Actress Laura Benanti Calls Social Media ‘Poison’: ‘Really Unhealthy’

Photo from Laura Benanti’s Instagram

Actress Laura Benanti Calls Social Media ‘Poison’: ‘Really Unhealthy’

By Movieguide® Contributor 

Actress Laura Benanti called social media “poison” in a recent interview, promising to keep her daughters away from it for as long as possible.

“Social media, it is a poison,” she said. “I really do think that at a certain point, the Surgeon General is going to have to come in and issue a warning like they did for cigarettes.”

The U.S. Surgeon General has expressed concern over children’s social media use. Movieguide® previously reported:

“I, personally, based on the data I’ve seen, believe that 13 is too early,” US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said. “It’s a time where it’s really important for us to be thoughtful about what’s going into how they think about their own self-worth and their relationships and the skewed and often distorted environment of social media often does a disservice to many of those children.” 

“We’re not meant to communicate with as many people as we communicate within a day,” Benanti continued. “That’s just not normal; our brains don’t know how to handle it. Every time we see a notification, it spikes our fight or flight, and our body’s like, ‘You’re running from a lion.’ So all of our adrenals are tapped all the time. It’s really, really unhealthy and scary, and it makes me really, really sad.”

The actress has two daughters: Ella Rose, 6, and Louisa Georgia, 18 months. She hopes to protect them from using platforms like Facebook, Instagram, X, TikTok and Snapchat.

“So I don’t know how many studies need to be done, where it shows how unhealthy it is for all of us, but in particular young people and in particular young girls,” Benanti said. “I don’t know how much more we need to hear before we all go, ‘Let’s not do this anymore.’”

Movieguide® reported: 

It’s no secret that mental health – particularly among the youth – has reached a crisis as more and more people struggle with issues such as anxiety and depression. The study found that there is not enough evidence to directly link this change to social media, but the technology has been shown to make pre-existing mental health problems among adolescents worse.

A primary example of this comes from comparison, as children and teens already struggling with comparison find the problem worsened by scrolling on social media. This is directly linked to lower self-esteem as they begin to view everyone else as better than them.

The actress and her husband hope to connect with other parents who want to keep their kids off social media.

“My husband and I have just committed to figuring this out together,” she shared. “He’s really interested in going to some other people within our town, and within Ella’s friendship group, to say, ‘Can we all make a pact that we’re not going to give our kids phones or social media ’til they’re 16 at least? So this way, they’re not the outcast. Can we commit to that as a group?’” 

She also hopes to protect her children from show business. 

“I’m terrified. I am not at all ready for that,” Benanti said. “She [Ella] has the comedic timing, she’s so good at dancing, she loves it so much, she keep being like, ‘Please, please, please let me do it’ — and I’m over here like, ‘Oh no, this is terrible.’”

“I want her to follow her own bliss and her journey, of course,” she added. “But I don’t want her to do it too soon because it can be really damaging.”

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