identify with the bullied subject of new Netflix feature Thirteen Reasons Why, which she produced. Gomez, herself, was teased and mocked on a grand scale while growing up, she noted.

“I went to the biggest high school in the world, which is the Disney Channel," she said. "And my mom had a lot of history dealing with [bullying]. I heard her stories growing up. She’s very open about it.”

And Gomez explained the culture of ridicule has only intensified as social media has become more ubiquitous, and added technology has — in many ways — disabled her from feeling content.

"When I was on Wizards of Waverly Place, we didn’t have social media really," she said. "Twitter had just begun. Every Friday, I’d get to do a live taping in front of all these little kids and make their life. That’s when I was the happiest. Then, as I got older, I watched it go from zero to a hundred. So I’m actually glad it took us this long to create this project because it’s so relevant now."

Still, try as she might, Gomez admitted she can never really deny the ever-present urge to plug in. Instagram comments are particularly tough to shake off, she explained.

"You can’t avoid it sometimes," she said." I delete the app from my phone at least once a week. [brittle laugh] You fixate on the [negative] ones. They’re not like, ‘You’re ugly.’ It’s like they want to cut to your soul. Imagine all the insecurities that you already feel about yourself and having someone write a paragraph pointing out every little thing — even if it’s just physical."

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