Nerds, we gotta have a talk:

Let me start off by saying social media is a wonderful thing.

It allows you to follow the lives of your favorite celebrities, some might call them your idols, in the palm of your hand and have them there to talk to in a heartbeat. Twitter is the best example of this, with its 140 character format and quick ability to send a message and gain attention. I mean, it’s where the hashtag became popularized after all.

But there’s a downside to this accessibility, and as a community we fans need to address it.

Alright, so maybe Hideki Kamiya (a designer of games such as Bayonetta and Devil May Cry) is an extreme example, as he blocks everyone that immediately breaks his “rule” or is overall rude and there are people who seek out being blocked by him, but the sentiment remains the same; what is the line that exists between a fan trying to gain attention and harassing their target?

By putting themselves out there on social media, celebrities are opening themselves up to a barrage of constant comments and questions from fans, but this comes with a price. In their determination to get recognition, many people are taking the horrible route of doing whatever they can to make themselves stand out in a crowd of “I love you!”s and “Can I get a follow?”s. But when it turns from admiration to pure vulgarity, and in the cases of some people even hate speech, it doesn’t harm only them.

We wouldn’t expect any other human to take this targeted abuse, so why should we demand that celebrities do? Yes, I get the argument that it comes with the territory, but to send tweets out to different people that you have to be tagged in that tells them to go kill themselves or calling them incredibly vulgar names shouldn’t be a standard that they have to put up with.

William Shatner famously will block anyone who disrespects him and is unapologetic in his pursuit of a positive timeline. Yvette Nicole Brown of Community fame received hate when she left the show to take care of her ailing father and regularly faces intense hate and criticism whenever she tweets about race and the difficulties of being black in Hollywood. I can name countless other celebrities/ bloggers/ creators who actively block those who attack them or even leave Twitter so they can maintain their own sanity.

Long gone are the days of writing letters and eagerly hoping that we might receive a personalized response. Long gone is a time when potentially getting to say three sentences to a person as they sign some memorabilia was the only chance to have them see your face and hear your praise.

We now live in a time where we can leave the longest of comments on Facebook or Instagram, constantly send the same message to the same person over and over on Twitter, and basically spend a decent amount of time trying to get the attention of these artists. As #TwitpicYourCelebBlocks continues to grow in popularity and as even local radio dj’s bring up the discussion in their morning shows, we have to remember that there’s a line between trying to get attention and being an asshole and it’s not thin.

Get it together guys. Treat these people who if they tweeted you back would make your day with a modicum of respect.

What’s your take on this? Should we sit back and allow people to continually harass others on social media? Have you yourself sent a tweet that was hurtful just to get someone’s attention? Let’s discuss this below in the comment.

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