Ah, social media. The greatest thing ever and yet also the bane of our existence.
It's where everyone talks about what they're up to, who they're dating, where they're working, where they're traveling, how cute their kids are, how even cuter their dogs are and who they're voting for.
And while it's pretty annoying when you unwittingly trigger an argument you didn't mean to start, or your mom leaves too many comments or people start chiming in who completely missed your point...
Imagine what it's like for celebrities.
Sure, it seems like a sexy proposition to have 100,000-plus people liking everything you say or every picture you post, but lying in wait on the other side of that supportive crowd are the people who will never agree with what you say, who think there's something wrong with how you look or who just can't wait to pounce on any perceived wrong step you may make.
And while the amount of people in that group may be substantially smaller than that which makes up a committed fan base and/or a group of normal people with humane reactions to things, it sometimes only takes a few rotten apples to spoil the bunch.
Sometime Tuesday night, apparently after she had tweeted a few observations about the vice-presidential debate, Chrissy Teigen—a social media favorite of so many—acknowledged that she had made her Twitter account private.
"Not strong enough anymore," she replied to the user who asked about it, then added in a separate tweet, "It's not haters or trolls or generally mean people. I just feel like I am absorbing bad s--t 24/7. My body and mind cannot handle it anymore."
Now, this is a model, cookbook author, TV personality, wife and mom who obviously has a life away from her Twitter account. Yet Teigen—who in addition to having 2.88 million followers has also been a target for those eager to judge her looks, her personality, her parenting skills, etc.—wasn't immune to the vitriol. And we doubt it was even just the garbage directed at her, because she's had a love-hate relationship with Twitter for awhile.
Rather, there's just so much negative energy out there, made all the worse by the current presidential election, that Teigen didn't feel it was healthy to leave her account open to it.
In this day and age, when we're all expected to have thick skin and ignore commenters, through whichever medium they choose to insert their opinions, and pay no mind to trolls, it's almost a relief to find out that someone like Teigen—who as a celebrity has been taking the good with the bad for years—recognizes that people shouldn't have to be constantly required to turn a blind eye or a deaf ear to commentary that's got out of hand.
Her probably not-that-sudden decision came a day after Demi Lovato bowed out yet again, not expressly swearing off Twitter this time, but indicating that living life under the social media glare was getting to be too much for her as well.
"So excited for 2017. Taking a break from music and the spotlight.. I am not meant for this business and the media," the 24-year-old singer tweeted Tuesday morning, punctuating the sentiment with a waving-hand emoji.
Lovato, another favorite for her outspokenness who is also a frequent target for haters, arrived at that conclusion after taking an unhealthy helping of hate for criticizing Taylor Swift's approach to feminism and friendship in an interview with Glamour.
"I think that having a song and a video about tearing Katy Perry down, that's not women's empowerment," she was quoted in the mag. "We all do things that aren't, but I have to ask myself, 'Am I content with calling myself a feminist?' Yes, because I speak out."
In response to the people going after her, Lovato tweeted, "I get asked questions. I answer them. Sue me...Also don't forget that words can be taken out of context when doing interviews.. still not apologizing for saying what everyone want to say...I don't understand why people care so much about what I say in interviews? Do y'all watch the news? Don't y'all got s--t to worry about?"
Funny she should ask that...
Surely Lovato isn't surprised that so much of the s--t that people choose to "worry about" has nothing to do with them, or anything that affects them, other than their own misplaced outrage.
Celebrities announcing that they're taking a break from social media are a dime a dozen, most of them—including Lovato in the past—bouncing back in no time. So that's why it's all the more surprising that, not only did Justin Bieber delete his entire Instagram account in August, but he's refrained from putting it back up.
He continues to tweet, in the meantime, but the Biebs obviously meant business when he threatened to make his Instagram private because folks were writing too many mean things about Sofia Richie and then went ahead and deleted the whole thing. He and Richie have since broken up, but he and Instagram have yet to rebound.
