Why Didn’t Luke Perry Have a Social Media Account?

Luke Perry, one of the Gen X’s most influential figures has died. Perry suffered a massive stroke on February 27 and passed away at age 52 five days later.

The actor’s low-key demeanor and smoldering good looks often prompted a comparison to actor James Dean. Perry found the comparison to be amusing saying, “I’m not James Dean,” Newsweek reports. “And no one else is, either.”

Luke Perry | Getty Images

Perry was fiercely private, especially in a society where celebrities maintain relevancy through their work but also through social media. Perry rose to fame in the early 90s, before social media was born. And even though Perry ultimately became a celebrity icon for his generation, he remained the same Midwestern guy who preferred a diet of rich novels versus endless tweets.

He always felt like an outsider

Even though Perry was a widely recognized actor, he insisted he always felt like an outsider. “I always felt like something of an outsider,” Newsweek recounts. “But I identified with people on the screen. That made me feel like I wanted to be up on the screen too. I felt like eventually, I would get there.”

He also considered himself to be lucky to become an actor. However, he never felt the need to align with a popular crowd. But, “I didn’t mind being on the outside. I was always looking forward or upwards, not in.”

Perry was born in Mansfield, Ohio and was named “biggest flirt” in his graduating class of 1984. He said his high school was nothing like West Beverly. “My high school was nothing like West Beverly High, let me tell you. I grew up in Fredericktown, Ohio.” He adds, “Growing up in the Midwest, people don’t drive Porsches and Ferraris. They drive Fords and Chevys. And so even if you have the opportunity to buy a more expensive car, it doesn’t occur to you because it’s not what you relate to.”

This was the kind of media he devoured

Perry told Adweek in 2013 he’d rather read a good book before bed than dig into Twitter. “I’ve been reading Man of God, Son of Thunder by Harold Schindler. It’s about a man named Orrin Porter Rockwell who was a badass in the Mormon Church. John Smith was shaking hands while this guy was kicking peoples’ asses.”

Luke Perry | Getty Images

Plus, at the time he refused to own an iPhone. “Well, I don’t have an iPhone, so it would have to be my iPad and watching Breaking Bad on iTunes. I try not to do that—I still patronize commercial television because that’s where I make my living—but at the same time, I have to catch up with Breaking Bad.”

He said his favorite app at the time was Skyview, which allowed you to look at the stars. “You hold it up to the stars, and it reads the constellations. It tells you specifically which constellation you’re looking at and shows you the location of the Hubble Space Telescope and the International Space Station.”

This is why he didn’t have a social media account

Most actors or highly visible personalities have at least one social media account. However, Perry didn’t think maintaining one was worth it.

“No social media,” he told Adweek. “Isn’t the basic concept of Twitter that you believe that so many people care about what you have to say that you have to post it on this world-wide medium? I’m not going there. I don’t think what I have to say is that important.”

Although Perry didn’t do social media, many of his friends did. And the tributes are just starting to pour in. Beverly Hills 90210 costar, Ian Ziering’s heartbreaking tribute was posted to Instagram. “Dearest Luke,
I will forever bask in the loving memories we’ve shared over the last thirty years. May your journey forward be enriched by the magnificent souls who have passed before you, just like you have done here for those you leave behind. God please give him a seat close to to you, he deserves it.” Riverdale co-star Molly Ringwald wrote on Twitter. “My heart is broken. I will miss you so much Luke Perry. Sending all my love to your family.”

Bravo producer Andy Cohen really summed up Perry’s spirit in his tweet. “We were all struck by how warm and generous he was that night. He seemed like a grateful dude. This is so sad and sudden.” No doubt more tributes will be flooding social media in the days and weeks to come.

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