Why some of our fave celebrities aren't on Twitter (and we support it!)
Considering how much time most of us spend on social media, when someone tells us they’re not a part of that world it’s a little like, “huh?” It’s even more astonishing when we discover that a celebrity is foregoing sites like Twitter, or even the simple photo sharing of Instagram. For many celebrities, an outlet like Twitter is an easy tool to break down the walls built by Hollywood glamour and connect in a more direct way with their fans. It provides a way for them to share a different side of themselves, self promote, interact with fans, and even answer questions or refute rumors. However, it seems like some of Hollywood’s biggest stars are saying a big N-O to social media.
Take the incredible Jennifer Lawrence. In an interview this week promoting The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (a movie that’s guaranteed to make me cry, no matter what), JLaw told Nick Grimshaw on his BBC1 radio show, “I will never get Twitter. I’m not very good on phone or technology. I cannot really keep up with emails so the idea of Twitter is so unthinkable to me. I don’t really understand what it is. It’s like this weird enigma that people talk about. It’s fine. I respect that.”
And she’s not alone. Many celebrities are taking a stand and keeping off of social media. As Scarlett Johansson said a few years ago in an interview, “I don’t know how I feel about this idea of, ‘Now, I’m eating dinner, and I want everyone to know that I’m having dinner at this time,’ or ‘I just mailed a letter and dropped off my kids.’ That, to me, is a very strange phenomenon.” But there’s something deeper than that which has many celebrities running in the other direction.
I’ve always loved movies. My parents gave me and my siblings a deep love for all things cinematic. As a kid, one of my favorite things about the actors on the screen was that I knew diddly-squat about them. This idea, this maintaining the air of mystique and privacy, is what has stars like Daniel Radcliffe, someone who has grown up alongside us, avoiding the sites. “I don’t have Twitter and I’m not on Facebook, and I think that makes things a lot easier because if you go on Twitter and tell everybody what you’re doing moment to moment, and then claim you want a private life, no one’s going to take that request seriously.”
It’s true. The constant updates we receive do break down that wall and allow us access to those that we once felt were off limits. Constant access can make disassociation difficult. If we allow ourselves to become more and more familiar with these celebs, it’s easy for us to see them on screen and think, “Did you hear what happened? He said the most hurtful thing to someone on Twitter! I can’t watch him without thinking about it.” Or just simply not be able to imagine them as anyone but themselves. It takes away from the experience, we see the real person rather than the character that they’re playing.
Ruler of Asgard, Chris Hemsworth, agrees. As he said in an interview, “I think there’s a danger of being overexposed with that stuff. The mystery of who you are is what keeps people interested in wanting to see you on the screen. Also, it’s easier for them to believe you as that character if they don’t know too much about you . . . Besides, I’d rather be hanging out with my family than updating to people I don’t know about what I had for lunch.”
We live in a society where we believe we are entitled to all of the ins and outs of everyone’s lives. We tell each other what we had for breakfast, how our day went, what made us laugh; we announce pregnancies and engagements, posts photos of far off destinations or the view from our bedroom windows. Because we’re so open, we expect everyone else in the world to be as forthcoming with their day-to-day lives.
There’s a fascination with knowing about celebrity’s private lives which if we’re not careful can turn into a feeling of entitlement; “why doesn’t [insert the name of your favorite star here] post more?” Not to mention, knowing where all your favorite celebs are all the time can make just day-to-day living very stressful for the famous. Kristen Stewart takes her lack of social media a step further, chalking up her reasoning to fear. “Like I’m going to die because somebody is going to say where I am and somebody is going to kill me. Someone’s going to Twitter my location and then it’s going to be like, boom.”
For all of the good that social media brings, it brings an equal amount of stress and negativity. Model Chrissy Teigen has been ripped on Twitter so often that occasionally she just checks herself off of the platform. For celebrities to chose not to engage with social media, they have to be going against the current and that takes guts. They undoubtedly face pressure to join the sites but they’ve decided to stick to what feels right to them, and we certainly cannot fault them for that.
An added bonus, maybe staying away from social media will help bring back the mystery when it comes to performances. The less we know about our favorite celebs as people, the more effective their performances will be. Unless JLaw wants to get Twitter to ask me to hang out, I support her decision to stay away — ditto every other celebrity who’s chosen to stay offline and keep us guessing.