IIf you live by the sword, you tend to die by the sword. The same goes for social media, just ask Chrissy Teigen. Over the past decade, the model and cookbook author has reached dizzying levels of fame by virtue of being good at posting things online. Such is its scope that Donald Trump, who disapproved of the “dirty mouth“, blocked her on Twitter while he was president. Joe Biden, meanwhile, continued her at the time he became president. Which was a big deal considering the Biden official. @POTUS The account only followed 11 people at the time, all of whom were official White House aides or accounts. The president does not follow the Queen of the United Kingdom, but does follow the unofficial Queen of Twitter. He also stopped following Teigen a few weeks later. at her behest; The pressure of having the most powerful man in the world reading your tweets was too much to deal with, apparently.
If Biden hadn’t unfollowed Teigen in February, he would probably be distancing himself from her now. Many big brands reportedly are. Thanks to a cyberbullying scandal, the influencer has gone from being a trendsetter to being toxic. While Teigen may have once been royalty online, half of the internet now seems to be aggressively yelling, “Get out of your head!”
What happened? Well, the abbreviated version of events is that, in May, a media personality named Courtney Stodden accused Teigen of stalking her online years ago. Teigen tweeted to Stodden (who was only 16 at the time) telling them to take a “dirt nap” and allegedly sent them a private message saying, “I can’t wait for you to die.” After these disturbing revelations, Twitter armchair detectives quickly began looking for other nasty things Teigen might have said. The “cancellation” began.
Teigen apologized for his behavior in a May Twitter thread. Then last week, after returning from a vacation in Italy, she posted a photo on Instagram of herself lying on a couch and wrote about how she feels now. “Canceling club is something fascinating and I have learned a lot”, Teigen wrote to his 35 million followers. “Only a few understand it and it is impossible to know until you are inside. And it’s hard to talk about it in that sense because obviously you sound whiny when you’ve clearly done something wrong. “She added,” I miss you guys … I’m just … tired of being sick with myself all day. “
Like many celebrities, Teigen’s life documented on Instagram (he’s stopped posting on Twitter) looks largely fabulous: glamorous shots of fancy vacations; expensive suits; videos of his beautiful family. That’s the nature of Instagram, and surely we all know by now that money and fame don’t insulate you from mental health issues or public embarrassment. But her experience shows how ruinous social media can be for mental health and the addictive nature of the dopamine hit that likes and retweets generate.
The Teigen saga isn’t just a case study in how destructive (and downright disgusting) social media can be. It also reflects a backlash against celebrity culture sparked by the pandemic. It wasn’t just intimidation that brought Teigen down, it was what once seemed aspirational is now enraged. Earlier this year, for example, he tweeted a story about accidentally ordering a $ 13,000 bottle of wine at a restaurant. There was a class war. Which is understandable considering the current economic environment: a recent studyFor example, it claims that minimum wage workers in a 40-hour week cannot afford to rent a one-bedroom home in 93% of US counties, let alone accidentally order bottles of expensive wine.
Without a doubt, Teigen should be held accountable for his past behavior. But let’s not confuse anger with responsibility. Turning Teigen into a punching bag online does nothing. After all, if you could change the world by yelling at people on social media, the world would be a very different place.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism