Daisy Ridley Talks the ‘Dark Side’ of Social Media

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We have been loving how active Force Awakens stars Daisy Ridley and John Boyega have been on social media. Honestly, their videos have been the only things keeping us sane during the long wait for the big premiere! Now that the film is finally here, Ridley speaks candidly about the toll that intense social media scrutiny has taken on her.

For the record, Ridley loves social media, and she actually handles her own accounts, an increasing rarity in Hollywood. According to HitFix, Ridley assures us that she’s got “Instagram on my phone and I’m the only one with the password.” She’s been having fun with this whirlwind experience of promoting The Force Awakens, but she also acknowledges that social media puts a pressure on her and her costars that the original Star Wars triumvirate – Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford – didn’t have to deal with. She does, however, wish she would’ve gotten their advice on how to deal with it:

I didn’t ask them about it because I didn’t want to be a nuisance. But now I sort of wish I had.

It is somewhat overwhelming. But I also think, which I still think is true, that we can talk till the cows come home, but it’s not necessarily going to impact me. You have to experience things alone. To be supported by people and to have them there is kind of enough. So it was kind of enough just being around people who cared. I also think with social media that everything has changed.

The fact that she is experiencing this “alone” on social media and handling her own accounts means that she sees everything – the good, and the bad – and the experience isn’t always pleasant:

I think it’s good. But I think social media in general is a worrying thing because there’s Freedom of Speech and then there’s hate. And the two are not one and the same. And people should not be allowed to express things like that, I don’t think, because it’s disgusting.

She also brings up the point that, as a woman, she has a very different experience on social media than her male costars:

My sister told me that she had to report something yesterday, so that’s kind of gross. And I don’t tend to hammer the point of sexism home, but it definitely is something that males direct towards females. And it’s disgusting the things that people write. I can go through and get rid of things, but it’s scary, and when she told me [what that person had written] I just said, ‘Ugh, it just makes me want to come off of it.’

Ridley expresses a desire for more control over her social media security, but ultimately thinks that there are more good fans than bad out there:

It is scary because I think that it emboldens people to express twisted kind of things without having any kind of comeuppance for it. And I guess if people say things like that from behind a screen it might encourage them to say things like that in real life. And that’s kind of scary. So I definitely think there should be more control. I don’t know how people would do that, because I already have a profanity filter on my Instagram. Someone asked me if I wanted it. I didn’t even know that was a thing. So, yeah, it’s kind of a double-edged sword, I think. But the overall thing is good. There’s more good than there is bad.

Here’s hoping, as the Force Awakens juggernaut continues to soar, that the awesome Star Wars fans out there showering Ridley with love on social media block out the douchebaggery.

(Image via Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

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Teresa Jusino
Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former TMS assistant editor from 2015-18. Now, she's back as a contributing writer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.