Michael Stipe Explains Why He’s Deleting His Instagram

Let’s all take a minute to congratulate R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe for leaving the toxic wasteland we call Instagram. In an interview with BBC Newsnight, Stipe talked about his plans to delete the app this week. “It’s definitely changing the way we approach each other and the way we approach problems,” he says. “Politics have been shaped by it, certainly in my country. We have a commander-in-chief who, rather than doing face-to-face interviews like this, would rather just tweet, which I find repellent and diminishing.”

“I’ve had enough of it. I think that we deserve better,” Stipe continues. “I feel like there might be a more generous platform to come along if enough people followed in my footsteps…I don’t like being tracked and followed.”

He acknowledges that we’re all complicit by “clicking the agree button,” but we need to examine the way we use social media. “The term ‘debate’ doesn’t even exist anymore in America. It’s just a bunch of people shouting and trying to rack up viewers,” Stipe says. Watch a clip from the interview below.

UPDATE (9/12): Michael Stipe has followed through on his promise and said sayonara to Instagram. With a video of some crickets, he’s gone! ” maintain that we deserve better platforms for expression and communion, as public and private spaces where we can gather and talk to each other (without feeling or sensing the obvious),” he wrote in his farewell post. Congrats, Michael!