Elon Musk surprised his 35 million Twitter followers on Monday night when he announced he was taking a break from the platform.
The message was short and sweet, and offered no explanation as to why he’d decided to step back from the microblogging site, or when he might be back.
Off Twitter for a while
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 2, 2020
The timing may be seen as interesting by some. The SpaceX and Tesla CEO has, after all, courted controversy in the past with some of his Twitter posts. So it’s possible he’s taken advice — or decided for himself — to steer clear of the site during a particularly turbulent time as protests and social unrest continue in multiple states following the police-custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week.
But Musk isn’t one to shy away from controversy, so other factors could also be at play. The billionaire entrepreneur may simply want some time off following an intense period of activity in recent weeks that included a dispute with the authorities over the reopening of his Tesla manufacturing plant in California following coronavirus-related stay-at-home orders, and also a critical SpaceX mission involving the first astronaut launch using the Crew Dragon spacecraft.
He also recently become a father again, and so may want to spend more time with his new son without thinking about his next Twitter post.
Musk’s penultimate post was a retweet 10 hours earlier of a NASA tweet linked to the recent Crew Dragon trip to the International Space Station.
Besides Monday’s post, his last personal tweet came on May 31 to announce that the Crew Dragon had successfully docked with the space station.
The response to Musk’s five-word tweet was mixed, with some wishing him a nice break, and others saying in no uncertain terms how happy they were about his decision.
We will miss you.
— JT Lewis (@thejtlewis) June 2, 2020
— Frei Cuing (@SecretQMafia) June 2, 2020
Take care. U deserve a break
— Viv (@flcnhvy) June 2, 2020
no one cares, dude
— Toonimated (@Toonimated) June 2, 2020