When I am home from school, I spend a lot more time on social media than usual. So over Thanksgiving break, I was constantly checking my Instagram feed and tweeting my every thought. I also tweet every stupid comment I think of because, well, I think I am funny.
And through this bad habit, I made a DIRE mistake on Thanksgiving evening. I insulted the legend Mariah Carey.
My tweet was lame and even if people thought it was funny, they ignored it. The tweet was: “My only goal in life is to be a one-hit wonder like Mariah Carey,” followed by a screenshot of her version of All I Want for Christmas playing on Spotify.
Now, I know Mariah Carey is not a one-hit wonder. I have a fair amount of respect for the woman. I can’t say I’ve listened to her discography, or even more than a few songs but she managed to build a fairly successful career for herself and I am not trying to take away from that. The comment was merely a joke, in which I was feigning ignorance of her blatantly successful career.
The ignorance I was not feigning, however, was the unawareness I had of the harshness and sensitivity of her super-fans on Twitter.
Immediately after I tweeted my dumb joke, my mentions were flooding with insults.
Fan accounts with Mariah as their profile pictures began calling me stupid, dumb, ignorant. They quoted my own older, self-deprecating tweets and attacked me further. And dozens of others liked those tweets.
Now, I learned my lesson. I’m not going to tweet about Mariah Carey anymore.
But I am still concerned about the situation itself. It got me thinking about online culture.
Generally, people are always on their phones, and like me, they sometimes feel like there’s nothing better to do. Some of us post whatever we want and pretend the person on the other side of the screen isn’t a real person with real feelings and we ignore the possible consequences of our hurtful words.
My tweet didn’t hurt anyone, though one Mariah fan justified his/her repeated insults sent to me by saying Mariah is a real person and I insulted her first, therefore I deserved all of the insults.
What I don’t understand is how a passion can be turned so sour. I am a fan of many mainstream artists with large fanbases on social media. But I have never felt the need to defend my favorite artist by insulting someone who doesn’t share that passion, even if they did make a lame joke. It’s so easy to see a negative tweet about your favorite musician, actor, personality, and just… keep scrolling. It doesn’t make you less of a fan and responding doesn’t make you a better fan, either.
I think what I am trying to say is: Be careful what you say about famous people with active super-fans on Twitter. Be careful what you say to other people on social media. And if anyone ever tries to insult you on social media, it is perfectly acceptable to quote the LEGEND, the QUEEN, Mariah Carey: