It would be a big mistake—huge, even—if we neglected to acknowledge that Julia Roberts is the only celebrity using Instagram fully to her advantage. As an Instagram novice, she has already garnered nearly three million followers, permanently rid her account of trolls, and even invented her own version of one of the app’s most fun photo features.
For one, Roberts is one of the few celebrities who has made it clear that she will consistently block out haters from her account without ever having to really take any action. The only people who can comment on her posts are those who she follows, so a lot of the time it appears as if she is having a conversation with friends like Rita Wilson or her niece Emma Roberts in the comments section.
Then, there’s the fact that Roberts invented what she calls the “faux boomerang.” Now, technically this is a co-invention of the Homecoming actress. Her co-conspirators happen to be her very own children. On a recent appearance on Busy Philipps’ new late night talk show, Busy Tonight, Roberts explained how the “faux boomerang” came to be.
“I like Instagram,” Roberts said to Philipps, after the host complimented her on her social media skills. While mentioning her appreciation for fellow actress Sarah Jessica Parker’s seemingly natural ability to converse with fans in the comments, Roberts explained why she decided to turn the comments off on her own account. “It’s just another thing I would do badly, so I don’t have the comments,” she said.
Before she even made her own account, Roberts was always there, lurking on her favorite famous friends’ accounts to see what they would post. “Just because I wasn’t a joiner doesn’t mean I wasn’t a watcher! An observer,” she told Philipps. “I think Instagram is super cool.”
The funny thing is that because Roberts took the time to watch all of her friends hop on the Instagram bandwagon for years before she hopped on herself, she was able to discern how to use the app to her advantage. When Philipps told her that she instantly seemed to be good at clapping back at trolls (referring to an incident in which Roberts defended her manicure from someone who called it “ugly” on a side-by-side comparison photo of herself with Joan Crawford), however, Roberts issued a quick correction. “I did not mean to clap back! I had never heard the words ‘clap back,’ I just was being amusing! Something stumbled into my eyeball range, and I was like ‘Oh.’ And I just was being funny, and a little school teacher correcting,” she said.
As for the inception of the “faux boom,” Roberts was shocked to discover that people across the Internet seem to be loving her adjustment of Instagram’s boomerang feature, which essentially turns a photo into a .gif on the app. “I’m kind of late to all of the parties, but I get there,” Roberts said, before explaining that while her husband Daniel Moder was filming in Serbia, he had sent his family a boomerang. “I said to the kids, let’s send him one back,” Roberts said, but she did not yet have the Instagram app, and after her kids requested that she film them doing the same movement repeatedly, the faux boom was born. “They boomeranged themselves,” she announced to the audience. “I just cherry picked their moves, as any good mother does.”
The actress may have been technically a little bit late to the game (Roberts only joined the social media platform in June 2018, after most of her peers had already found their way to the app), but it’s so refreshing to see America’s sweetheart get a little bit candid now and then in our feeds.