Yesterday, I called pop star Britney Spears a has-been. I shouldn’t have used that word. It was too harsh for what I was really trying to communicate, which is that I find Britney’s latest career reinventions less compelling than her late-’90s/early-’00s fame. I also believed — wrongfully, I now know — that no one really cared about Britney anymore. Our readership is 18-to-24-year-old women, who weren’t even in junior high during what I would consider Britney’s peak. I figured that music fans these days were more concerned with One Direction and Selena Gomez.
Not so! Last night I received several tweets and (as of writing this) 75 comments on the original post deriding me for my choice of words. Fair enough—I didn’t properly communicate my intent. But along with that ridicule came responses utterly staggering in their vitriol. Fans mocked my nose and any other body part they could find through twitpics and told me that I would never be as successful as Britney or even as the Twister Dance game she’s doing a commercial for. (Something I’ve never fooled myself into thinking; I know that working as a writer full-time will do little for my bank account.)
In the past 24 hours, I’ve been called a big-nosed c*nt and invited to either kill myself or end up horribly deformed in a freak accident straight out of the Final Destination series. And while I’ve blocked the tweets, I couldn’t not highlight some of the more creative death threats I’ve received from this Britney article.
You know, I’ve never heard of “having a suicide.” And seeing as the comment is from 13 hours ago and I’m typing this out to you now, I didn’t spontaneously combust in the interim. Or, you know, however else this Joshua guy envisioned me leaving this earthly plane in the blink of an eye.
This encapsulates the downside of modern internet fandom and the ease of social media: The fact that irate fans can, in the heat of the moment, order their peers to take down someone who said something they don’t like. This rash call to arm represents the mob mentality, which just looks ugly and hotheaded.
So, not a death threat. But certainly someone who is either a) trying to make judgments about my life, or b) trying to go back in time and set me up for what sounds like a pretty horrible life.
Photo: Getty Images