Bunk'd is the hit family comedy show on Disney Channel starring Skai Jackson. Skai plays Zuri Ross, the youngest of the Ross siblings who leave their New York City lifestyle for a summer in the country at the fun-packed Moose Camp, in rural Maine.
The actress may be just 16 years old but she's already amassed over three million Instagram followers. How does she do it? Read Disney's exclusive interview with Skai over her social media savviness.
You have more than three million followers on Instagram. How does it feel to be a queen of social media?
It’s cool! I use social media to get a positive message across to people. It’s amazing that I have more than three million followers because so many people can see what charities I’m working with and the different projects I’m working on. That seems pretty cool to me.
What are your favourite social media platforms?
I love Instagram the most, but I also love Snapchat. I’m always using Snapchat with my friends, so those two are definitely at the top for me.
Can you remember the first time you looked at social media?
I think I was 10 years old when I first signed up for social media. I remember starting on Jessie when I was nine years old. At that point, everyone was on Twitter – but not me. Back then, that was the first thing anyone signed up for – but I remember thinking, ‘I don’t know if I want this’. I waited a year before I changed my mind. At that point, I was like, ‘OK… I feel like I want to sign up now. I’ve waited long enough.’
Why do you love social media so much?
I love it because you get to see the daily life of other people. That’s what I like to show my followers. I like to show the world what I’m doing; whether I’m in Hair & Make-up at work or whether I’m just chilling at home. Whatever it is, I like that I get to show the world what I’m up to. That’s the most fun thing about social media; the fact that you can see what people are doing.
How often are you online?
I am always online! I’m always on my phone. You know what? I think it’s important to get off your phone from time to time. Every now and then, I’ll take a couple days off. I’ll steer clear of social media and I’ll just hang out with my friends. I think everyone should do that to clear their head after a while.
Who do you like to follow online?
I like to follow different celebrities, like Rihanna. She’s one of my favourites online. I love her! I also follow fun things, like cooking guides on Instagram.
What fashion blogs do you follow?
I follow a lot of different fashion blogs, like Fashion Mom Daily. I also follow some hair blogs, too – but I’m more into fashion. I like to look at runway shows at Fashion Week and different designers. That’s really fun.
What’s the best way to boost followers on Instagram and other platforms?
I would say just be yourself. Don’t try to be anybody else. Be yourself and see what makes you stand out. You want people to think, ‘Oh, this girl is really interesting.’ That’s how you’re going to win followers. It doesn’t matter if you’re taking cute pictures at the beach or artistic pictures whilst out shopping, you’ve just got to draw people’s attention. That’s the key.
What are the downsides to social media?
There are a lot of downsides, especially with some of the hate that comes along with social media. Thankfully, I’ve learned how to deal with that side of things for a long time now. If I see anything negative, I just think, ‘whatever’. I’ve realised that I have way more supporters than haters. That’s all that matters to me.
How do you deal with the haters?
At first, it was really hard for me to deal with that side of things. I kept thinking, ‘Why are these people making mean comments about me? They don’t even know me.’ But I learned to not reply. Don’t entertain them. Now, I just push the block button. These people are probably bored and they don’t know what to do, so they just sit behind a computer and write mean things. Don’t entertain that nonsense. That’s what I would say. Stay positive.
How long could you last without the internet or your mobile phone?
Personally, I can’t last an hour without the internet – but I’ve gone for two weeks without a phone. I like to have my phone taken away from me every now and then. I find it relaxing, because you don’t have to worry about anything. You don’t have to think about checking social media or thinking about what’s going on in the world. That sounds fun for a while – but not forever.
How often do you take selfies?
I used to take selfies a lot, but I don’t any more. Oh, wait. Maybe I do on Snapchat, because that’s what it’s for – but other than that, I don’t really take many selfies at all.
What makes a great selfie?
A great selfie is all about the lighting. Lighting is everything! Just go outside and face the sun; especially if you have cute make-up on. I don’t really wear make-up – but if you do, it will probably look 10 times better.
What are your top selfie-taking tips?
As well as the lighting, it’s all about the angle and the editing. Maybe you want to put a cute filter on it? That could be fun! Don’t go overboard with that stuff, though.
Who would you most like a selfie with?
Ooh, that’s an interesting question. I would probably want a selfie with Will Smith or Leonardo DiCaprio. Why? Because I love them.
What’s your favourite Instagram picture?
One of my favourites is a picture of me and my dog. It’s way down on my Instagram page, but it’s very cute. Another is a photo from a magazine shoot I did last year. That’s one of my favourite pictures ever.
What’s your most-used emoji?
It’s probably the laugh-out-loud emoji, because I use it 24/7. I’m always laughing. That’s why it’s my favourite. I love it!
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