When people disappear from the internet

24th May 2016

When people disappear from the internet

At some point over the last couple of weeks, one of my favourite home and lifestyle bloggers disappeared from the internet.

I noticed that she hadn’t been posting on Instagram but I just thought that the new Instagram changes meant I wasn’t seeing her posts. But then I looked at her blog and other social media accounts but they had all been shut down.

Questions started running through my brain. Why has she gone? What happened? Is she okay? Is her daughter okay?

It might seem crazy to an outside that I’m so worried and curious about a blogger leaving the internet, but I guess when you’ve read someone’s blog for so many years, and you’ve had conversations with them on social media, it’s natural to worry.

And I’m just a worrier.

I should be used to it by now. I’ve been building website and blogging in some form or another for 8 years now, and during this time I’ve seen a lot of bloggers come and go.

When someone disappears from the internet, out of the blue without any explanation, it’s a very strange thing. You do start to ask questions about what happened, and try to find them again in hope that they might have just need a little break from blogging and social media.

There have been many times when something triggers me to think about a blogger who disappeared. For instance just the other week I saw a box set of True Blood for sale and it made me think about a blogger I used to know who was obsessed with the TV series. She even influenced me to read the books.

I remember a two bloggers who were both incredible at graphic design and who inspired me to learn how to use Photoshop and to create beautiful imagery. They both stopped writing their blogs without any notice, but I still think about their blogs and their design work to this day.

I even think back as far back as the Piczo days to fellow users who I befriended and chatted to frequently. So many people stopped using Piczo when it was taken over and turned into a blogging platform, and I always wonder if any of these people went on to build their own websites or start blogs after Piczo changed.

I don’t know, I just think it’s interesting. It’s interesting how I still think about these people online who I never met in person, and still wonder what happened to them. It’s crazy how much of an impact some people have on our lives.

I really hope that the blogger I mentioned at the beginning of this posts returns to the internet in some form, even just to tell us what happened and why she disappeared. Really it’s absolutely none of my business, and people have ever right to leave the internet if they wish, but I’m just curious, and also worried.

Have you ever been in this situation? Have you ever been left wondering what happened to a blogger you liked after they left the internet?

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  1. OMG. This is me. So much. I go through my comments, lots of emails and correspondence from bloggers who were not just acquaintances but who were my friends. Sometimes their domains simply expired and I never heard from them again. I looked them up on Twitter, LinkedIn even, wondering if they actually remembered me. But I often wonder how people can just disappear and stop posting. You’re not the only one :) I think most people come back and are surprised to find that I’m still around because I’ve been around for ages. Haha.

    • Holly

      I can never remember people’s surnames (or just didn’t find them out in the first place) and it becomes so much harder to find them elsewhere online. I remember a blogger I followed who was ill and who stopped writing her blog, but I managed to find her on Facebook and I was so happy just to know she was well.

      I’ve still follow a few people from the Piczo days on twitter and they always say “I can’t believe you’re still blogging!”

  2. Andrea Thompson

    This hasn’t happened to me yet, but I totally get what you mean. Some Bloggers feel like friends to me (and I’m not talking about Bloggers I’ve met irl or Bloggers I’ve “talked” to on social media, merely Bloggers whose blogs I’ve read for a long time) even though they don’t even read my blog or know I exist! I think when you’ve read a blog for so long and you kind of share that persons travels, weddings, pregnancies, stresses, joys etc as well as their latest haul or product recommendation, it’s only natural to wonder where they have gone and be worried – I hope you find out what’s happened xxx

    • Holly

      It’s weird how close we become to people who don’t even know we exist, isn’t it?

      I hope I can find out what happened too. I’m probably just over thinking things!

  3. I can totally relate! There is a blogger who I specifically remember because she was such a good friend right when I started blogging. We became really close and then her domain expired and she never renewed it. Or, if she changed websites I missed it. I always wonder where old blogging friends are now. I always hope the best for them and that maybe in the future I can hear from them again. It’s just a bit more difficult keeping in touch once they leave – it’s not like you can hop in the car and go say hi. ;)

    • Holly

      I always wonder if bloggers who leave their original blogs ever set up another blog elsewhere under a different name, but it’s virtually impossible to know. Especially because a lot of bloggers don’t share their full names online.

  4. I saw people just leaving and I wondered why. I think is natural to be concerned when things like this happen. Maybe you can send her an email, if she has it on her contact page.

    • Holly

      I wish I could email her but unfortunately her entire website has gone and so I can’t find her email address. :(

  5. Oh this always happens with me. So many bloggers from over the years have disappeared suddenly. I tend to disappear that way too, if my blog expires or something but once I’m back I make it a point to contact those whom I consider my friends! :D

    • Holly

      I think it’s great that you make that effort. I always think I’m over reacting when I write a post when I’m about to take a break, even if it’s just for a week, but I just don’t want people to worry, haha!

  6. You sound just like me! I have seen lots of bloggers close up shop and disappear from the Internet and I still think about some of them. When you read someone’s blog for an extended period of time you get to know them and their lives and follow them through both good and bad times. It’s no wonder you feel a connection to the person. :)

    Many years ago I used to follow a blogger that suddenly stopped posting, nothing unusual in itself, but then when a new post finally was published several months later it wasn’t from her. It was her family members saying the blogger had died in a car accident and had only now realized they should probably get access to her online stuff and tell her Internet friends. The blog turned into a memorial site soon after. Of course there’s no way of knowing if it was true, but it seemed very genuine.
    It wasn’t someone I was close to or talked to frequently, but it still shook me up a bit. Now whenever someone disappears from the Internet I get slightly worried and hope that the reason they’re gone is just time constraints or a change of interests and not something bad happening.

    • Holly

      Oh my goodness, that’s so sad. I can imagine that it must have really shook you.

      I remember when a blogger I followed announced she cancer and I spent the week after her surgery constantly checking her blog to see if she would post again. Fortunately she did but it was still a really scary time.

  7. Susanne

    Oh yes, I’ve experienced this several times, especially with a girl who kind of became a good friend and she was a bit like me, jumped between domains and platforms, but I managed to follow her around but then she disappeared from her social media accounts too and I kind of got worried. But now at least she’s re-appeared on Twitter so I can see that she’s ok. I miss her blog a lot though.

  8. Cat

    I wonder the same things, not just about bloggers but also about friends I made through online games. It’s a weird feeling when the only way you knew how to contact them is not an option anymore because they stopped logging on or closed their sites and social media. You can’t help but wonder why and if they’re ok. Sometimes I wonder the same thing about myself. What if something happened to me? Would people I only know online eventually find out what happened?

    I kind of take comfort in knowing that I have the emails and/or phone numbers of online friends that I have gotten closer to. If they ever erased their online presence, I hope that I can still contact them through email or phone.

  9. It’s an interesting situation. I totally get that when you read someones blog long enough you begin to know them personally. I haven’t had my blog more than two years, but I’ve had my tumblr for going on eight years, and there are people on there who simply vanished. It’s easy to understand, in a way, social media is really demanding. Normally the people are okay and just want to spend more time focusing on other things. I hope that is true for all your missing bloggers!