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Thomas Rhett on his love-hate relationship with social media: ‘It ruins a lot of people’

The country star says too much scrolling makes him anxious.

Thomas Rhett is no stranger to the social media vortex.

The country star, 32, says he definitely knows what it’s like to get sucked into endless scrolling on Instagram and other apps, a habit that often leaves him anxious.

“As awesome as social media can be, I think it ruins a lot of people,” Rhett said on Monday’s episode of Hoda Kotb's “Making Space" podcast. “I’m in that box. ... I mean, shoot, I guess I’ve had social media for almost 10 years now, and I feel like every time I log on to my Instagram account, I get this like really quick little rush of like, ‘Oh my goodness, what did someone say about my song, or what did they say about this?’ But then I see one negative thing and like my day is just, like, ruined.”

The “Die a Happy Man” singer says that when he does set his phone aside for five or six hours, he notices his anxiety levels “just going down and down.”

“I can detach from the overload of information,” he said. “You know what I mean? Like, I just don’t feel like we as humans were built to absorb … to know as much as we know, because it’s just overwhelming.”

Hoda told him she could relate to being glued to her phone, which is one reason she went on a 10-day retreat last year where phones were taken away the entire time.

“You know what I realized at the end? I was happier without it,” she said.

Rhett applauded Hoda for finding that balance.

“Balance is the key to life, right?” he said.

He also described some of the efforts he makes to switch off.

“It’s, like, habit for me to open my phone, swipe right and click on social media,” he said. “I’ll go through my day and I’ll delete the app like seven times. … And then I have to go through the whole process of typing my password in and getting on and saying, ‘No, I do not want the app to track … I just want to see what’s happening.’”

The 53rd Annual CMA Awards - Arrivals
Willa Gray Akins, Thomas Rhett, Ada James Akins and Lauren Akins attend the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. John Shearer / WireImage

The Grammy-nominated singer says that limiting his social media use helps him be fully present for his growing family. He and his wife, Lauren Akins, have four children: Willa Gray, 6, Ada James, 4, Lennon Love, 2, and Lillie Carolina, 4 months, and they may be interested in welcoming even more little ones down the line.

“When I have put (the phone) away for multiple weeks at a time ... I’m a better dad, I am a better husband, I’m a better friend,” the father of four said, “because there is space to give that part of myself.”