Sometimes even celebrities need a break from social media. Join Wonderwall.com as we take a look at some of our favorite celebs who've quit or taken time away from social media in the past and find out why… starting with Lizzo. On Jan. 5, 2020, the "Good as Hell" hitmaker told her Twitter followers that she'd be saying goodbye to the social media platform. She explained how she couldn't "do" Twitter anymore because there were "too many trolls." She added, "I'll be back when I feel like it." During an Instagram Live, she further explained why she was (temporarily) leaving. "I would love to be on Twitter 'cause I could connect with you people who positively support me, not to mention spreading my own positive message," she said. "But now I've gotten to a point where I'm not just dealing with internet bullies — I'm dealing with seeing a lot of negativity on the internet dealing with everyone. Even from my well of positivity, I feel it, and it doesn't feel good." Her decision to leave was also inspired, in part, by harmful memes about her body that have circulated. She's since returned to Twitter. We love you, Lizzo! Keep reading for more…
"Shape of You" hitmaker Ed Sheeran is no stranger to distancing himself from the popular apps. On Dec. 24, 2019, he announced via Instagram that he'd be taking a break from social media. "Hello all. Gonna go on another break again," he began. "The Divide era and tour changed my life in so many ways, but now it's all over it's time to go out and see some more of the world. I've been a bit non stop since 2017 so I'm just gonna take a breather to travel, write and read. I'll be off all social media until it's time to come back." More than four months later, he'd yet to return. This wasn't his first time Ed quit an app: He went on a social media detox back in 2015 because he was "seeing the world through a screen and not my eyes." He also quit Twitter in 2017.
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In August 2016, "Star Wars" franchise star Daisy Ridley departed Instagram after receiving a lot of criticism for a post about gun violence on her Instagram and Facebook pages that she shared in response to the Teen Choice Awards' call to action to end gun violence. "As I sat in the audience yesterday tears were streaming down my face at the tribute to those that have been lost to gun violence," she wrote. "I didn't get a great picture of the incredible group that came onstage but they were so brave. It was a true moment of togetherness. We must #stoptheviolence." She later briefly returned, shared a note explaining she wanted to be on her phone less, then deactivated. "I felt a pressure being on it," she later explained, as reported by Sky News. "I was like, 'I need to post. Oh my God, it's been this many days.' It's actually been kind of nice not to be on it." She added, "I'm 24. I have a lot of growing up to do. I have to deal with loads of stuff myself personally. For that to be projected with millions of people watching, that is like a bit of an extra pressure. I think some people handle it well. Just right now it's not for me, but who knows." She's since closed all of her social media accounts.
Pete Davidson has been the subject of social media scrutiny. The "Saturday Night Live" star, who's been open about living with borderline personality disorder, deleted his Instagram account in 2018 after posting a distressing message that prompted the NYPD to check in on him. The alarming post came following his breakup with fiancée Ariana Grande. Thankfully, his decision to distance himself from social media has proven to be beneficial. During a 2020 interview with Sean Evans on First We Feast's "Hot Ones," the comedian shared his thoughts on his lack of social media presence. Not having social media "really improved my mental health," Pete said. "I don't think it's good for anybody, but especially anybody who has a job around this stuff."
In August 2018, the decision to cast Ruby Rose as the titular character on The CW's "Batwoman" series was met with major backlash. Ruby, who's gay, received negative responses from fans who believed she wasn't the correct fit for the first openly gay superhero — some didn't know the actress was a lesbian. As a result, Ruby deleted her Twitter account and turned off her Instagram comments. Before leaving, she tweeted: "Where on earth did 'Ruby is not a lesbian therefore she can't be batwoman' come from — has to be the funniest most ridiculous thing I've ever read. I came out at 12? And have for the past 5 years had to deal with 'she's too gay' how do y'all flip it like that? I didn't change. I wish we would all support each other and our journeys." As of April 2020, the actress had not returned to Twitter and her Instagram comments remained disabled.
Following her engagement to Britain's Prince Harry, Duchess Meghan closed all of her social media accounts in January 2018. In addition to her Instagram and Twitter accounts, which together had nearly 2.5 million followers, the "Suits" actress also operated a lifestyle website, The Tig, which she'd shuttered in April 2017. Two years later in April 2019, Meghan and Harry launched a joint Instagram account, @sussexroyal, to which they haven't posted since stepping down as senior working royals in March 2020.
While she's among Instagram's most followed celebrities (as of April 2020, she had 174 million followers), Selena Gomez has previously taken some time away from the platform. The "Rare" singer has spoken at length about the impact the app has had on her mental health. "I used to use it a lot but I think it's become really unhealthy for young people, including myself, to spend all of their time fixating on all of these comments and letting this stuff in," she said on "Live With Kelly and Ryan" in 2019. In September 2018, Selena posted a selfie alongside a caption explaining that she'd be leaving Instagram for an extended period of time. "Update: taking a social media break. Again," she wrote. "As much as I am grateful for the voice that social media gives each of us, I am equally grateful to be able to step back and live my life present to the moment I have been given. Kindness and encouragement only for a bit! Just remember- negative comments can hurt anybody's feelings. Obvi." Her next Instagram post didn't come until nearly four months later in January 2019.
In June 2018, "Stranger Things" star Millie Bobby Brown deleted her Twitter account after users began circulating fake stories about her being homophobic even though the actress has publicly shown her support for the LGBTQ community. The online bullying resulted in the young actress deleting her account. As of April 2020, she's still off Twitter.
