A Brief History of Music Stars Breaking Up With Social Media

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Zayn, Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber & Demi Lovato

On Monday (July 17), Ed Sheeran quietly deleted his Twitter account. Hours later, he was back with an updated bio, "I don't use this anymore, please follow me on @teddysphotos on Instagram, lots of love x." Earlier this month, Sheeran clarified he did not quit Twitter as previously reported. "Loads of Hoo-har about me quitting stuff. I haven't quit anything, I'm just not reading anything, except Harry Potter. Hope everyone had a wonderful July 4th." Days later, (July 19) Sheeran further explained on Instagram. "Last i’ll say on this. I came off Twitter Coz I was always intending to come off Twitter, had nothing to do with what people said about my game of thrones cameo, because I am in game of thrones, why the hell would I worry what people thought about that. It’s clearly fuckin’ awesome. Timing was just a coincidence, but believe what you want."

Over the years, dozens of artists have taken a digital detox. And while some have returned days, weeks or even months later, others have handed off their accounts to managers, or switched from using platforms for personal banter in favor of business-related news.

Here's a timeline of some of the music stars who have broken up with social media:

2009

Miley Cyrus, known for her incredibly personal social media posts, took an early break from Twitter in 2009. In a YouTube video, she raps: "I want my private life private, I’m living for me.”

2011

Sinead O’Connor quit social media after receiving "too much abuse." She returned later that year for "fun and giggle-ment," but alerted fans: "All received tweets will be previously read and filtered by my assistant so A-holes don't get passed on to me."

2012

Adele took a social media break after giving birth and being targeted by trolls who joked about her weight, postpartum depression and murdering her baby. Kanye West was straight to the point when he took a Twitter pause: "BE BACK SOON." And Nicki Minaj clearly reached her breaking point: “Like seriously, its but so much a person can take. Good f-cking bye.” Zayn Malik also signed off: “I'm sick of all the hate that I get daily.” 

2014

Lily Allen gave up on social media (again) because "hatred is more accessible than ever and people think it's OK to be horrible to each other as a result."

2015

Ed Sheeran said goodbye on Facebook and Instagram: “I find myself seeing the world through a screen and not my eyes.” Iggy Azalea shared a similar fate: “I need to be happy and it is too negative and draining.” She also revealed that her Instagram account will be "run by management."

 

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2016

Fifth Harmony's Normani Kordei announced her departure from Twitter for being "racially bullied" with tweets and pictures described as "so horrific and racially charged that I can't subject myself any longer to the hate." 

Afterwards, Fifth Harmony'Camila Cabello lent her support for Kordei in a series of tweets.

Demi Lovato felt the "stone cold" wrath of Mariah Carey's fans after she defended pal Ariana Grande over an Instagram meme comparing the two singers, she announced her departure from Twitter and Instagram. 

“Damn I gotta quit sayin s---. Bye Twitter," she wrote. Surprisingly, she returned a day later. "I'm back bitches. And I'm coming back more honest than ever."

For those keeping track, that was not the first time Lovato quit Twitter. In 2012, she signed off, stating, “I just get myself in trouble. BYE!”

Sam Smith said so long after facing backlash for a comment he made at The Oscars: “I'm logging off for a while. Some Martinis shaken not stirred are definitely in order.” And Halsey deactivated her account with no explanation, but all signs pointed to cyber-bullying.

Azealia Banks, notorious for quitting Twitter, has been suspended from the platform since May, following her racist rant directed at Zayn Malik.

Camila Cabello and Demi Lovato are hoping for change.

Justin Bieber deactivated his Instagram account, leaving behind 77.8 million fans, following an outpour of hateful comments received on photos of rumored girlfriend Sofia Richie. Days earlier, he posted: “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.”