Amid a week at SXSW where Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook were inescapable, on Wednesday pop star Kesha advocated for a more moderate social media appetite.
Refinery29's chief content officer Amy Emmerich sat down with Kesha as part of the company's "Reclaim Your Domain" campaign to make the internet – and the real world – a safer space for everyone, but especially women.
"I use the internet to connect with my fans, but aside from that it isn't a healthy place for me," said Kesha, who is in the midst of an ongoing court battle with producer Lukasz Gottwald (aka Dr. Luke). Kesha sued Mr. Gottwald in 2014 alleging he raped and abused her. She is fighting to get out of her contract and because of the case she is unable to release new music.
The suit has made her a target of criticism online. Kesha said the criticism "used to tear me up inside" but then she realized she was making people she never met before too important. She now limits herself in terms of reading comments.
Kesha admits she got bullied in school, but when she went home she would write songs. "Now kids get bullied in school and go home and get bullied online," she said.
"Every person in this world has insecurity, it's whether or not you chose to share it. Just because someone is posting a picture of them doing something fun it doesn't mean they aren't struggling with things," she said. "They aren't going to show you that side on Instagram."
Kesha acknowledges there are positive things about social media, like the ability to rally people together and learn about things you would have never discovered. "It's not that one person's voice is more important than everyone else. We're all equal," she said.
But ultimately, she said she is "happiest when I am present in my real life, not focused on my online life." And she pushes women to find their own healthy relationship with the internet.