Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, whose prolific use of social media helped her amass a national profile, said she’s conscious of social media’s negative effects and even quit one of the biggest platforms of all.
“I personally gave up Facebook,” the New York Democrat said on Yahoo News’ “Skullduggery” podcast released Sunday.
Ocasio-Cortez said she started her campaign on Facebook and that for a long time it was her “primary digital organizing tool.”
She said in the interview that her team still has accounts on Facebook. Ocasio-Cortez’s public Facebook pages include her official congressional account and a political account created two years ago that has spent more than $370,000 on ads over the past year, according to Facebook.
Ocasio-Cortez shot to national prominence last year after unseating New York Rep. Joe Crowley, then a top Democrat in the House. She quickly absorbed a massive following on social media platforms, and just days after being sworn into Congress, she led a discussion on Twitter and other social media with her fellow Democrats.
But Ocasio-Cortez said she believed both as someone with a large following and an individual user, she felt social media could have a negative personal impact on herself.
“I actually think that social media poses a public health risk to everybody,” Ocasio-Cortez said. She added, “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.”
Ocasio-Cortez said while she had started to “impose little rules” about her social media use – like curtailing her consumption of content on weekends – she still writes her own Twitter and Instagram posts, both platforms where her followers exceed 3 million people.