amandla stenberg says she uses a flip phone for the sake of her mental health

The actor also spoke to Janelle Monae about black girl magic and where she was during the election last year.

by Alim Kheraj
15 August 2017, 3:49pm

Image via Instagram

This article was originally published by i-D UK.

Amandla Stenberg keeps things retro when it comes to technology, admitting that she uses a flip phone to "preserve" her mental health.

In a conversation with fellow actor and singer Janelle Monae for Teen Vogue, Amandla said that, following the relentless newscycle of the last 12 months, she ditched her iPhone in a bid to reconnect with the people around her.

"Amid all of the chaos in the world right now, it's so important that everyone actively works to preserve their mental health so that we're able to heal and create change," Amandla said. "I got rid of my iPhone, and that was essential in preserving my mental health. Now I have a flip phone that I just use to talk to people and hear their actual voices."

The 18-year-old said that she was concerned about what smartphones were doing to young people, her comments echoing a recent study that suggest that the use of Instagram is actually detrimental for your mental wellbeing. "[Social media] creates such unreal expectations for what we think our lives should be," she said. "I feel like now is the time to stand tall and feel 100 percent comfortable in my skin even though I'm occupying a space that I know historically wasn't built for me."

Elsewhere in the conversation, the two actors talked about their roles in films such as Hidden Figures, Moonlight, and the recent YA adaptation Everything Everything, and they expressed the importance of representation in mainstream media.

"I see the incredible power of infiltrating these larger movies that show a lot of people who we are and how diverse and beautiful our community is," Amandla explained. While Janelle said that she took on her roles "to let the rest of the world know that [black women are] not monolithic".

"With Hidden Figures in particular, I was so proud to be a part of exposing that if it were not for these women, we would not have gone to space," she added. "That's American history! Black history is part of American history, and it should be treated as such."

mental health
Janelle Monae
smart phones
Amandla stenberg