OMG! Big news! Ed Sheeran has quit social media!
Meh, I don’t really care because I’m not a fan. But for his faithful millions who use the most popular apps, there will be a void. I am sure some followers will mourn his absence; they’ll miss his Twitter thoughts and Instagram images. Some will forget about him entirely. And others will just shrug, knowing that he will eventually return. Almost all of them do.
Taking a break from social media is not an unusual move. It can become oppressive. Time-consuming. Even depressing. I have friends who have done it. I’ve done it too. But when celebrities do it, it starts trending on Twitter (that’s irony, right?).
There are plenty of great reasons to take a breather from social media; to step back and regroup. Because, depending on how you use it, social networking can take a negative toll on anyone. It can waste time, hurt relationships, cause unnecessary drama, batter self-esteem, compromise privacy, and turn people into hermits.
Sheeran said social media was narrowing his world view, forcing him to see things through a screen instead of through his own eyes. And so he has decided to step back and look at the world in a different way. He isn’t the first person to do this. And he is not the first celebrity to push social media to the side, hoping for more privacy and a renewed sense of self.
Whether it was because they were dealing with serious online trolling and abuse or just weren’t allowed to post risqué pictures, many celebrities have had a rocky relationship with social media. Chelsea Handler, Rihanna, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Miley Cyrus, Nicki Minaj – all of these celebrities have pulled the plug on their social media network, either temporarily or long-term.
There are so many valid reasons for giving social media a rest. And for a lot of people, the risk of losing followers, publicity, and attention because they need to step away from their screens is worth it.
But many return, as Sheeran will (he even says so in his Instagram message). Our relationship with social media can be fickle. Bumpy. And we’ve all had the urge to quit.
Have you ever taken a break from social media? How long did it last? And how did it feel when you unmoored yourself from it all?