In related news, Selena Gomez remains the most followed person on Instagram, with upwards of 100 million followers, but she herself is in the wind.
"As many of you know, around a year ago I revealed that I have lupus, an illness that can affect people in different ways," the 24-year-old told People on Aug. 30. "I've discovered that anxiety, panic attacks and depression can be side effects of lupus, which can present their own challenges.
"I want to be proactive and focus on maintaining my health and happiness and have decided that the best way forward is to take some time off. Thank you to all my fans for your support. You know how special you are to me, but I need to face this head on to ensure I am doing everything possible to be my best. I know I am not alone by sharing this, I hope others will be encouraged to address their own issues."
And any break to focus on physical and mental well-being worth its salt includes a break from social media, which Gomez is continuing to this day. Wherever it turns out that she's been all this time, we're guessing that not engaging is part of what the doctor ordered.
It's no coincidence, meanwhile, that Gomez beat her retreat just a couple of weeks after getting sucked into some drama with her ex, advising in the comments section on one of Bieber's Instagram pics that he shouldn't post pictures of his "girlfriend" (Richie) if he couldn't handle what his adoring fans were dishing it. Then not-at-all-veiled cheating accusations started to fly...
"What I said was selfish and pointless," Gomez ultimately concluded, captioning a pic of a black screen on Snapchat.
Seriously, who needs that in life?
Also reconsidering it all is Kim Kardashian West, who is understandably feeling emotionally unwell after being robbed at gunpoint in Paris in the early morning hours Monday. Some of the less sympathetic souls out there, including even Chanel creative director Karl Lagerfeld, were quick to wag their fingers at Kim for having shown off the dazzling diamond ring Kanye West had recently given her, which was among the millions of dollars in items stolen.
Caitlyn Jenner posted a loving message for her stepdaughter on Instagram and Kourtney Kardashian tweeted a picture of a page of Scripture last night, but the family has largely stayed off of social media, including Snapchat, with regard to the incident since Monday. (Kylie Jenner retweeted a few positive, unrelated posts from fans earlier in the week). Meanwhile, we wouldn't be surprised if Kim takes a long break from the public eye, including her app and social media accounts. For starters, at least, a trip to Dubai for a makeup demonstration on Oct. 14 has been canceled.
Not only might she be turned off by news of the less-than-supportive comments made about the situation (happily plenty of love has been sent her way to offset that), but she frankly might just feel unsafe, to a degree that no amount of trolling she'd ever experienced beforehand could prepare her for. No one can blame her if she's done sharing the sort of details of her daily life that fans are used to getting from her at all hours of the day and night for the foreseeable future.
All the while, celebrities continue to power through the day-to-day grind of being accessible via social media, only now we currently happen to be down a few of the personalities that had seemingly been winning at social media, monetizing it to an unprecedented degree and attracting millions of followers.
Yet the last few months, from the pockets of venom spewed at Taylor Swift earlier in the summer to the concern kicked up over Kim that perhaps sharing certain things just isn't safe, have proven that no one—however beloved they are most of the time—is immune to the toxic cloud that can so easily form over one person, only to dissipate and re-form somewhere else the next day.
And when a celebrity with millions of fans is chased underground by a select few, then everyone who is fit for polite society misses out.
But at least if you were already following Chrissy Teigen before Tuesday night, you're still privy to her tweets today.
"If you followed me before yesterday, you're all good!!" she assured fans Wednesday.
A few hours later, Teigen wrote, "LOVING our little private club/VIP party here. My mentions are heaven and I still get to see my favorite accounts on the TL! Woohoo. This does make me a little sad though. Now hiring: accepter of followers assistant," she added, screengrabbing her notification of follow requests, which stood at 5,804 at the time.
But it's certainly nice to hear that 2.88 million people were able to behave themselves on Twitter for a whole 24 hours.