By Ahmad Muto
City comedian Conan Tumusiime was by far one of the most active public figures on Ugandan Twitter until two weeks ago when he pulled the plug. He had built quite a following hitting 20k followers and kept them active daily with tweets and arguments on a range of topics – politics, technology, social issues like feminism, marriage, co-habiting – that he laced with polarising anecdotes and humour. Some arguments he started on the app lasted for days, even a week, causing serious divisions.
However, he has cited exhaustion as the reason for his decision to quit and now feels better after years of procrastinating.
“Been living with the thought for about two years. I finally had the guts to pull it off. Maybe, I will get back like in two years or four, but with someone to manage it for me. It is exhausting,” he explained.
Last year, Tumusiime was ranked among other media personalities in an Ipsos Uganda quarter one 2020 ranking of media personalities and houses as one of the most influential. Deejays and presenters featured prominently. He featured in quarter one alongside Canary Mugume, Lynda Ddane, DJ Aludah and Selector Jay. He argued at the time that the numbers were largely driven by advertisers looking to break the barrier of traditional advertising.
Local and international public figures have joined and quit social media the last couple of years for a number of reasons, some as extreme as protecting their mental health.
Singer Fille is one of the few people that have selectively used social media avoiding some for personal reasons. Three months ago, she revealed that she is not on Facebook and all those accounts under her name are fake. American singer, Lizzo quit Twitter last year saying she was sick of trolls and only if she feels better will she return. Singer Miley Cyrus also cleared her Instagram page in 2018 and took a break.
Saturday Night Live star comedian Pete Davidson deleted his Instagram page in 2018 because of negative comments from angry fans after he broke up with singer Ariana Grande.
Meanwhile, rapper Kanye West is famous for deactivating and reactivating his social media pages.