by Graham Pierrepoint
Twitter has been around for longer than many people think. It started life around the same time period as Facebook, with both the little blue bird and Marc Zuckerberg’s pet project going on to revolutionize social media to the point of it changing culture and society for good. It really is incredible to think how much social media has grown over the years – and that we once had lives outside of likes and retweets! Twitter, in particular, has become a fantastic platform for celebrities, professionals and brands to be able to connect directly with fans and trending topics, allowing us an insight into famous lives which would otherwise be hidden away. It’s a shame, therefore, that many big names find themselves leaving the service after being inundated with a number of harmful messages.
Ed Sheeran, the multi-million-selling songwriter and guitarist – who recently rocked the Glastonbury Festival and whose latest album Divide swallowed up much of the UK chart in particular – is the latest star to quit Twitter, following iconic tweeters such as Stephen Fry to abandon ship. But what’s driven the star to quit altogether? Straight from the horse’s mouth, it’s down to abuse negativity he’s experienced through the platform.
While Sheeran will reportedly keep his Twitter profile active for the time being, he will only be sharing new and direct updates via Instagram – having advised British press that he had ‘come off Twitter completely’ in recent days. Sheeran is one of the most keenly-followed singers on the social network with over 19 million fans tuned into his updates – meaning that his presence will likely be greatly missed. “I go on it and there’s nothing but people saying mean things,” the singer is reported as having advised.
Sheeran’s latest album, Divide, was released to some critical division, and his recent set at Glastonbury came under criticism for his use of a loop pedal to play backing music as opposed to a live band. Sheeran himself appeared to respond to criticism over his use of the pedal via a recent tweet – advising that anyone concerned about his tech search Google for more information on loop stations.
Critics of Ed Sheeran exist just as his millions of fans do – but the world of celebrity has changed dramatically in just a short period of time. Sheeran is not the first to leave Twitter as a result of negativity or direct comments aimed towards them – and arguably, he may not be the last.