Below are three celebrities who have quit social media and two public figures who have also stayed away. Fun fact: two of the five listed below have never had a social media account in their lifetimes, and one of them is a millennial!
Celebrity #1: Ed Sheeran
On December 13th, 2015, English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran announced on Instagram that he would be taking a break from his phone, email and social media.
Two years later in an interview on Ellen Degeneres, Ed actually revealed that he got rid of his cell phone as his New Year’s resolution and that he had been handling email via his iPad.
Presently, Ed uses Twitter as a placeholder account just to let his fans know that he doesn’t use it anymore.
Now, he’s only active on Instagram promoting his music and posting the occasional personal message every now and again.
Celebrity #2: Paul Rudd
Beloved ageless actor Paul Rudd has actual never had a social media account. There are many places to verify this fact but the most recent source is on the popular YouTube web series Hot Ones.
The host Sean Evans states that it’s impossible to do one of their show bits involving reviewing pictures from their guest’s Instagram accounts that need further explanation. Since Paul has never had a social media account, they just pulled pictures from other places on the internet and continued with the bit.
Celebrity # 3: LUSH (okay, not a celebrity person, but a highly celebrated company in their own right)
On April 8th, 2019, Lush posted on Instagram that they were “switching up social”.
They stated that they were tired of fighting with the Instagram algorithms and didn’t want to pay to be a part of the users newsfeed. Instead, they’d rather promote organic communication with their audience directly.
I love this sentiment. It’s like the company wants to go back to their grassroots foundation to support the early adopters who believed in their company mission.
Below Are Two Public Figures That Have Also Said ‘No’ to Social Media
Public figure #1: Chamath Palihapitiya
Former Facebook executive expresses his guilt for manipulating Facebook users and contributing to the declining social climate in an interview at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Chamath goes on to call these social media platforms “shit” and that he doesn’t let his children “use the shit anymore”.
Here’s an excerpt from the above interview with Chamath that really hits me:
“We curate our lives around this perceived sense of perfection because we get rewarded from the short-termed signals – hearts, likes, thumbs up – and we conflate that with value and we conflate it with truth, and instead what it really is, is fake brittle popularity that leaves you even more vacant and empty than before you did it.”Chamath Palihapitiya
It’s such a painful truth that I’m sure millions of people experience, sometimes without them being cognizant of it because of how normalized social media has become.
Now, Chamath can be found only on Twitter where he shares his ideas that are mainly about the markets.
Public figure #2: Cal Newport
Cal Newport is a computer science professor at Georgetown University, author of six books, and blogger on his own self-titled website, calnewport.com. He’s also a millennial that has never in his entire life had a single social media account.
Some of you may know him from his popular Ted Talk titled ‘Quit Social Media’ which has over five million views and counting.
His sub-15 minute Ted Talk thoughtfully dissects the possible arguments that social media can be used for good. The talk was a well-researched and provocative think piece at it’s core.
Today, Cal continues his abstinence from social media in favor of writing more and spending quality time with himself, his friends, and his family.
There are some key lessons we can learn from the above mentioned celebs and public figures. Ed Sheeran now only uses social media as an online tool to promote his music, Paul Rudd and Cal Newport have completely refrained from using any social media platforms in favor of quality family time, work and time for themselves. Cosmetics company Lush bid their audience farewell in attempts bring conversations directly between them and their loyal customers. And Chamath, perhaps one of the most knowledgeable on the subject of social media and culture, has provided stern, honest insight into the inner-workings and intentions of Facebook.
This page was updated 10/29/2019.
About the Author
Hi there, I’m Connor — I’m the author of this website and millennial guinea pig to a yearlong social media cleanse. From September 17th, 2019 to September 17th 2020, I will be experimenting and blogging about what life is like without social media. This site will be periodically edited and updated as the experiment continues. If you’d like to read more head over to the About page.