Cluster sharding automatic passivation

Hi guy, i have an actor using cluster sharding that is being passivated even though i am sending it a message in a short period of time using

def entityRef(entityId: String): EntityRef[Command] = clusterSharding.entityRefFor(typeKey, entityId)

Messages are being sent in a period less than the one defined in passivate-idle-entity-after.
From the documentation, it is said

Note that only messages sent through sharding are counted, so direct messages to the ActorRef or messages that the actor sends to itself are not counted in this activity.

is clusterSharding.entityRefFor(typeKey, entityId) considered as direct message ?