Supermodel Kate Upton was pretty clear in her disdain for social media, telling online retailer Net-a-Porter’s fashion magazine Edit: “I feel like social media at this point is kind of bullshit.” Upton pointed to the increasing commercialization of celebrity social media accounts: “At the beginning it was amazing and a lot of fun. It was like, ‘Cool, I can talk to my fans!’ And now I think that we're losing the art of it… Now it's about who has the best marketing, not who has a really good personality.”
Upton also criticized the general atmosphere of hostility and cruelty online, especially surrounding women’s appearances: “ The Internet can be horrible, so I just don't look at it anymore.”
Also this week, in an interview with the AP, rapper Iggy Azalea said she plans to continue her hiatus from social media indefinitely: “Yeah -- so nice not to be on social media so I'm kind of going to continue that until, maybe forever.” Azalea announced that she was leaving Twitter last month after a very public argument with rappers Azealia Banks and Q-Tip, followed by an outpouring of fairly vicious comments about her appearance while wearing a bikini.
As always when I write about this topic, I feel the need to explain my interest and why I think it's important. Basically, I think that we may already be in the midst of a “Great Moderation” in social media usage, as people -- especially teenagers -- begin to gain more perspective on social media’s benefits and drawbacks. And while they are not likely to listen to advice from the likes of washed-up old people who are totes over the hill, they may well be inspired by the examples of their favorite supermodels and rappers. At least, I can only hope so.