Channel 4, Directioners, Social Media and Suicide

One_Direction_documentary_heading_for_Channel_4

 

A few hours ago UK TV station Channel 4 aired a documentary titled ‘Crazy About One Direction’ which took a look at not One Direction, but their fans. While the documentary brushed over the power of social media in building One Direction’s fame, it spent more time examining the boyband’s most ‘enthusiastic fans.

Anyone who has access to the Internet with an account on twitter and/or tumblr will know that Directioners are not a group to be trifled with. The documentary on Channel 4 spent nearly an hour portraying fans of the boyband as psychotic stalkers with far too much free time and money to waste.

Needless to say; both twitter and tumblr have exploded with angry Directioners attacking Channel 4 and claiming they were inaccurately portrayed to the world. I follow a large number of Directioners on twitter, and I would like to say very few of them are crazy stalker-like obsessives. Ninety nine percent of them are normal people that like music from a pop group. 

We talk about One Direction and Justin Bieber as though they are some kind of phenomenon, however ‘Beatlemania’ had a similar effect to ‘Bieber Fever’ and the ‘One Direction Infection’ the fame of these groups has come from the connections made by their fans through social media. Directioners are a community of normal people. Friendships have been made purely as a result of One Direction. It’s easy to dismiss them as crazy teenage girls, but really they’re normal people who can share their devotion in a more connected way.

Before I move on to the sadder part of this post, I would like to say it is odd that One Direction’s music (you know, the thing they make money from) was barely mentioned. Nor were the albums or the tour. Why didn’t the documentary show fans fighting to break the 24 hour Vevo record, or the voting for MTV? This documentary was entirely negative and inaccurate.

Now onto the suicide. According to twitter 14 young girls have taken their lives as a result of this documentary. (Please Note: this is unconfirmed and may not be fact) This has come about as a result of the infamous ‘Larry Stylinson’ 

‘Shipping’ is a relatively new phenomenon. Where fans put people together into a relationSHIP. This can be summed up as (in the case of Larry) romance or bromance. Larry shippers have been frequently attacked and bullied online as a result of their shipping. As the Channel 4 documentary mostly mocked and rubbished Larry shippers (and caused a Larry hate ‘war’ on twitter) it is rumoured that 14 girls have taken their lives rather than face abuse for their views. Assuming this is true, my thoughts are with their families.

Channel 4 is now facing widespread anger from fans of all artists. Currently trending ‘#beliebersareherefordirectioners‘  and ‘#RIPLarryShippers‘ the power of the fans and social media have been shown tonight. To Channel 4 I urge you to destroy this documentary and cease with attempting to examine pop culture. That’s all

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