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Meghan Markle Left Social Media For Her 'Own Self-Preservation'

"I don’t know what’s out there. And in many ways, that’s helpful for me," the Duchess of Sussex said.

Meghan Markle made a virtual appearance at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Next Gen Summit on Tuesday, sharing her concerns about social media and explaining why urging her fellow Americans to vote isn’t actually controversial at all. 

Meghan told Fortune’s Emma Hinchliffe she was worried for people who are obsessed with social media, likening it to an addiction. 

“People who are addicted to drugs are called ‘users’ and people who are on social media are called ‘users.’ There is something in there ― algorithmically ― that is creating this obsession,” Meghan added. 

The duchess said that for her own “self-preservation,” she stays off social media entirely.

“I have not been on social media for a very long time,” Meghan said. “I’d had a personal account years ago, which I closed down. And then we had one through the institution in our office that was in the U.K., but that wasn’t managed by us. That was a whole team.” 

“I’ve made a personal choice to not have any account,” Meghan added. “So I don’t know what’s out there. And in many ways, that’s helpful for me. I have a lot of concerns for people that have become obsessed with it.” 

One apparent obsession of the Duchess of Sussex’s detractors: her comments about getting people to the polls for the upcoming U.S. election.

Though both Meghan and her husband, Prince Harry, have declined to mention a political party or promote a particular candidate, they have made headlines across the world and attracted the attention of various politicians, including U.S. President Donald Trump, for encouraging Americans to vote.

Meghan Markle spoke to Fortune’s Emma Hinchliffe at the Most Powerful Women Next Gen Summit. 
Meghan Markle spoke to Fortune’s Emma Hinchliffe at the Most Powerful Women Next Gen Summit. 

Meghan seemingly responded to the backlash by saying that she is “cautious of putting my family in a position of risk by certain things,” but that voting isn’t one of them.

“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 fairly straightforward ― like exercising your right to vote,” she said. “I think that is as simple as it comes and as necessary as it comes.” 

“Your voice matters,” she emphasized. “And I think you realize it more when you are not able to exercise it. So, you know, regardless of my experience over the last few years compared to anyone’s experience, you can’t take for granted the ability you have as a woman to be able to be heard.”

"You can’t take for granted the ability you have as a woman to be able to be heard," Markle said.
"You can’t take for granted the ability you have as a woman to be able to be heard," Markle said.

Asked about risks she was willing to take next year, Meghan replied: “If I look at our lives and certainly the choices that I am making, as I said, everything I’m doing is for Archie, our son.” 

Seemingly alluding to the Sussexes’ step back as working members of the royal family earlier this year, she added, “Perhaps from outside, it could look risky. But as I was saying at the summit for women, if you’re living an authentic life, I don’t know if you would even define it as risk anymore. You just do what’s right.” 

Meghan added that she is also excited about their recent deal with Netflix, and looking forward to “creating programming and content that is conscious and inspiring, and that has a call to action and is uplifting.” 

“I’m excited to be back home in the states,” the former “Suits” actor added, “And hopefully as things start to open up a bit more, just to be back in engaging and interacting with people in a different way.”  

In addition to the duchess, speakers at the MPW Next Gen Summit include Chelsea Clinton, “I May Destroy You” actor and screenwriter Michaela Coel, “Grown-ish” actor Yara Shahidi, designer Diane von Furstenberg and many more. 

The duchess appeared at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit in September, where she spoke senior Fortune editor Ellen McGirt about stopping the spread of misinformation and reforming the online space. She even gave some information about the couple’s new nonprofit, Archewell. 

Markle previously spoke at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit last month, discussing the dangers of “bots and t
Markle previously spoke at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit last month, discussing the dangers of “bots and trolls.”

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  • Harry and Meghan with their newborn son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, in St. George's Hall at Windsor Castle on May 8
    WPA Pool via Getty Images
    Harry and Meghan with their newborn son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, in St. George's Hall at Windsor Castle on May 8, 2019.
  • The new parents with baby Archie two days after his May 6 birth.
    DOMINIC LIPINSKI via Getty Images
    The new parents with baby Archie two days after his May 6 birth.
  • A close-up of baby Archie during his first photocall with his parents. 
    WPA Pool via Getty Images
    A close-up of baby Archie during his first photocall with his parents. 
  • Archie meets Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles at Windsor Castle, along with Doria Ragland, Meghan's mother.
    Chris Allerton/©️SussexRoyal
    Archie meets Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles at Windsor Castle, along with Doria Ragland, Meghan's mother.
  • Harry, Meghan and Archie flanked by Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall; Prince Charles; Doria Ragland; Lady Jane Fellowes; Lady Sar
    Chris Allerton/©️SussexRoyal/AFP/Getty Images
    Harry, Meghan and Archie flanked by Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall; Prince Charles; Doria Ragland; Lady Jane Fellowes; Lady Sarah McCorquodale; Prince William; and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, at Windsor Castle on the day of Archie's christening in July 2019.
  • The family of three on the day of Archie's christening.
    Chris Allerton/©️SussexRoyal/AFP/Getty Images
    The family of three on the day of Archie's christening.
  • Prince Charles and Harry look at Archie on the day of his christening.
    Chris Allerton/©️SussexRoyal
    Prince Charles and Harry look at Archie on the day of his christening.
  • Meghan, Archie and Harry attend the King Power Royal Charity Polo Match, in which Harry was competing for the Khun Vichai Sri
    Max Mumby/Indigo via Getty Images
    Meghan, Archie and Harry attend the King Power Royal Charity Polo Match, in which Harry was competing for the Khun Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Memorial Polo Trophy at Billingbear Polo Club on July 10, 2019 in Wokingham, England.
  • Meghan holds Archie at the the King Power Royal Charity Polo Match.
    Max Mumby/Indigo via Getty Images
    Meghan holds Archie at the the King Power Royal Charity Polo Match.
  • Archie visits Cape Town during a royal tour of South Africa on Sept. 25, 2019.
    Pool/Samir Hussein via Getty Images
    Archie visits Cape Town during a royal tour of South Africa on Sept. 25, 2019.
  • Archie, Meghan and Harry at a meeting with Archbishop Desmond Tutu at the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation during th
    Pool via Getty Images
    Archie, Meghan and Harry at a meeting with Archbishop Desmond Tutu at the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation during their royal tour of South Africa on Sept. 25, 2019.
  • A close-up of Archie meeting Desmond Tutu.
    Pool via Getty Images
    A close-up of Archie meeting Desmond Tutu.
  • The family on their tour of South Africa.
    Pool via Getty Images
    The family on their tour of South Africa.
  • Archie was front and center in their first Christmas card as a family of three.
    Sussex Royal/Janina Gavankar
    Archie was front and center in their first Christmas card as a family of three.