by Erin Fitzpatrick
When the hashtag “Cut for Bieber” was trending on twitter last week, young girls were encouraged to harm themselves to prove their affection to singer Justin Bieber. According to foxnews.com, this craze was started by the website,4chan.com, as a prank after photos of the singer allegedly smoking marijuana were released. However, the acts of this website and the “Beliebers” show that social media is the medium that causes both fangirls and teen stars to extend their limits.
A major part that social media played in this #cutforbieber outbreak was the speed that the information spread. According to gmanetwork.com, #cutforbieber started on Monday and had been mentioned about 350,000 times on twitter by Tuesday morning and was trending globally.
In the past, fangirls never knew about what was happening with their favorite star until a public appearance or TV news station reported it. In the days of The Beatles and Elvis Presley, the fans were just as devoted, but the technology to expose the stars’ mistakes so quickly was not as advanced. Now, the speed of information over social media sites is dangerous, especially when these posts are false and can lead to self-harm like the #cutforbieber post did.
Social media is also the source that puts more pressure on teen celebrities than ever before. Any simple act they do can be all over the major gossip websites in seconds. Bieber may or may not have smoked marijuana, but either way, the whole world had access to sources saying he did. Private photos of other teen stars like Miley Cyrus and Vanessa Hudgens have also surfaced, knocking them off the high pedestal on which many teens held them. Although these stars should behave because they are in the public eye, the lengths that social media goes are too far. Many teen celebrities have been victims of social media crimes, which has negative effects on them, as well as their fans.
Those controlling the social media gossip do not realize the consequences of their actions on fans and celebrities. Cutting and self-hurt are serious problems and have detrimental effects on many peoples’ lives. Social media causes countless problems for reasons that do nothing but expose peoples’ mistakes.
If you are at risk of self-harm or suicide, please contact 1-800-273-TALK or visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org.