Lessons From The #TaylorSwiftIsOverParty

That lynch-mob mentality isn’t doing anyone any good

Ah, tainted love. The stuff acrimonious breakups are made of. One minute you’re all over each other on social media - and the next, that same platform has become your podium for airing dirty laundry.

We’ve all been privy to the ongoing fallout involving DJ Calvin Harris, singer/Machiavellian puppet mistress Taylor Swift and actor Tom Hiddleston. It’s been months since Harris and Swift were dunzo, but just when we thought the dust had settled, new storylines continue to be written.

Reports recently emerged that a certain Nils Sjoberg, who had written Harris’ dance hit This Is What You Came For, was actually Swift using a pen name. According to Harris, she had “intially wanted it kept secret”, and this news made him look bad.

He tweeted: “Hurtful to me at this point that her and her team would go so far out of their way to try and make ME look bad at this stage though. I figure if you’re happy in your new relationship you should focus on that instead of trying to tear your ex bf down for something to do.”

But wait, there’s more. Harris delivered the #motherofallpartingshots with “I know you’re off tour and you need someone new to try and bury like Katy ETC but I’m not that guy, sorry. I won’t allow it.” Ouch. If words could kill, Taytay would be six feet under.

And now, the #TaylorSwiftIsOverParty hashtag is trending on Twitter. Haters are pledging allegiance to #teamharris and unleashing their inner keyboard warrior with gleeful abandon. Even Katy Perry is getting in on the action with this gif.

The witch hunt is well and truly on, and Swift is all but being metaphorically burned at the stake. Even her Loki can’t save her.

The tweets range from haha-funny to harsh. @wendyrollins writes, “I’ve never been so excited to see a hashtag”, while @HeronGrays remarks, “#TaylorSwiftIsOverParty is lit af. About time someone put that snake in place”. Meanwhile, @grandestophy says, “Catch my performance of my new song ‘fake talentless hoe is over’ tonight exclusively at the #TaylorSwiftIsOverParty”.

Truth be told, I’m quite horrified about all this. As much as I dislike Swift and what she stands for, it’s sad to see these events unfold. A young woman is being publicly slammed (even if she did cause all this to happen), and no one is stopping the hatefest. It’s the 21st century equivalent of being stoned - and quite dispiriting, because no woman, however unsaintly she may be, should be put in those shoes.

And it hits closer to home than you may realise, because we all have a Taylor Swift in our lives, don’t we? In our social circle, at the gym, at the office, where we go for drinks. You know (of) her, you’ve seen her, you’ve probably even spoken to her - the sweet-faced devil in sheep’s clothing who thinks she’s all that, and likes to have things her way, any chance she gets. She has her own agenda, plus a take-no-prisoners MO. And she’s left a knife in more than one back.

In the same way, we ourselves are a Swift in someone else’s eyes. Through our words, thoughts and actions, we send messages to others - and every one of these is open to interpretation beyond our control. We’ve left knives in backs too, unknowingly or otherwise, and we’re judged as quickly as we cast judgement. There’s a grey area in every situation, even if we think we’re being clear. 

It’s just unfortunate for Taytay that her mega-profile has led her to become the poster girl for the unreal - a fraud dressed in designer threads, surrounded by her equally fake friends. But in today’s world, perception is as dangerous a weapon as it is a handy tool, with that king of all perception-fuelled platforms, social media, providing endless ammunition for scrutiny and judgement.  

Deep inside, we know women should support other women. But things get tricky when we feel that someone doesn’t deserve the support. And when we get Taylor Swift-ed in life, it’s human nature to want to take that person down, or at the very least, hurt them.

But is it worth it? Is the momentary pleasure worth all the resentment we let ourselves feel? Are our self-drawn conclusions even accurate, to begin with?

There’s a clear answer to each of these murky situations: No. Personal prejudice and the need for conviction inevitably cloud our judgement, and when that happens, logic becomes baseless, reason is relegated. All that remains is the simple desire to be part of a lynch mob.

So rise above. Avoid negativity and all it brings. Pick your battles wisely and don’t sweat the small stuff. Life doesn’t need to be so ugly.

Photos: hellomagazine.com, okmagazine.com

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