There's a time and a place for everything — especially reaching out to your favorite celebrities. What was once reserved for the red carpet, fan mail, or meet-and-greets, has evolved into hashtags, @-mentions, and the infamous comment section to get a celeb's attention. But, while social media has provided greater accessibility to Hollywood's elite, some stars would rather use their platforms to showcase their hobbies, their advocacy work, and other interests off-camera. Actor Milo Ventimiglia decided to quit Instagram after noticing his followers were overlooking his photography hobby in favor of inquiring about his next big role, he explained in an interview with the Associated Press.
"Nobody was looking at the photos," he said. "They were asking me about my acting jobs. And I kind of went, 'Oh, man.' It felt like it'd lost what I'd grown to love about it as a photographer."
The 39-year-old explained he initially loved Instagram because it allowed "a collective group of photographers and artists to share their work, and their lives." However, he said he saw a shift after 'gramming for about three years and decided to post one final shot of the Los Angeles skyline at night with the caption, "Finito" to bid farewell to the app for good.
"I realized, 'Wow, this capsule is done.' I just finished it and I don't need to open it back up to promote the work or anything," he told the AP. "I felt like an artist who had a series and he just finished it."
It's not uncommon for a celebrity to take full advantage of social media to promote their latest show, give a sneak peek into their family lives, or sell a detox tea, teeth-whiting device, or a waist trainer. There's no shame in the side-hustle game! It gives a star more exposure and more money in their pocket. And a glimpse of a celebrity's significant other or their kids always helps humanize even the biggest of A-listers.
But what Ventimiglia managed to do is see this shift as an unfulfilling means to an end as an artist. That's not to say that he wanted praise for his photography from his 590 thousand followers, but rather an opportunity for his fans to see him and relate to him in a different light. He's more than the brooding bad boy Jess from Gilmore Girls or the doting dad Jack from This Is Us.
There's no doubt Ventimiglia can take an artsy selfie or add just the right filter to make a photo really pop, so it's understandable that he would want to share his skills with the world without too much interference from the crazy fandom that has followed his acting success. But until social media users can expand their view to see actors with multiple interests as someone more than their teenage crush or a fictitious character they've come to know and love, more stars may begin to unplug for the sake of their art.