Having millions of followers on social media definitely has its downsides.
Social media can be an important way for celebrities to connect with their fans… but it brings with it the pressure of millions of followers watching your every move. Sometimes, celebs just need a moment to unplug.
These social media breaks can stem from harsh critique from online haters, bad press, or the need to focus on their mental health. Whatever the reason for the hiatus, the list of stars who have taken a step back from their online profiles is long:
1. Elizabeth Olsen
Elizabeth Olsen recently deleted her Instagram account and many fans are attributing her decision to the bullying she faced after the passing of Chadwick Boseman. Elizabeth, who is not very active on social media, did not share a post memorializing Chadwick in the days after his death. This led Instagram users to spam her account, telling her that she needed to do something to recognize Chadwick. Instead, Elizabeth chose to delete her Instagram and is currently still inactive on the platform.
2. Selena Gomez
Selena Gomez has had a complicated relationship with social media throughout the years, despite being one of the most followed people on Instagram. Selena has often taken social media breaks to help her mental health, most recently stepping away from the app in late 2018. Despite her return in 2019, Selena says she regularly deleted the Instagram app from her phone to avoid the negative comments.
“I would say for my generation, specifically, social media has really been terrible. It does scare me when you see how exposed these young boys and young girls are. They are not aware of the news. I think it’s dangerous for sure… I’m grateful I have the platform. I don’t do a lot of pointless pictures. For me, I like to be intentional with it. It just scares me… I would be careful and allow yourself some time limits of when you should use it,” Selena said during a press conference last year.
3. Meghan Markle
Before Meghan Markle joined the royal family, she deleted all of her personal social media accounts, including her lifestyle blog The Tig. Meghan wasn’t gone for long though as she soon launched joint social media accounts with her husband Prince Harry.
At the beginning of 2020, Lizzio decided she didn’t want to deal with Twitter haters any longer and left the site.
“Yeah I can’t do this Twitter s**t no more… too many trolls… Ill be back when I feel like it,” she wrote.
Since then, her team has been posting on her behalf, which has been mostly promo material. Lizzo continues to be active on TikTok and Instagram however.
5. Millie Bobby Brown
In 2018, Millie Bobby Brown took a break from Twitter after she became the subject of a strange homophobic meme, despite her support for the LGBT+ community. She hasn’t been back on the site since, except to briefly tell fans she missed them in 2019. Millie is still active on Instagram.
6. Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran is no stranger to a social media hiatus. In 2015, after a busy five years of touring and writing music, Ed decided it was time to take a break from social media and travel the world. He eventually returned but once again decided to go on a hiatus at the end of 2019.
“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 social media until it’s time to come back,” Ed posted.
Ed returned to Instagram in September to let fans know that he and wife Cherry had welcomed their first child, Lyra.
7. Pete Davidson
Pete Davidson deleted his Instagram account at the end of 2018 after posting an alarming message.
“I really don’t want to be on this earth anymore. I’m doing my best to stay here for you but i actually don’t know how much longer i can last. All i’ve ever tried to do was help people. Just remember i told you so,” Pete wrote.
Pete’s friend Machine Gun Kelly and ex-fiancée Ariana Grande quickly went to check on the comedian, who was accounted for at the “Saturday Night Live” studios. Pete has yet to return to Instagram.
Normani decided to step back from Twitter after being bullied by fans who thought she had made comments shading her Fifth Harmony bandmate Camila Cabello. The online hate and racist remarks became so bad that she deleted her entire account. She returned to the platform a few months later to fight cyberbullying.
9. Armie Hammer
Armie Hammer deleted his Twitter account after receiving some negative press. After reading a Buzzfeed article which critiqued his career, he simply replied “Bitter AF” and proceeded to delete his account the following day.
“I just have no impulse control. So if somebody says something stupid, I couldn’t help but say something back, and then it just exploded. 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,” Armie said at TheWrap’s Screening Series.
Armie returned to the platform a few weeks later.
10. Ariana Grande
After Ariana Grande’s split from Pete Davidson and his own decision to delete his Instagram, Ariana also took a step back from the platform. While she never deleted her account, she did turn off comments and told fans she would primarily be posting on Snapchat.
“i’m prolly gonna post on der for a little while & take a breather from twitter & ig for a little. just sometimes can’t help but bump into some negative s— that really can bum u out and it’s not worth it honestly. promised i’d always tell you. i love u sm ! be well & happy,” Ariana wrote to a fan.
Things were back to normal for Ariana a few months later.
11. Daisy Ridley
Daisy Ridley decided to delete her Instagram after she received backlash for making a post in support of gun control. That was back in 2016 and Daisy still has yet to return to the platform.
“It’s not good for me, personally. I’m just not equipped for it. I’m super sensitive— not too sensitive— but I really feel things,” Daisy told Glamour.
12. Kelly Marie Tran
Kelly Marie Tran faced extreme backlash from Star Wars fans when they decided they didn’t like her character Rose. The hateful comments on her Instagram photos led her to delete her account.
“For months, I went down a spiral of self-hate, into the darkest recesses of my mind, places where I tore myself apart, where I put their words above my own self-worth,” Kelly Marie wrote in an op-ed for the New York Times.
Kelly Marie still does not post on Instagram.
13. Iggy Azalea
Iggy Azalea decided to step back from Twitter after some particularly rude comments about her body.
“Just got back from a great vacation, came online and saw apparently it’s shocking and unheard of to be a woman and have cellulite,” Iggy wrote.
Her management took over her account for the next few months but Iggy eventually returned to Twitter.
14. NeNe Leakes
In August of 2020, NeNe Leakes deleted her Instagram amid rumors about her return to “Real Housewives of Atlanta.” A few weeks later, NeNe made an Instagram comeback, only to let fans know that her time on “RHOA” was over.
“God is good! Thank you all so much for your kind words! Blessings to you,” NeNe wrote to fans after sharing the news.
15. Ruby Rose
Ruby Rose deleted her Twitter after facing backlash for her casting in the CW’s “Batwoman” series. Some fans of the show didn’t think Ruby was right for the role as she is gender fluid. Before deleting her account, Ruby had a message to her haters.
“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,” Ruby reportedly wrote.
She has not yet returned to Twitter.
16. Kendall Jenner
At the end of 2017, Kendall Jenner decided to take a short break from Instagram but it only lasted one week.
“I just wanted a little bit of a break. I would wake up in the morning and look at it first thing, I would go to bed and it would be the last thing I looked at. I felt a little too dependent on it so I wanted to take a minute,” Kendall said on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”
17. Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber deleted his Instagram account in 2016 after receiving hateful comments about his then-girlfriend Sofia Richie. He had previously warned fans if the comments didn’t stop he would shut down his account. He held true to his word and didn’t make a return to the app for over five months.