The Tale of The Arrogant Hashtag

social mediaI don’t know, is it wrong for me to stop caring about the mass majority of celebrities? Maybe it’s something in the water, or something I ate last night. But really, my caring has literally diminished to the point of me being more concerned about my window-cleaner and his filthy tea-bag-looking fingernails than indulging myself in the void that is ‘celeb-land’.


Curse that damned Rihanna, that Barbadian sweetheart whom we all love, allegedly reuniting with ex-happy-slapper Chris Brown. Curse her for all she’s worth for single-handedly chiselling down social-networkers’ fingertips to mere stubs in foaming-at-the-mouth outrage as they all yell in unlawful unison, ‘BLOGGIN’ ‘ELL!!’ Oh, the injustice! Blahblahblah.


It’s times like this that I think that perhaps sites such as Twitter really were made for the mass population to thrust opinions towards their celebrity of choice, screaming at the top of their lungs, ‘STOP WHAT THEY ARE DOING BECAUSE I SAY SO’. Not to say I don’t lap up that sort of arrogance, I myself am an avid twitterer (this is not a word) and like to post the odd skeezy (this is not a word, either) remark about certain celebrities, but not because they’re a ‘role model’ or because they’re ‘sending out a bad message’ that I think should be directly addressed, but because I think they’re in the spotlight to be ultimately prodded with a funny stick, not whipped around the face multiple times with a wet flannel (that might be fun, but it’s not that funny after enough times, you just get wet).


In light of this, I recently got some unexpected backlash from a Gareth Gates fan Twitter user because I wrote, “Nice to see Gareth Gates is taking another stab at having a stutter and is making a show about recovering from it, again. Good lad”, in which I was informed I should ‘educate myself or keep quiet’ by the fan that, funnily enough, it wasn’t dedicated to. Having said that, if the Godfather that is Gareth Gates himself popped up and demanded for me to explain myself my reaction would’ve been just the same.


For me, and for all regular users of Twitter, it is basically a personal blog, intertwined with other blogs, like a technological Russian doll consisting of a swirling tornado of laughter and hatred, coupled with backlash and pride. In normal circumstances, that sort of response would’ve be a good ol’ slap in the face, but in this social networking buzz world where we can write what we like, as long as our opinion is dressed around it like a sandwich board, God only knows what’s going to be ‘trending’ next.


What we do know is that you cannot please everybody, that’s for sure. I stopped trying when I realised that everybody was an idiot. Sometimes I do think it would be easier to pronounce a ‘copyright’ symbol beside each of my tweets with an asterix exemplifying how ‘these are my views, they are not dedicated to anybody in particular and really is just some words in my brain meshed together on a page. Enjoy reading whilst I stop caring’.


Perhaps this should be an obligatory function of Twitter, where users are strictly prohibited from providing any form of advice or aid to those that they could not really care less about. And of course, in the traditional opinionated bolshie way that women tend to adopt when another woman emits a flaw, Rihanna has received bouts and bouts of sardonic variations of ‘that’s a great example for young girls to look up to’ and other forms of ‘advice’ that we like to think that, as the general public, we have earned the right to give.


Imagine sauntering over to a stranger in the street, seeing a sad look on their face, and telling them that they shouldn’t forgive their boyfriend of 3 years for cheating with the bar-maid because he’ll do it again, before marching off into the sunset as an estranged advice-giving silhouette with a theme tune that I can only imagine as being something remiscient of The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly.


But this, admittedly rather daft, analogy doesn’t have to be to the extent of strangers; No, I’m sure we’ve all been in that situation where your best friend has been taken for a mug by her boyfriend and you’ve wisely told her over a brew and a new shirt ruined with wet mascara, ‘don’t go back to that, you’re so much better without him’… and what does the bugger do? Ignores the voices that we hope would shape her back to normal, and goes back into the tumbling relationship where the same problems recur over and over again and another shirt is destined to be stained. But really, who’s to tell you what to do, and who is anybody else to be high and mighty about the decisions we may or may not regret? Evidently the decision made in the end is chosen because it provides – what we’d like to think – more happiness that if we hadn’t done so, and if that butters your teacake, then why not let it be?


So how is it that completely faceless and nameless entities feel the need to express their attitudes to Rihanna, exemplifying purely how all we like to do in life is criticise and forge opinion to someone who cannot do anything about it. Personally, she can do what she wants, as we all can, living life by the spontaneous voice in our heads that tells us to stop worrying and just GO. As a celebrity I understand that there are benefits and drawbacks of being seen as the public’s idealised person, but there is a life beyond fame and there is a path that leads out of CelebLand and into The Real World, a path rarely used but desperately needed sometimes.


Perhaps we should take that route less travelled for ourselves as well sometimes, rather than mapping our lives onto the woes of celebrity culture as a medium for our neglect and a method of blame. I mean, let us consider that if Rihanna really is the reason for our children having a tainted view of relationships from a young age, then surely it’s the parenting skills that are floundering if your child would rather idolise and imitate the likes of Rihanna, than their own two chromosome-giving parents stood in front of them. But that’s a different argument for next time. Good tidings.