Social media has become a big part of human life and how an individual uses it can speak to their current state in life. McKayla Maroney was a big Instagram user, with millions of followers appreciating every post but in 2017, she deleted her account, leaving fans who had gotten used to catching up with her life on the platform confused.
After two years, McKayla Maroney returned to Instagram, followed by a rapturous welcome from fans and observers who had missed her on the platform. But, why did she leave in the first place and why did she decide to return? We answer these questions below.
Why Did McKayla Maroney Delete Her Instagram Account?
In September 2017, McKayla Maroney deleted her Instagram account, @mckaylamaroney. McKayla, who is a former gymnast, had gotten popular after she went viral during the 2012 Summer Olympics when she was photographed on the medal podium looking disappointed and unimpressed.
Since then, she has remained a popular figure in American sports and on social media, where she dazzled her fans with pictures of herself in various moments. As a gymnast, she competed at the Olympics, the World Championships and in the City of Jesolo Trophy, winning 10 medals, nine of which were gold.
Even after her retirement from gymnastics in 2016, she remained popular, rising to over one million followers on her Instagram account.
However, her social media journey came to an abrupt stop in 2017, after she alleged that the USA Gymnastics doctor, Larry Nassar had molested her repeatedly, starting from the age of 13 until her retirement.
She made the allegations under the umbrella of the #Metoo Movement, where several women came forward, reporting incidents of sexual abuse by co-workers and men in positions of power.
Aside from the allegations, she also filed a lawsuit against USA Gymnastics, Michigan State University, and United States Olympic Committee, accusing them of covering up the sexual abuse by offering her $1.25 million in a confidentiality agreement, which she accepted.
The backlash from the allegations, as well as the mental stress of testifying in court against Nassar, caused McKayla Maroney to step away from social media, leaving Instagram, reducing the frequency of her posts on Twitter, before going on a complete hiatus a year after.
Thankfully, even though she was no longer on Instagram to celebrate with her fans, Larry Nassar was sentenced to more than 100 years in prison, after her statement and that of other gymnasts sparked an investigation that revealed he had more than 37,000 images of child pornography, as well as a video of him molesting underage girls. He was sentenced in January 2018, 16 months after McKayla Maroney posted her allegation on social media.
Fans expected McKayla to return to Instagram after the sentencing, as a ceremonious return for the triumph of justice, but she did not, until September 2019, two years after she left.
How McKayla Maroney Came Back
Many fans of McKayla Maroney had accepted the total absence of the former gymnast from their Instagram and Twitter timelines. Although she made a temporary return to Twitter in January 2019, when she tweeted about the death of her father, a tweet she deleted shortly after, she did not return to the social media platform again until August 8, when she posted a car side selfie.
While fans on Twitter got the intermittent presence of McKayla Maroney on their timeline during her social media hiatus, she did not post on Instagram until September 2019, when she shared several stories of herself hanging out with her friend.
According to the post, McKayla Maroney was ‘forced’ back on social media by her friend. Since she returned, she has published multiple posts, proving that it is not a temporary return, McKayla is back for good.
It remains to be seen what McKayla would do now that she is back on social media but one thing is certain, she is focused on the future. We may not be getting a new viral meme from the Olympic gold medalist, but we might see her in a couple of films and TV shows, having made her debut as an actress in 2012, on the show, Hart of Dixie.
She appeared in six episodes of the show between 2012 and 2015, during which she made a guest appearance on an episode of Bones.