Ed Helms said the downsides of social media outweigh the benefits so he’s “dipping out.” The Office star said social media can be a “dark, toxic place” and wants to avoid how it makes him feel.
“I have dipped in and out of social media for a bunch of years now,” he told the Associated Press. “I’m currently in a sort of dipping out phase. I’ve found it really fun at times, like, I’m a musician, and I like to play songs on Instagram here and there. … But it can be a really dark, toxic place to spend too much time. And I do find that it sours my mood sometimes, and then I’m just like, ‘why bother?'”
Though Ed Helms isn’t the first celebrity to say the hazards of social aren’t worth it. Most point to the constant harassment and bullying from online trolls. While others say that social media fuels “cancel culture,” which makes sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram a nightmare to navigate.
Conan O’Brien discussed the dichotomy of social media on his podcast Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend while speaking with Sean Penn.
“I’ve always described myself, I think I’m a 52 percent optimist,” O’Brien told Penn. “I do believe that everything that happened in the last year is going to inform us in the best way and is going to have a very valuable impact on the arts and is going to make things better and more inclusive. I believe in all that.”
But he and Penn agreed that it’s “ludicrous” to cancel someone for something that is now seen as inappropriate.
“When we’re destroying careers like that, what are we really achieving?” Penn asked.
Celebrities Say No One Is Safe From ‘Cancel Culture’
Several celebrities have also begged social media sites to do something about the culture of harassment online. Whoopi Goldberg said she was sick of seeing people using their platforms to attack others.
“Because there is cancel culture, people will call or text and say ‘I’m not buying your product,” The View host told Variety. “This is who you have talking about your product, me and my five million followers — if you keep her — we’re not going to buy your car, or we’re not going to buy your shampoo, or we’re not going to buy your toothbrush, or we’re not going to buy your Pampers.”
Though she’s just one of a host of comedians who changed their acts over fear someone could take offense.
“It’s very dicey. It’s very tricky,” David Spade said of doing comedy today. “You used to have to say anything to go as far as you could, to push the envelope, to get attention, and people would be like, ‘I like this guy. He’s pushing it.’ And in comedy clubs, audiences really appreciate that. … (But) now you say the one wrong move and you’re canceled. It’s a very tough world out there.”