As Spider-Man, Tom Holland can sling webs and defeat villains who sometimes resemble trolls, but unfortunately his fictional powers are useless on the World Wide Web, where rogue internet trolls use screen names to hide their identities instead of hiding.
Over the years, Holland has developed a love-hate relationship with the internet. While speaking with Daniel Kaluuya for Variety’s Actors on Actors series, he recalled nervously waiting to see if he got the part of Peter Parker when he saw a series of online polls that said, that fans didn’t want to see him in Parker’s Spidey suit. Then he found out from an article on the Internet that he had gotten the role. “I broke my computer by throwing it in the air. He fell off my bed, my dog went nuts,” he said. But with great power comes great meme ability. Speaking to BBC Radio 1, Holland recalled how his fans mercilessly poked fun at the way he pronounces “croissant,” which sounds more like “quackson” to them. Luckily, he finds their amusement amusing — even if the joke is a bit worn. “I’m a walking meme,” he joked.
After a photo of Holland and his girlfriend Zendaya closing lips went viral, Holland discovered another downside to his internet obsession. “We felt kind of robbed of our privacy,” he said. Now he’s following Zendaya’s lead by taking a much-needed break from social media.
Tom Holland has a hard time reading about himself online
In a 2021 interview with InStyle, Zendaya explained why she takes a break from social media every now and then, saying, “I’m too overwhelmed with having to post things and if I think about it too much, I will.” don’t do it. It’s not worth it.” In a video shared by Tom Holland on his Instagram page, the “Spider-Man: No Way Home” star announced that he’s starting his own social media for a similar reason – will take a break. “I’m taking a break from social media for mental health reasons because I find Instagram and Twitter over-stimulating and overwhelming,” he said.
But while Zendaya struggles with the pressure to post, Holland finds another aspect of social media damaging. “I get trapped and spiral when I read things about myself online and it ends up being very detrimental to my mental state,” he explained. Holland revealed his break had already begun, but he returned to Instagram to promote UK-based charity stem4, which provides resources for teenagers dealing with their own mental health issues. While many of his followers let him know they were sorry to see him go, he received a surge of support in the comments. “Love you man,” Justin Bieber wrote.
We don’t know if Zendaya encouraged Holland to go dark on social media, but in 2017 Holland told BBC Radio 1 that she helped him become more comfortable with his fame.