Obsessive Teen Twitter Accounts That Exist Solely to Get a Followback From a Star

Categories: WTF

One Direction are extremely popular with young people, just FYI
There's a secret teen cult with its own strange ritual, operating all around you. In the same place where you're reading updates from The New York Times, or tracking some inane rap beef, groups of young people are engaged in a desperate life or death struggle for total social media dominance. Teens on Twitter: They're obsessed with the stars they love. Let's talk about that.

See also: No One Trusts the Tastes of Teenage Girls, But Should: Why Justin Bieber Is the Next Beatles

Being obsessed is part of being young. When I was a tween, I loved Douglas Adams books (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and sequels) and Britpop (Pulp and Blur, especially). I would spend hours doodling in the class editions of my schoolbooks what I thought of as Blur's logo -- lowercase, with the "l" swooping up to become a circle around the name -- or Pulp's all-caps bubble letter logo from Different Class, or the little alien blowing a raspberry that was on the cover of the 1980s Hitchhiker's Guide paperback edition that my mother had, already yellow by the first time I read it in the early '90s. I would write song lyrics in huge block caps -- THE UNIVERSAL'S HERE -- having basically no idea what they meant. I felt like I was doing a favor to anyone who picked that book up in the future; I was broadening their horizons, and putting the best of culture in their otherwise shitty intro to geography textbook. My proudest moment as a kid was when a waiter at fauxtalian restaurant Macaroni Grill saw me drawing all this on the paper tablecloth and guessed I was British.

What if there had been some magical way that I could have connected to Jarvis Cocker or Damon Albarn or Douglas Adams? What if they could have seen my thoughts? Known how much their work meant to me? What if they could have understood -- really understood -- how deeply I got them, and how intimate our connection was? Would I have treated that connection with respect and been judicious about how I used it, or would I have thrown myself into using it every second I could, over and over again? I think I can safely say that I would have made an utter fool of myself. Wouldn't you?

For young people today, this is not a hypothetical. Their idols are on Twitter, broadcasting the details of their lives to anyone who cares to listen. Connecting with it is like making eye contact with your obsession during a concert. Except that eye contact never ends. They follow you forever (at least ideally). You have entered their life the same way they have entered yours. Is it any wonder, then, that there are dozens and dozens of accounts run by fans singularly devoted to getting artists to follow them back?

See also: Beliebers on One Direction: "They're Nothing"

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