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Twilight star Taylor Lautner recently had a rude awakening when he checked his social media after an outing and saw a number of negative comments about him “not aging well.”

In response, the actor posted a video where he said, “I just got back from a run. I was feeling really good about myself, trying to stay healthy both physically and mentally. I felt compelled to share something with you because when I got back from that run, I hopped on Instagram.”

The 31-year-old actor then shared screenshots of a few of the negative comments and continued, “If this was 10 years ago, five years ago, maybe even two, three years ago, that really would have got under my skin. It would have caused me to want to just go in a hole and not go outside … And that was a really unhealthy position to be in. And the reason I was in that position and the reason it affected me as much as it did was that my value was in the wrong things.”

He then offered a lesson to viewers: “You find value where you put it. And if you put your value in what other people think of you, that’s how you’re going to feel. But if you put your value in knowing who you are, what’s important to you, what you love, that kind of stuff won’t get to you.”

To read or not to read

Whether actors choose to read social media comments depends on their individual preferences and mental well-being. Online comments can provide performers with direct feedback from their audience, allowing them to gauge the reception of their work and connect with fans. However, as we all know, social media platforms can be a breeding ground for negativity, trolls and unsolicited opinions. Actors have to be prepared for the possibility of encountering harsh criticism—and engaging with such comments can be emotionally draining and potentially detrimental to a performer’s mental well-being.

Actors who avoid reading online comments

Emma Stone and Zendaya have mentioned in interviews that they avoid reading online opinions about themselves to protect their overall emotional balance. Jennifer Lawrence prefers to avoid reading comments, as she finds them overwhelming and distracting. Ryan Gosling has shared that he doesn’t read comments about himself, as he prefers to maintain a certain level of privacy and avoid being influenced by others’ opinions.

Performers who regularly engage with online fans

On the opposite side, Ryan Reynolds is known for his active presence on social media, and he enjoys engaging with his online fans. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is known for his strong social media presence as well and often interacts with his fans through comments, direct messages and video responses. Kerry Washington has mentioned in interviews that she likes the direct connection with her fans—she finds it inspiring and likes to see how her work resonates with her audience. However, she doesn’t hesitate to take breaks from time to time.

Actors should carefully consider their level of resilience in handling criticism before reading social media comments. Setting appropriate boundaries, and perhaps establishing a support system to navigate the online space effectively can be important tools. For example, some actors may selectively choose to engage online, and others make arrangements with a trusted friend, a team or a publicist to filter their social media interactions—only sharing positive or constructive comments with them. Ultimately, actors should remember that social media comments do not define their worth or talent.

“I’m just so thankful that I am in the place I’m in today,” Lautner says. “[A negative comment] doesn’t make me question who I am. And it doesn’t take anything away from me.”

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