Agent Carter star and queen of our hearts Hayley Atwell has deleted her Twitter and Instagram accounts, wishing to keep her private life, well, private.
“Thanks for following! Leaving Twitter now. Its been a blast. Follow @GeoffreyColo and @ACwritersroom for AC updates,” Hayley Atwell wrote two days ago, shortly before she deleted her Twitter account — and all the amazing things (and videos!) she’s shared with us.
When fans came out in droves to express their sadness and support, Atwell added, “Must make it clear, no ‘trolls’ have chased me away, I’ve just decided to leave to be more present and private. Thanks for following!”
This is a sharp turn of strategy, considering how extraordinary generous Hayley Atwell has been with her social media presence over the past year. Not only did she often retweet fans and respond to them, but she shared countless behind-the-scenes videos and images from the Agent Carter set (which Hypable recently visited), that extended beyond just the Agent Carter and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. casts’ incredible Dubsmash battle.
Through Atwell’s Instagram and Twitter accounts we got to see her and her co-stars mess around between takes, playing pranks on each other, and making fans feel included in the production process, in a way few public personas have done before. In fact, it wouldn’t be a stretch to suggest that Atwell’s social media presence has added to the success and popularity of Agent Carter, which has an unusually strong fan following online.
But the more you share of yourself online, the more you open yourself up to the dark side of the Internet, and we can’t even imagine what kinds of messages come through to someone as open and inclusive as Hayley Atwell. Both the support and the hate must take its toll.
She insisted that it wasn’t the trolls that chased her away and we (of course) believe that, but the possessiveness and directness from fans has, at times, proven to be too much for the actress. A few months back, Atwell blocked a follower who called her ‘mom,’ writing “This ‘mom’ calling business is creepy. Consider yourself blocked, people!”
And, let’s be real: the Internet is a vicious timesuck, and while online networks can be both wonderful and enriching, social media can sometimes do more harm than good. We don’t blame Hayley Atwell for needing a break (which is hopefully not permanent) from it all, in order to focus on the real, tangible life that’s right in front of her. In fact, we should all have the courage to quit the Internet cold turkey. Imagine how much stuff we’d get done!
But while we understand and respect Hayley Atwell’s decision, we’re still fans, and we can’t help but wish that she hadn’t gone as far as purging and deleting her social media accounts. Because now, not only will we not get any more updates from her, but all those amazing insights into life on the set of Agent Carter are lost forever*.
One of the best things about being a fan is knowing that the cast and crew of your favorite show actually like each other and get on in real life, and getting to know — however fragmented and superficial that knowledge might be — the people behind the characters you love and identify with.
The Internet will be a less bright place without you, Hayley Atwell! Say hi to real life for us.
‘Agent Carter’ returns for season 2 in 2016
(*It’s all probably still on Tumblr somewhere.)