“Social media poses a public health risk to everybody.”
There was no indication that the social-media savvy lawmaker, who tweets to her nearly 4 million followers multiple times a day, would be quitting Twitter or Facebook-owned Instagram – the two platforms she posts to most often.
Citing mental health concerns, Ocasio-Cortez told “Skullduggery” hosts Michael Isikoff and Daniel Klaidman that she had given up Facebook – an action that was “kind of a big deal,” in her words.
“I personally gave up Facebook, which was kind of a big deal because I started my campaign on Facebook,” she said. “And Facebook was my primary digital organizing tool for a very long time. I gave up on it.”
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“Social media poses a public health risk to everybody,” she added.
While acknowledging that the effects were worse for younger people and children, Ocasio-Cortez warned of the universal danger posed by spending too much time on devices such as smart phones and laptops.
“There are amplified impacts for young people, particularly children under the age of 3, with screen time. But I think it has a lot of effects on older people. I think it has effects on everybody. Increased isolation, depression, anxiety, addiction, escapism,” she said.
The Bronx native continued by detailing the “little rules” she has imposed on herself to keep her social media usage within bounds. “Like every once in a while, you’ll see me hop on Twitter on the weekends, but for the most part, I take consumption of content, when it comes to consumption and reading, I take the weekends off,” Ocasio-Cortez explained. “And so I’m not, like, scrolling through trying to read everything online that journalists are writing on weekends. I try to do that during the workweek.”
My people, I have made the brave sacrifice of giving up my Farmville in order to better serve this nation. I am braver than any soldier.https://t.co/qn7tgHEcib
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Press Release (parody) (@AOCpress) April 15, 2019
The freshman congresswoman’s critics were out in full force following the news. “ok but literally all she does is tweet every day so this makes 0 sense unless she quits twitter too. lol is she actually that ignorant or just a hypocrite,” wrote one Twitter user in reply to a Washington Post article about Ocasio-Cortez’s comments.
Among conservatives and liberals alike, Ocasio-Cortez continues to be a lightning rod and a central figure in the mainstream culture wars. A perennial target of criticism on Fox News, as well as a frequent instigator of Twitter spats, her (and her social media team’s) success at riling up her ideological opposition has earned her comparisons to President Donald Trump. And while right-leaning detractors peg the 29-year-old politician as a paper tiger with all flash and no substance, she continues to win plaudits from the legions of left-leaning admirers who appreciate her unapologetic progressivism.
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