The internet is a great place for those of us who use it for all the right reasons. Now, my definition of right may differ to yours and that’s perfectly fine. But what isn’t fine is the entire concept of online hating and trolling.
Twitter especially in the recent years has become a growing platform for this.
Don’t get me wrong, Twitter is my favourite place on the internet. It’s my morning substitute for a newspaper and it helps me keep in touch with friends I’ve made from ridiculously different timezones to mine (thank you for group chats, Twitter!). Twitter was founded quite a while back but I think it really gained its popularity when it became a platform for the fandoms we have nowadays. It’s become a mean for artists to keep in touch with their fans and always stay on top of what each other are thinking. It’s been a way to bounce of ideas and really feel like you’re part of a bigger community.
Earlier today however, this sense of community seemed to be a little less than what I’m normally used to. I’ve been a One Direction fan since the boys’ first X Factor auditions got aired on TV in the UK. I was 13 at the time and alike so many, 16 year-old Harry Styles was simply the most magnificent thing my eyes had ever come across. 5 years later and nothing has changed. I’ve always been very supportive of the boys and been through some pretty dark days. I’d make a list but let’s be honest, the 25th of March this year tops Haylor by a milestone (no offence to any Haylor shippers!). The boys released the name of their new album today, Made in the A.M, as well as releasing their new song, Infinity. Naturally, I fangirled like mad and sent out a bunch of tweets on my fan twitter account. I fangirled over Niall’s solo start, over Louis and then I got to Harry’s chorus.
In the heat of the moment and overwhelmed with what most of us know as ‘feels’, I wrote this tweet.
“NO HATE but let’s admit, Harry OWNED that song! All I heard was Harry! Harry will save this band. This album. This fandom. This world.”
When someone sings the chorus, it sticks in your head and when that someone happens to be your favourite member in the band, it sticks to your head even more.
This tweet was a simple case of my fangirling. I didn’t mean to offend any of the other boys or belittle them. I love all 4 One Direction boys (an our ex One Direction boy).
I continued replaying the song after this tweet, not having any knowledge of what I’d supposedly done. I received a lot of retweets very quickly and was happy about it.
And then came the sudden string of mean tweets… Out of nowhere. One by one more and more people started quoting my tweet to the point where I couldn’t keep up with my phone.
I’d heard of twitter trolls previously but never in my life had I had a first-hand experience with them. I was upset and embarrassed to say the least but most of all, I was disappointed at how ruthless some of the tweets to me were.
This may be the first time it’s happened to be but certainly not the first time it’s ever happened. Hundreds of people are attacked on a daily basis because of one tweet people misunderstand them for. It’s mean and incredibly hurtful and these ‘trolls’ as such are yet to realise that there is a living, breathing human person on the other end of your screen who is seeing the things you say to them. Telling someone to die or kill themselves is in no way, shape or form acceptable.
We’re part of such an amazing and groundbreaking generation! It’s a shame things like cyber-bullying still exist. You’re always tougher behind a screen than you are in person when it comes to saying crude things to people without knowing them. The best thing is to just not do it based purely on pre-conception! This applies to any fandom and all fandoms! To anyone!
Please think before you type.