"Enjoy it before it destroys your soul" – why Trent Reznor, Joe Bonamassa and Jack White are withdrawing from social media channels

Joe Bonamassa
(Image credit: Alberto Rodriguez / Jim Steinfeldt/Michael Ochs / Mauricio Santana / Getty Images)

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Best of 2022: While Jack White has recently made it clear that he's leaving Twitter due to Elon Musk's decision to reinstate Donald Trump's account, Trent Reznor is the latest musician to close his account on the platform. Meanwhile, in a now deleted Instagram post Joe Bonamassa stated he will no longer be personally posting on his social media accounts. So what's going on?

Reznor's reasons for leaving Twitter don't just reference the 'billionaire class' to take a swipe at Musk's recent takeover of the social media platform, but what he perceives to be the negative climate of the social media channel in general. 

“I’m about to depart," stated Reznor before closing his Twitter account on Sunday (20 November). "We don’t need the arrogance of the billionaire class to feel like they can just come in and solve everything. Even without him involved, I just find that it has become such a toxic environment. For my mental health, I need to tune out. I don’t feel good being there anymore.

Although Reznor used his Twitter account infrequently, despite having 1.6 million followers, he remains an influential voice for musicians and the wider music world alongside White who outlined his own reasons for leaving Twitter in an Instagram post on 20 November. 

Twitter CEO and largest shareholder Musk has since responded to Reznor's move in a reply to a Tweet, admitting he's a fan of his music but branding him a 'crybaby' for quitting the platform.

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In a follow-up Tweet Musk also suggested the Oscar-winning musician might be better suited to online marketplace Etsy. 

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White and Reznor are clearly not the only musicians grappling with their places on social media right now. Joe Bonamassa yesterday announced – in a now deleted Instagram post captured and transcribed by Killer Guitar Rigs – that he intended to step away from posting personally on social media following negative comments from a small minority of followers on his Instagram – at least one referring to Bonamassa's physical appearance in a playing video the bluesman posted over the weekend. The user later deleted their comment. 

This isn’t what I signed up for eight years ago

“So, after sleeping on this I have come to a conclusion. Last night I allowed a few clowns [Bonamassa tagged a user he identified as being involved in the post at this point that we're choosing to omit] being one of them to cause me to go onstage angry. That is not fair to you the fans.”

“Also, This isn’t what I signed up for eight years ago," wrote Bonamassa. "Social media has become such a distraction for me. This place feels like it has the maturity of high school and I fear I am gonna be provoked one day into saying something i might regret.

“So I’m leaving this wonderful place to the influencers and good looking. Enjoy it before it destroys your soul. I will see you in real life somewhere down the road and in Riverside tonight.

“Any posts on this page going forward will not be from me. Thanks for the eight years."

Fans were quick to voice their dismay, with many continuing to urge Bonamassa to reconsider his decision. We hope he does too, as he brings plenty of guitar history education to his posts, as well as his playing.


Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.