As if it were of his many beautiful but long-gone protégés from over the years, Prince's brief, flirtatious relationship with social media may suddenly be over. For reasons not yet explained, the mini-giant of Minnesota music took both his Facebook and Twitter accounts off the grid overnight, and he has also taken down most of the recent videos that were on his YouTube channel.

The move seems conspicuously timed to the news out of Ferguson, Mo. It looks as if the now-shuttered Twitter account, @3rdEyeGirl, tweeted some kind of peaceful plea over the situation based on responsive tweets, such as this one from @Lizziebvicious: "you are right! Music! Heart! Soul!!! When we are violent!! They control us!"

That scenario cannot be confirmed, though, because all of the @3rdEyeGirl tweets are no longer viewable. The same goes for all postings on the 3rdEyeGirl Facebook page and the official Prince page on Facebook, which had garnered 1.75 million viewers in just about two months. Prince was supposed to take a personal approach to the page with a much-ballyhooed fan Q&A when his two new albums were released in late September, but he only wound up answering one question (and his answer was merely a link to an article). He also hosted a "Global Party" via YouTube that was heavily promoted via his social-media outlets, but similarly wound up being a bust.

Other fans are guessing that the move might be because Prince is already ready to move on and focus attention on a new project. A new Twitter account that may or may not be officially affiliated with the little big guy, @PurpleEssence, sent out a tweet that read, "B PATIENT FRIENDS," and linked to a blog post that mentions a new jazz/funk/soul album under the moniker NPRQ.

Requests for an explanation from a variety of Prince representatives have not yet been returned. The singer has repeatedly voiced his dislike and all-out distrust of the internet, but he seemed to be turning a corner around these latest albums. Or was it a dead-end?