MisdirectionPosted: April 5, 2014
There’s an old saying that states that the only certainties in life are death and taxes. In the early 21st century you can probably add “and One Direction fans will behave like complete idiots”.
I got no beef with the group, they do perfectly fine catchy pop music, although their cover of Blondie is an abomination of which we shall not speak. But their fans?
Seriously, as a group these teenage girls are capable of some massive lapses in judgement, sanity and basic decency online.
Researching this post (yeah, I do research, unbelievable, right?) I watched some of the Channel 4 documentary Crazy About One Direction, which featured a group of teenage girls spewing out their love for the group, creeping around hotels trying to find the boys and making statements that you know their future selves are going to cringe at.
It was loco. I get being a fan of stuff. I get going to gigs. I can just about see waiting outside to get a picture/autograph/glimpse of someone I admire. But some of the stuff these girls did was hella weird. Going to their old schools, threatening Taylor Swift (the malicious glee of some of the fans based on tabloid rumour and speculation was ridiculous), there was all sorts. Worst were the girls who acknowledged that sometimes they crossed boundaries.
Anyway, the reason I’m writing about the band and their followers today is because Directioner(the name for the band’s fans) Disorder struck again this week. The target was pop star Tulisa, formerly of N-Dubz and judge on previous X Factor series. Tulisa was attending a party and went dressed as a Disney princess, and took a snap with Niall, one of the 1D boys. The picture was put online and was rather cute:
But, just this was enough to get the online hate flowing. The Directioners seem to be glued to their smartphones and waiting for news of the boys to pop up. When it does they are ready to go in two directions (no pun intended)- manic joy or complete, disgusting vitriol.
Now, I’m gonna cover my ass here. I’m not saying all One Direction fans are hormonal tweeting berserkers, I’m sure some are lovely young ladies who just like the music and the boys looks, but there’s are a high proportion of dicks out there, and they were quick to charge Tulisa.
Bearing in mind, this is not a romantic picture, it’s a picture of two friends larking about at a party.
But, this doesn’t matter to the fans and they pile on, with insults and threats flying through the twittersphere (urgh, I feel like a douche just writing that word). Directioners issue more threats than the villain in an 80s action movie.
Tulisa handled it pretty well, and told them to “pipe down, kids”.
I imagine that being threatened by a teenage girl online isn’t that intimidating. But a deluge of them? Coupled with a stream of abuse, must be disconcerting to say the least. I feel bad for Pixie Geldof who got this torrent of abuse, just from one Directioner.
I just can’t understand this behaviour, at all. I know what it’s like to be a fan, and a teenager, but I would never have thought it acceptable to start threatening or insulting someone just because of what I read online.
Do these kids (I assume they’re all in their teens, because anyone over 18 engaging in this sort of thing strikes me as kinda pathetic) not realize how horrible this is? Why send hate to someone you don’t even know about something you only know little bits of the story about?
Take Taylor Swift, for example, who got a ton of grief of Directioners. We don’t know fully what happened with her and Harry, or how serious it was to begin with. It appears that if you’re seen with Swift it’s assumed you’re dating her, so who knows how far it went. And even if she did dump him, and upset him, so what? That’s what happens. Life sucks, get a helmet!
He’s a big lad, I’m sure he’ll recover.
And what possible outcome are they hoping for? Swift to reconsider and take him back? But they hate that they were dating? Harry to see their tweet and think, wow this teenage girl telling Taylor to go die really cares for me, I’m going to get right round there and ask her to marry me, she’s the only one who cares and understands me?
Come on, ladies. Get a grip on yourselves. If you can’t understand why it’s wrong maybe flip it, maybe imagine that one of your beloved boys dumps some chick. Would you like it if all that girl’s followers started blasting him and telling him they were gonna whack him? No, you’d have another meltdown.
So step away from the laptop, put the smartphone down, take a deep breath and think that maybe, just maybe you can respond to news about one of your idols with a sense of decency and perspective. Does it matter that much? Does it really effect you? Does it warrant being abusive to someone? I’m gonna guess that the answer to those questions is a resounding “no”.
You don’t want to see them sad, I appreciate that. You might be a little jealous seeing them with someone else, I get that too. But that doesn’t give you the right to send hate out into the world, because (a) that’s just not nice (b) you’re ruining someone else’s day and (c) it makes you and the rest of the 1D fans look like bellends.
Ladies, in short, don’t be a dick.
Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.