Elizabeth Olsen quit Instagram and social media because she says it was bad for her mental health.
Elizabeth Olsen isn’t on social media, but she used to be. When celebrities quit social media like Instagram, we no longer have that same access point for finding out why they left. We’re left to guess. Were fans mean to them? Did they say something that got them in trouble with a studio? We generally assume that some outside factor has forced them to abandon the platform.
So when Elizabeth Olsen left Instagram in September 2020, rumors spread about the reasons why. Now, in a video interview with Glamour UK, the actress has directly responded to why she left Instagram, and it wasn’t anything like people had guessed.
ELIZABETH OLSEN DIDN’T LIKE WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA WAS DOING TO HER, MENTALLY
The Marvel actress who plays Wanda Maximoff, aka the Scarlet Witch, quit Instagram because she didn’t like what it did to her own mindset. When you are an influencer on social media, you are expected to speak up when something important happens in the world.
Early on, her only access to social media was her Instagram account as she had no desire to join the ranks of Facebook or Twitter. Way back in 2016, Ms. Olsen spoke to Elle Canada, explaining her thought process surrounding social media in general. “I just have an old-school mindset,” she said at the time. “Also, girls I look up to, like Jennifer Lawrence, Rooney Mara, and Alicia Vikander, don’t have it, and it hasn’t affected their careers remotely.”
Elizabeth Olsen didn’t feel that she was the right voice to speak up in all of these situations. She said that people who do feel that they should passionately use their platforms should do so, but that she wasn’t the right person.
Olsen went on to say that the entitlement of that mindset felt wrong to her and she worried about the narcissistic viewpoint developing as she constantly had to think, “Something just happened in the world. Do I need to post about it?” You can see the interview with Elizabeth Olsen below. The video is set to start at the 6:48 minute mark, where she addresses leaving social media.
When Elizabeth Olsen first quit Instagram, she did so quietly. Many assumed in the fall of 2020 that she was possibly stressed out and would later return. While many celebrities quit social media and don’t come back, almost as many do just need a break.
Of course, others suspected that fan harassment had chased Olsen away from social media. At the time, Marvel actor Chadwick Boseman had only recently passed away in August.
While many Marvel Cinematic Universe actors posted about the actor’s death, Olsen did not. Of course, everyone grieves differently. However, many fans found this disrespectful and had started harassing her on Instagram shortly before she abandoned the platform.
Elizabeth Olsen didn’t cite Boseman’s passing or harassment while addressing her decision to quit Instagram, but she did say that she left because she didn’t feel hers was the right voice to post on all things. Due to the timing, with Chadwick Boseman’s recent passing, the Instagram comments demanding she post about it may have been a contributing factor to her overall decision, even if that wasn’t the central issue.
Prior to the backlash she received for the apparent Chadwick Boseman slight, Ms. Olsen had been fighting with her decision to stay on social media or to go. Back in 2018, the Marvel star told Harper’s Bazaar, “Every day I think I should delete it. I still don’t know why I’m on it, then I think well ‘I guess I want to promote Avengers, and then I find myself putting something private up there, and I think, ‘This is stupid, why did I do that? I should delete it immediately.’”
ELIZABETH OLSEN SAYS SHE WILL NOT RETURN TO SOCIAL MEDIA
As for whether Elizabeth Olsen will return to the platform, she says that will never happen. She seemed fairly confident in this assertion. At this point, it doesn’t seem like her career demands it.
She is fresh off of success on the Disney+ series WandaVision. She also starred in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, where she admittedly says her character was “bonkers“. And, with the success and popularity of her character, there is talk of a future solo movie (though that is unlikely now). As a busy actress for Marvel, being a social media influencer sounds like it’s at the bottom of her list of priorities.
Despite the fact that deleting her Instagram doesn’t appear to be hurting her career, the actress is still asked about it in many of her interviews. Prior to deleting the account, she was asked why she didn’t post more often. In 2018, she said that she thought she needed it to promote Marvel movies when she was in them, but that wasn’t really her thing.
She didn’t enjoy creating a “perceived identity”, and while she starred in a movie largely about Instagram culture (Ingrid Goes West) she never could get into it herself.
Thumbing her nose at social media hasn’t hurt her standing in projects outside of Marvel either. Up next for Ms. Olsen is the HBO Max series, Love and Death. The story is based on a real-life Wylie, Texas ax murder. In it, Ms. Olsen plays housewife Candy Montgomery while Lily Rabe plays her best friend Betty Gore. One of them picks up the ax, while the other gets the ax.
HER SISTERS, MARY-KATE AND ASHLEY DON’T HAVE SOCIAL MEDIA EITHER
Elizabeth Olsen is not the only famous Olsen who has decided not to partake in Instagram or any other social media. You can also include her famous twin sisters, Mary-Kate and Ashley, as two more who have steered clear of the social media frenzy. In fact, they have stayed so far away that they can claim to never have had a social media account. Ever.
The notoriously private Olsen twins have made it clear in the past that they have no desire to jump into social media. “We’ve spent our whole lives trying to not let people have that accessibility, so it would go against everything we’ve done in our lives,” Mary-Kate said ten years ago in an interview with The Row. Six years later, in a 2017 The Edit interview, Ashley reiterated their disinterest in social media. “We don’t dive into that world [of social media]; we don’t have Instagram or Facebook. We’ve stayed quite sheltered in that sense.”
Now, younger sister Elizabeth is following in her sisters’ footsteps. While there are many of us who’d love nothing more to see Ms. Olsen post daily on the most mundane things going on in her life, she doesn’t need social media and has no plans on firing up her Instagram account again. Good for her.