If it wasn’t posted on social media, did it even happen? Whether you’re the one taking a precariously positioned selfie for the ‘gram or just a casual observer, you have to admit that social media has become a major part of our everyday lives. And sometimes we just need a break!
Proving once again that they’re just like us, some stars have also bid farewell to cyberspace to take a few months (or minutes) off the grid. For some, it was less than 24 hours and others left and have yet to return. Whether it’s because of a Snapchat kerfuffle or just because they’re in need of a serious digital detox, here’s a list of celebs who at one point or another chucked up the deuces on social media.
16. Meghan Markle
One of the earliest clues that the Suits actress would soon be joining the royal family ranks came in April 2017 when she closed down The Tig, a lifestyle blog which was near and dear to her heart. When the official announcement of her impending nuptials to Prince Harry was finally released, Markle deactivated her Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts as well. While Kensington Palace claimed the step was taken because the pages had been dormant for some time, the Royals have traditionally not owned personal social media accounts. At least not publicly. Rumor has it the princes may just have secret accounts. Hmmm…
15. Ed Sheeran
The British crooner just wanted a break. So with this in mind, he announced back in December 2015 that he was done with social media for a minute. Sheeran apparently had a change of heart and a year later, made his return to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Just six months later, he was left singing a different tune yet again after reading negative comments on his Twitter account. Sigh. This is why we can’t have nice things. Sheeran has since stopped reading tweets altogether and Instagram has become his primary sharing source.
14. Kanye West
This is not West’s first social media hiatus rodeo. In October 2012, the rapper deleted all his tweets before teasing that he would be back soon. He made good on that promise and sweetened the pot even further by joining Instagram in September 2016. However, by May 2017 both accounts were inactive. He broke his Instagram silence 9 months later on Valentine’s Day, with a post spanning the course of SEVEN HOURS dedicated to celebrity love. We’re hoping the mercurial musician spreads the love to Twitter soon. As the wise one so correctly pointed out, “My tweets are a form of contemporary art only compromised by people trying to tell me what to tweet and not to tweet.” Where is the lie?
13. Armie Hammer
After Buzzfeed printed an article on Hammer’s seemingly decade-long up-and-comer status in November 2017, the actor fired back with the tweet “Bitter AF.” Shortly after, his account vanished altogether. He later clarified his actions by admitting that he has no impulse control. “So if somebody says something stupid, I couldn’t help but say something back, and then it just exploded,” he said. He continued,“This is a toxic environment, and my life is way better off. It’s so funny — People are so addicted and into Twitter, it seems crazy that someone could walk away from it! They’re like, ‘Wait, he deleted it?’ It was actually really easy.” Ironically, one of Hammer’s most recognizable roles came in The Social Network, a film about the early beginnings of Facebook.
12. Emma Stone
Back when the Oscar winner was still dating Andrew Garfield, some mysterious gibberish appeared on her Twitter account, which eagle-eyed fans quickly unraveled to reveal this bomb, “Andrew and Shailene sitting in a tree.” The Shailene in question was of course Shailene Woodley, who had just been cast as Mary Jane Watson in the Spider-Man movie. Was Stone sending us a hidden message? Nope. Just the work of a messy hacker. Stone cleared the air on On Air With Ryan Seacrest, assuring the host that Woodley is one of her faves and that the only tweet she ever sent was to Seth MacFarlane. All was right in La La Land but Stone departed the Twitterverse after the drama.
11. Daisy Ridley
When the Star Wars actress left Instagram in September 2016, her followers initially thought it was due to backlash after a post she shared about gun violence victims. Many praised Ridley for showing solidarity with the victims but others called it hypocrisy because of the violence in the Star Wars franchise. She deactivated her account soon after and deleted the post from her Facebook page, as well. But when asked about her disappearance from all-things-social-media a year later, Ridley offered a different take, saying that it was “bad for mental health.” No matter the reason, we’re happy she’s staying sane.
10. Keira Knightley
Don’t feel bad if you never followed Keira Knightley because the actress wasn’t exactly trying to be found. She wasn’t even around for that long, either. The actress shared the deets of her brief foray into the social media sphere on British chat fest The Jonathan Ross Show. “I did actually join Twitter for about 12 hours because I tried to be down with the kids and it just creeped me out,” she shared. She went on to reveal that she posted under a pseudonym and didn’t really enjoy the experience. “I didn’t post anything and I was under a false name and I think because Chloë [Grace Moretz] followed me, suddenly all these people started following me and posting, ‘I’m having a cup of tea now,’ and I just got completely freaked out.” LOL.
