There's this video of One Direction member Harry Styles that's being linked around lately, even though it's not exactly brand new. It was actually released last November for a One Direction special, and it features Styles tearing up while he talks about his reaction to reading hateful comments posted online about him.
I fully expected to be annoyed by this video more than anything else. Oh, poor insanely popular boy band member, you went and deliberately searched for trollish commentary about yourself and it hurt your widdle feelings?
Now that I've watched it, though, I feel like an asshole. Not just for assuming that someone's celebrity status somehow makes them immune to nasty comments, but for forgetting that this guy is only a teenager -- and he's currently experiencing a whole new wave of hateful Internet backlash for the simple fact that he kissed a girl on New Year's Eve.
Apparently Styles and pop star Taylor Swift shared a midnight kiss after her performance on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve, and the reaction has been ... extreme. Fans, who have been referring to Styles and Taylor as Haylor (because god knows this execrable habit of nicknaming celebrity couples doesn't seem like it's going to stop any time soon), immediately jumped on Twitter to post all sorts of commentary about how upset they were over this seemingly happy couple.
A quick search of Twitter for the terms "#haylorsucks" or "#haylorblues" will give you a disturbing peek into the minds of hundreds of unhappy teenagers, although I don't really recommend doing this, lest you fear for the future leaders of our world.
Anyway, the outpouring of dissatisfaction and downright obnoxious commentary is mainly aimed at Swift, but it seems like a good time for rabid One Direction fans to revisit this video, and remind themselves that pop idols are human beings with actual feelings:
It's so easy to post ugly comments from behind the anonymity of a computer screen, but cowardly hatred still does damage. Words matter, and everyone feels the impact of being targeted with ugliness ... even people you think would never bother to read or care.
I snark about celebrities a lot, and I rarely think about the possibility that I might actually hurt someone's feelings by doing so. Crazily enough, Harry Styles from One Direction just reminded me that it's worth thinking twice before I type.
What do you think of this video? Do you think mean tweets about celebrities are harmless and should be ignored, or are they as bad as bullying between schoolmates?
Image via YouTube