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Bill Murray arrives at the premiere of the film 'The Dead Don't Die' at the Cannes film festival in France, in May 2019. (AP) Bill Murray arrives at the premiere of the film 'The Dead Don't Die' at the Cannes film festival in France, in May 2019. (AP)

Bill Murray arrives at the premiere of the film 'The Dead Don't Die' at the Cannes film festival in France, in May 2019. (AP)

Madison Czopek
By Madison Czopek April 15, 2020

No evidence Bill Murray said social media is linked to depression

If Your Time is short

  • There is no evidence Actor Bill Murray ever said social media trains people to “compare” their lives or suggested it causes depression.
  • Murray does not have a Twitter account.
  • There are Bill Murray parody accounts on Twitter and Instagram.

Actor Bill Murray, famous for interacting with strangers in random, surprise real-life encounters, is appearing in unlikely places on social media, too. 

The "Groundhog Day" star and "Saturday Night Live" veteran does not have verified Twitter or Instagram accounts and is not active on social media. Yet words attributed to him have been circulating widely online. 

An image appearing in a Facebook post reads: "Social media is training us to compare our lives, instead of appreciating everything we are. No wonder why everyone is depressed. - Bill Murray" 

But there is no evidence that this quote is from Murray.

Murray has been publicly critical of social media. In a June 2018 profile of the actor published by The Guardian, he said on the topic of social media, "My only problem with it is that people now feel they should document their life rather than live it.

"The other night I was at a party and there was a wonderful DJ playing there, but you couldn’t dance without people pulling their phone out of their pocket and saying: ‘Let’s film ourselves dancing!’ Why don’t you film yourself dancing and I go stand over here, you know?"

But the profile doesn’t contain the words from the post circulating on Facebook. And neither do any other reports we could find. 

The sentiment about comparing our lives first appeared on Twitter in January 2015, and at the time it was not attributed to Bill Murray or any other celebrity. 

Featured Fact-check

It has been cited for years as a Murray quote, without evidence PolitiFact could find. One of the earlier instances was in a Reddit thread. The words from the post were submitted as a Bill Murray quote on June 15, 2018.

Later that day, a moderator removed the quote from a Reddit collection of popular quotes because it was suspected that the quote originated with a fan account on Twitter, rather than Murray himself, according to an explanation for the removal. The moderator promised to reinstate the quote if the user who submitted it provided evidence that it was from Murray. It was not reinstated.

Murray himself does not have an official Twitter account, but there are Bill Murray parody accounts on both Twitter and Instagram.  

The attribution of the quote to Murray could have originated with a post on a parody account. 

One version of the post appears to be a screenshot of the quote as if it had been tweeted by a verified Bill Murray Twitter account — an account that does not exist.

Our ruling

A Facebook post says that Bill Murray said, "Social media is training us to compare our lives, instead of appreciating everything we are. No wonder why everyone is depressed."

While Murray has criticized the way people use social media, there is no evidence he said the words attributed to him in the Facebook post or other similar social media posts. 

We rate this claim False.

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No evidence Bill Murray said social media is linked to depression

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