Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said taking time off social media while recovering from COVID-19 has made her less interested in using Twitter.
Ocasio-Cortez was asked on her Instagram story on Jan. 31 if she would be returning to the platform.
“When I got COVID, I turned off all my devices … I found that when I went to open Twitter up again it just wasn’t really making me feel,” she said before a cut in the video interrupted the end of her sentence. “So I mean literally I would go to open the app and I almost felt like anxious.”
“People like kind of fight and gossip — all this other stuff so much,” she added. “And there’s a lot of negativity on there. But I’ll be back. Don’t worry. Just feel like a break.”
The 32-year-old has over 8 million followers on her personal Instagram. Her second Instagram profile, @repaoc, has 1.4 million followers.
Ocasio-Cortez, who announced she was positive for COVID-19 on Jan. 16, had previously said her symptoms were severe even though she is fully vaccinated.
She has typically been an active Twitter user and, on more than one occasion, a trending topic. Images of her “Tax The Rich” dress from the 2021 Met Gala in September set off a wave of backlash among the platform’s users.
The congresswoman told the Associates Press that message was meant to spark “a real conversation about fairness and equity in our system.” She added that the custom dress was loaned — not gifted — to her by designer Aurora James for the $35,000 per ticket event.
“But for many, Ocasio-Cortez’s political message just did not land,” noted MSNBC. “Both on the right and the far left, pundits and activists lambasted her for hobnobbing with billionaires and Hollywood celebrities.”
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) September 14, 2021
Thank goodness! Someone else gets it! When I put my "Stop world hunger" banner on my yacht people got all pissy! So I was toasting the military industrial complex with fine wines..big whoop..the medium was the message as u said!
— Squid Diddly (@SquidDiddly1989) September 14, 2021
Months later, images of the Democrat congresswoman and her boyfriend enjoying cocktails in Maimi while not wearing masks circulated on Twitter.
Many felt she was acting hypocritically, as her travel coincided with a surge in COVID-19 cases in her home district.
AOC responded in her own post on Dec. 31 by saying the backlash was really Republicans “projecting their sexual frustrations” because they could not date her.
If Republicans are mad they can’t date me they can just say that instead of projecting their sexual frustrations onto my boyfriend’s feet.
Ya creepy weirdos https://t.co/Z7bZCgXpWJ
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) December 31, 2021
Her campaign then later sent out a fundraising email to her supporters saying contributions had lagged since the summer, per Fox News.
The congresswoman’s use of Twitter has also set her apart from other more traditional politicians. Forgoing a typical press release, her office regularly used the platform to announce new initiatives and policies as well as respond to major news events.
In 2018, Business Insider labeled her the most followed member of the House.
Ocasio-Cortez currently has 12.8 million followers on her personal Twitter account.