Meghan Markle on Why She Quit Social Media and How Archie Changed What Risks She’s Willing to Take


Meghan Markle appeared as a speaker for Fortune‘s Most Powerful Women Next Gen Summit, where the Duchess spoke to the magazine’s associate editor, Emma Hinchliffe, from her home about her use of social media and the impact Archie has had on the way Meghan works.

Speaking from her Montecito home, Meghan admitted that she no longer has any personal social media accounts for her own mental health. She compared the addiction some have to online platforms as being similar to drug addiction.

“For my own self-preservation, I have not been on social media for a very long time,” Meghan started. “I had a personal account years ago, which I closed down and then we had one through the institution and our office that was in the U.K. that wasn’t managed by us—that was a whole team—and so I think that comes with the territory for the job that you have. I’ve made a personal choice to not have any account, so I don’t know what’s out there, and many ways that’s helpful for me. I have a lot of concerns for people that have become obsessed with it. And it is so much a part of our daily culture for so many people that it’s an addiction like many others. And there are very few things in this world where you call the person who’s engaging with it a user. But if you look at social media and what it’s doing in the same capacity in which it does creating addiction, what is the comp there? People who are addicted to drugs are called users and people who are on social media are called users. And there is something algorithmically that is in there that is creating this obsession that I think is very unhealthy for a lot of people.”

“So I would just say as you are out there building your brand, as you are out there engaging with your friends online, just be conscious of what you’re doing and understand that it is not limited to that one moment, that you are creating an echo chamber for yourself,” she continued. “So the more that you engage with things that are negative—not just for other people that you might not know—but what it’s doing to you as a human being will really have lasting effects. And that there is an alternative to engaging in that kind of stuff so I would just say to be very conscious and responsible. I don’t think people have even started to scratch the surface on what this is doing to us and I wish more for especially the younger generation of women. You have the power to turn this around.”

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Meghan also admitted that being a mother has made her a little more cautious about what she is willing to say publicly. Hinchliffe asked if being a parent has made Meghan a more courageous or risk-averse leader.

“It’s interesting because my gut is that it makes you more courageous, it makes you so concerned for the world they are going to inherit,” Meghan began. “So the things you are able to tolerate on your own are not the same that you are going to put your child in a position of vulnerability for. You go every single day, how can I make this better for him? How can I make this world better for Archie? And that is a shared belief for my husband and I.”

“At the same time, I am cautious of putting my family in a position of risk by certain things,” she continued. “I try to be, rather, very clear with what I say and to not make it controversial but instead to talk about things that seem very straight forward, like exercising your right to vote. I think that is as simple as it comes and as necessary as it comes and to that point as a parent, I can enjoy all the fun and silliness and games with my son, but I wouldn’t be able to feel proud of myself as a mom if I didn’t know that I wasn’t doing my part to make it a better place for him.”

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