9. Louis C.K.
The comedian once said that social media was way too time-consuming and kept us from truly experiencing what life has to offer. He subsequently deactivated his Twitter account in 2014. In hindsight, that may have been a smart move considering the avalanche of outrage which followed when it was revealed in late 2017 that he had behaved inappropriately with several women.
8. Justin Bieber
Before he reunited with his one true love Selena Gomez, Bieber had a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it fling with Sofia Richie. Jelena fans were not amused and flooded his IG feed with their disapproval. Naturally this came in the form of multiple emojis. Bieber eventually parted ways with Richie and Instagram, even proclaiming that the latter was “for the devil.” He returned to the app in 2017 and the two have been going strong ever since, proving it’s ~never too late to say sorry~.
7. Kendall Jenner
Jenner’s digital detox was so big it made CNN news. Or maybe it was a slow news day. In any case, two days after her decision to ditch social media, the model appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show to explain her thought process. “I just wanted to detox,” she explained. “I just wanted a little bit of a break. I’m always on it. I would wake up in the morning and I would look at it first thing. I would go to bed, and it was blasting.” Jenner has since returned but recently shared that her future kids would have limited access to social media. Like they say, mama knows best!
6. Miley Cyrus
In a show of solidarity with her then-boyfriend (and on-and-off fiancé)Liam Hemsworth, Cyrus announced that she was giving up the Twitterverse because he wasn’t part of it? What?! Naturally, her fans were not having it. This all went down in 2009, which seems like an eternity ago because Cyrus is back on Twitter and super active on the ‘gram. And given the myriad of causes that she’s incredibly passionate about, social media is the ideal way to spread the word.
5. Nicki Minaj
There’s currently an APB out for Minaj, who has been M.I.A from her social media accounts since the beginning of the year. But fear not Barbz. If you’re a true fan, you’ve been here before. In 2012, the rapper abruptly left Twitter after a fansite leaked tracks from her yet-to-be-released Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded. Three years later, she found herself at the center of controversy over seemingly insensitive comments about a wheelchair-bound party-goer. After an onslaught of criticism, Minaj once again fell silent. No word on what could be behind this latest disappearing act but if the past has taught us anything: she’ll be back.
4. Kim Kardashian
The Kardashians have built an entire brand with their extreme transparecy (almost to TMI levels) and by sharing even the most mundane aspects of their lives. Social media has been a huge part of their success and undoubtedly Kim leads the pack with her millions of followers across all platforms. It would have to take something major to get her off the grid. And it was. The reality-star was robbed at gunpoint while attending Paris Fashion Week in October 2016. The incident prompted Kim to embark on a social media detox while she dealt with overcoming the traumatic experience. She did return a month later much to the relief of fans who wanted to shower her with their love.
3. Taylor Swift
On August 18th 2017, the internet died and life as we knew it ceased to exist. At least that’s what Taylor Swift fans would have you believe. They woke up that morning to find that all their queen’s social media accounts had been scrubbed clean. What did it all mean!?! A new album, maybe? A week later Swift fed the frenzy by posting a single slithering reptile tail. So very cryptic. It would all make sense months later when the snake theme played a prominent role in her sixth studio album, Reputation. Leave it to Taylor to keep everyone guessing.
2. GiGi Hadid
There’s not always major dramz when a celeb decides to call in quits on social media. It’s just part of their self-care routine. At least that seems to be the case with Gigi Hadid. The model regularly cuts herself off from cyberspace for a bit of me time. And if fans can’t handle that, she’s got a message you: “A lot of the world feels so entitled to other peoples’ lives, which is so crazy. I’m going to take a break when I feel like it, and when I come back and share it with you, if you want to be supportive and still follow me, that’s great. But, if you’re going to be upset that I need to be human for a month, then maybe I don’t want your follow anyway.” Hadid is fierce on and off the catwalk.
1. Selena Gomez
In the ultimate ironic twist, the most followed person on Instagram quit the app soon after she earned the title. Gomez cited the strain on her mental health as the driving force behind her decision. In addition, she admitted to IG being what she woke up to and went to bed with. She explained further, “I was an addict, and it felt like I was seeing things I didn’t want to see, like it was putting things in my head that I didn’t want to care about. I always end up feeling like sh*t when I look at Instagram.” Gomez has been spending lots of time getting her health in order the past few months so here’s to her continued recovery. And now that she has resumed social media activities, be sure to drop some love on her page.