There’s finally an explanation behind Meghan Markle’s deleted Instagram, and it comes from the Duchess of Sussex herself. Meghan, 39, participated in Fortune’s Most Powerful Next Gen summit on October 13, during which she spoke candidly about her reason for leaving social media for good.
Before Meghan became the Duchess of Sussex, she ran her own lifestyle blog, The Tig. At the time, Meghan also starred on the USA Network drama, Suits, which earned her quite the following on her personal Instagram account. But Meghan’s social media presence changed when she married Prince Harry, 36, and became a member of the royal family. She swapped her personal accounts for an official Sussex profile—only, that account was eventually shut down, too, following her and Harry’s royal exit. Now that Meghan and Harry stepped down as senior working members of the royal family, there’s nothing explicitly barring them from having their own social media accounts again. But Meghan still has her reasons for staying off of Instagram.
“For my own self-preservation, I have not been on social media for a very long time,” she said during Fortune’s Next Gen Summit. “I had a personal account years ago, which I closed down, and then we had one through the institution and our office that was in the U.K. that wasn’t managed by us—that was a whole team—and so I think that comes with the territory for the job you have.”
But the Duchess added, “I’ve made a personal choice to not have any account, so I don’t know what’s out there, and in many ways that’s helpful for me.”
Meghan went on to express her “concerns” for those who have become obsessed with social media. “It is so much a part of our daily culture for so many people that it’s an addiction like many others. There are very few things in this world where you call the person who is engaging with it a user,” she explained. “People who are addicted to drugs are called users and people who are on social media are called users. There is something in there, algorithmically, that is creating this obsession.”
These concerns are completely understandable, especially coming from Meghan. On October 12, the Duchess of Sussex opened up about being the “most trolled person in the world in 2019” on the Teenager Therapy podcast. “I’m told that in 2019, I was the most trolled person in the entire world, male or female,” she shared at the time. “Now, eight months of that, I wasn’t even visible. I was on maternity leave with the baby. But what was able to just be manufactured and just churned out, it’s almost unsurvivable.”
Of course, social media is quite the breeding ground for trolls, and Meghan is probably wise to avoid it altogether. “Self-preservation” is really all that matters!