Even Taylor Swift needs a social media detox. In October 2015, the "Lover" singer took a hiatus from Instagram and Twitter after stating that "people might need a break" from her, then proceeded to post noticeably less often once she returned. However, her social media presence became practically non-existent following backlash she received in 2016 after an old feud with Kanye West was reignited over lyrics the rapper wrote about her in his song "Famous." As a result, Taylor went off the grid for the better part of a year then made her social media return in 2017 to promote the release of her sixth studio album, "Reputation."
Kanye West has become known for voicing controversial opinions via social media, and as a result, he's spent time away from the platforms. In October 2018, the rapper deleted his Twitter and Instagram accounts after receiving backlash for saying that the 13th Amendment of the Constitution, which ended slavery, should be abolished — he later clarified that he meant "amended." Kanye wasn't on hiatus for too long though — the "Jesus Is King" rapper eventually came back to Instagram and Twitter.
In 2016, "Saturday Night Live" star Leslie Jones went on a Twitter hiatus after she was the target of racist and sexist attacks. "I feel like I'm in a personal hell. I didn't do anything to deserve this. It's just too much. It shouldn't be like this. So hurt right now," she tweeted on July 18, 2016. "I leave Twitter tonight with tears and a very sad heart. All this cause I did a movie. You can hate the movie but the s— I got today…wrong." A month prior, the "Ghostbusters" reboot actress was hacked and private information and nude photographs were posted to her account. Leslie has since made a triumphant return to the social media app. "Thanks to my fans and friends! I'm soooooo ok really," she tweeted in September 2016. "And I will always be funny been through a lot in my life and I ALWAYS GET BACK UP!"
Ariana Grande is another A-lister who's gone on a social media hiatus. In October 2018, the "thank u, next" singer announced on her Instagram Stories that she'd be taking a break, a decision that was likely prompted by all the atten she was getting due to her breakup with comedian Pete Davidson. The Grammy winner's announcement came after she taped the NBC special "A Very Wicked Halloween," on which she performed. "Time to say bye bye again to the internet for jus a lil bit," she began. "it's hard not to bump news n stuff that i'm not tryna see rn. it's very sad and we're all tryin very hard to keep goin. love u. and thank u for bein here always." She's since returned to social media.
When an actress lands her breakthrough role, it's typically a cause for celebration — but that wasn't the case for Kelly Marie Tran. The "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" star, who was the first woman of color to land a lead role in the beloved franchise, deleted all of her Instagram posts in June 2018 after being berated with racist and sexist comments. Kelly, the daughter of Vietnamese refugees, spoke out about the experience in a piece she penned for The New York Times. "Their words reinforced a narrative I had heard my whole life: that I was 'other,' that I didn't belong, that I wasn't good enough, simply because I wasn't like them," she wrote. "And that feeling, I realize now, was, and is, shame, a shame for the things that made me different, a shame for the culture from which I came from. And to me, the most disappointing thing was that I felt it all." As of April 2020, her Instagram bio read, "Afraid, but doing it anyway," though her page featured no posts.
Justin Bieber has been outspoken about his struggles with mental health and the negative impact social media has played in it. In 2016, the "Changes" singer unplugged from all social media platforms after he began receiving hate after posting photos with then-flame Sofia Richie. "I'm gonna make my Instagram private if you guys don't stop the hate this is getting out of hand, if you guys are really fans you wouldn't be so mean to people that I like." Ex Selena Gomez replied to his plea, "If you can't handle the hate then stop posting pictures of your girlfriend lol – it should be special between you two only. Don't be mad at your fans. They love you. They were there for you before anyone." At the time, he turned his Instagram account to private before eventually deleting his account entirely. He's since returned to the social media platform.
It's true — there was a time when Rihanna's @badgalriri Instagram account was disabled. In early 2014, the "Diamonds" singer went dark on the social media app, which was reportedly a mistake made by Instagram itself, though the singer-designer didn't immediately restore her account. Thankfully, the Fenty brand mogul returned to Instagram six months later on Nov. 1, 2014.
In July 2018, Miley Cyrus cleared all of her social media platforms. While the decision was initially thought to be in preparation for a surprise album she was dropping, a source told "Entertainment Tonight" that the social media purge was a result of her wanting a break from it all. "When Miley removed all the photos from her Instagram, she knew everyone would wonder why," the source said. "But her decision to do it wasn't earth-shattering. Miley says she simply likes to change things up! She is taking a long needed break and she feels it's healthy." The actress-singer later returned to the platform.
In the summer of 2019, Demi Lovato announced via her Instagram Stories that she'd be taking a breather from social media once again. "Taking a break for a while. Be kind," she wrote. Her decision to step back from the internet came after she defended new manager Scooter Braun, whom she'd signed with in May 2019, amidst his public feud with Taylor Swift. "Y'all can come after me all you want but I'm always gonna stay loyal to my team," she wrote of Scooter. "Personally, I'm grateful he came into my life when he did. Please stop 'dragging' people or bullying them. There's enough hate in the world as it is." She returned to Instagram about a month after announcing the hiatus.
"Motivation" singer Normani took a break from Twitter in August 2016 after she was the target of racist comments. "I'm not the first black female celebrity to deal with this and I'm sure I won't be the last," she tweeted. "I want to take this moment to say Love goes much further than hate in the world. Hiding behind a computer and putting people down, especially for the color of their skin doesn't make you cool, it makes you a coward!" Her break wasn't permanent though — she made her return to the platform in September 2016.