In September, John Mayer made a decision that fans have had mixed reactions about, and for good reason. He deleted his frequently updated Twitter account, leaving 3.7 million followers in the dust. Mayer is no stranger to controversy, and faced some drama after making certain comments to Playboy magazine earlier in the year, but the seemingly disconnected Twitter deletion happened long after that backlash was said and done. Things were fairly calm in John Mayer’s world, and his 140-character or less updates were almost as frequent as always, commonly giving fans a much-appreciated glance inside his personal world.
Why did John Mayer delete his Twitter? Well, the official word was that the Battle Studies tour was ending and he was planning a return to the studio. This, however, makes very little sense when you think about it. If he simply needed to focus on his work, there is no reason why he couldn’t have left the page up and running and updated it less frequently, or even took a break from it. He continues to update his Tumblr, Facebook, and website, all of which seem to be unscathed by this return to the studio.
Celebrities, and even us mere mortals seem to be getting to a point in the social networking craze that is making us wonder what the boundaries should be, what exactly privacy is, and when enough should be enough. We are torn between the desire to promote ourselves or communicate with our friends and the desire to live a private life, which quickly develops into a love-hate relationship with social networking websites. In an era when families can be torn apart by Facebook status updates, is putting ourselves out there really worth the risk? It is possible that Mayer took a moment to examine this question in his own life, and came up with an answer that surprised many people.
Twitter is especially susceptible to this phenomenon when we find ourselves wondering how much is too much to share, because the average user tends to update several times a day about various personal topics and thoughts. John Mayer, as a frequent user of Twitter with 3.7 million fans, probably felt the pressure to update several times a day, at the same time dealing with the nagging feeling that he should be spending more time sharing music and less time sharing one-liners with his fans. Perhaps by taking the plunge and deleting his Twitter, he is shifting his perspective back onto his music, which is a cause for celebration, not speculation.