Olivia Rodrigo Says She Doesn't Read About Herself on the Internet: 'That's Not Real Life'
Ignorance can be bliss — at least when it comes to negative comments on the internet.
That's a lesson both Olivia Rodrigo and Alanis Morissette have learned amid their public-facing careers as musicians, they shared during a conversation published in Rolling Stone's Musicians on Musicians issue.
During their chat, the singer-songwriters — who both rocketed to fame on the backs of deeply personal heartbreak albums — discussed how they deal with the spotlight and critics, and bonded over the fact that sometimes, people aren't who you think they are.
"There was a lot of bullying and a lot of jealousy and a lot of people whom I'd adored my whole life being mean girls," Morissette said, to which Rodrigo agreed.
The "Ironic" singer, 47, said that in order to keep the negative energy away, she quit reading things written about her.
"Somewhere around 22, I stopped reading everything because it wasn't really relevant to my personal growth and evolution," she said. "I had enough people around me who would point out blind spots whether I wanted them to or not. And I love therapy, so I've always had a huge team of therapists. But at the end of the day it became 'Who do I feel seen by?'"
Rodrigo, 18, agreed, telling the Alter Ego judge that she's had a similar showbiz experience, and also no longer reads about herself, particularly because she feels as though young women like herself are held to "an incredibly unrealistic standard."
"I've taken the same route as you have and just don't look at it," she said. "I don't think anyone is meant to look at that stuff. I don't think we as human beings are supposed to know what thousands of people think about what we wore or what we said or how we talk. I think having separation is really important — realizing that that's not real life, you know what I mean? That world that is created online, it's just one facet of this very big human existence."
To that, Morissette compared Instagram to a "storefront in New York at Christmastime. It's presentational."
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Rodrigo explained that she's had an Instagram account since she was 12 years old, and because she grew up both on social media and in the public eye, often finds it difficult to differentiate her real self from the one she presents on the platform.
"For a long time, I had a hard time separating those two things," she told Morissette. "I could be kind and smart and have all of these awesome things, but if I didn't showcase them on Instagram and nobody saw it, did it truly happen?"
Elsewhere in the conversation, the women bonded over the fact that they've both written critically acclaimed break-up records — Rodrigo's being her debut album Sour and Morissette's the 1995 album Jagged Little Pill.
"I think love and anger and pain are energies that move worlds," Morissette said. "They open things up, they start the currents moving again if something's stuck."