Is Jennifer Lawrence’s ‘I-Don’t-Participate’ Social Media Strategy For Real?


Call it the uncola of social media. Jennifer Lawrence now says that she will never join Twitter because the Internet “scorned” her. This headline-making announcement comes a few months after Lawrence was the victim of hackers who posted nude photographs of her on the Web, and less than two weeks before her latest “Hunger Games” installment is released.

Speaking on BBC Radio, along with her “Hunger Games” cast members, Lawrence said, “I’m not very good on phone or technology. I cannot really keep up with emails so the idea of Twitter is so unthinkable to me.”

She added: "I don't really understand what it is, it's like this weird enigma that people talk about. It's fine, I respect that, but no, I'll never get Twitter. If you ever see a Facebook or Instagram or Twitter that says it's me, it's not me."

Is this all by design? We don’t question Lawrence’s sincerity in wanting to shun social media. But the timing is a bit curious, what with the announcement coming less than two weeks before her latest movie hits the screens. (It’s not as if Lawrence is going for a total media blackout, as the cover story about her in the October issue of Vanity Fair may indicate.)

Lawrence’s move is in stark contrast to the social media strategy now being deployed by pop star Taylor Swift, which holds a few valuable lessons for communicators.

At the same time Lawrence’s decision provides some takeaway for PR pros. While we would not advise brands and organizations to avoid social media platforms altogether, Lawrence’s decision could inspire companies to be a bit more selective with the kind of content that they post on their social channels.

It also shows that if brands give stakeholders a good reason for wanting to back off from their social channels, they may generate even more attention than they would have by posting the content in the first place. It’s reverse engineering on the so-called fear of missing out (FOMO).

Saying you want to miss out can pique the interest of a lot of people, investors and fans. It separates you from the hoi polloi on social media.

Follow Matthew Schwartz on Twitter: @mpsjourno1