What they didn’t want me to say about Lorde

lorde and eleanor

Photograph by @sonjayelich via @gemmagracewood

I want to talk a bit about Lorde.

And the reason I want to talk about Lorde is not because I’m a fan of her music, although I am, but because of the criticism she’s received this week around a handful of tweets she sent the day she arrived back from conquering the world.

You might remember the tweets. There were only four or five of them, and they basically said, well, the arrival at Auckland Airport was a bit of a downer because of all the media jostling, fame isn’t all a bed of roses and the whole thing made her return to New Zealand a bit disappointing, all in all. A bit sad, I think she said.

So that night I was discussing this with my 14 year old son when the phone rang and by coincidence it was a major New Zealand media outlet wanting to discuss just that thing.

Did I have, the nice reporter asked, anything to say about the “barrage” of angry tweets Lorde had sent?

Well, first off, I told her, five tweets isn’t much of a barrage. I’ve sent something more than 50,000 in my time and I saw last night someone I know tick through 100,000. Lorde herself has sent about 1400. But she’s been pretty busy.

And as for angry, well, I thought they were more honest than anything else.

This wasn’t what the reporter wanted to hear, so I didn’t end up being quoted.

But if I did, here’s what I would have said. The beauty of well known people using social media, the whole point, its entire appeal, is that it gives us a glimpse into the real lives of our cultural, sporting and even political heroes.

No spin doctors, no speech writers and, and I think this might have been what’s really been ruffling media feathers, no need for media.

So when Lorde got in a New York taxi and heard her song playing on the radio, we knew how happy that made her. When she got photographed in a friend’s apartment with Eleanor Catton, we knew about that. And when she felt a bit down after getting a fright from the media attention after a 12 hour flight back from conquering the musical world, we knew about that too. It’s the good and the bad and that’s the point.

And the last thing I would have told that reporter had she chosen to quote me is that asking a guy in his 40s to pass judgement on how a 17 year old is using social media is nothing short of absurd.

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15 thoughts on “What they didn’t want me to say about Lorde

  1. If anything, Lorde’s been generally thoughtful whenever she tweets: even her so called ‘disses’ of Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez talked about the image related to their music rather than the performers. And the storm in a teacup about her swearing at that gig? Peter Snell saying on live TV after his win that he was ‘absolutely buggered’ anyone?

    • Think you mean Peter Jones after the third springbok test in 56 rather than Peter Snell. You are right that it is just media hype though.

      • See also Hillary on having climbed Everest… good Kiwi blokedom at its finest, looking back on it, but not sure it would have been 100% well received in 1953. “Antipodean Climber Sullies Triumph With Vulgar Outburst.” etc

  2. This is the post I’ve been waiting to see around the use of social media and young people (of any accord or fame). I love how 5 short tweets is a barrage. At least journos are using their built-in thesauruses.

  3. Nice. The whole thing that makes this performer so brilliant to me personally is her down to earth simplicity, and ability to reach people. Why the hell shouldn’t she be sharing these thoughts with the world via Twitter? There’s an army of music execs out there would love to charge us all for the privilege after all.

  4. Absolutely right, leave Lorde alone. I felt uncomfotable when I saw the media coverage of her arrival in Auckland last week. Give her a break and let her grow up normally so she can achieve her full potential and not become a train wreck like some other young stars have.

  5. Great post. Also, had you voiced mild disapproval of Lorde’s tweets about the jostling she received, we all know what the headline would have been: Davis Slams Lorde’s Angry Outburst.

  6. Vaughn, this is great. I saw someone on LinkedIn post something offering Lorde two tips: 1) If you don’t want to be hassled by media, hold a press conference 2) Social media is public. It was the most patronising thing I’d read all year. The times, they have a-changed. The old comms paradigm of carefully constructed and distributed messaging doesn’t apply and we need to get our brains around this as employers, parents, commentators and humans.

  7. What I feel is strange is that it’s OK for the media to talk about “the media,” and I feel it creates a kind of disconnect with.. well… being a person. The Media never use “we”.

  8. yes as in media, in between, an intermediary, not needed. Mainstream media is the biggest pile of junk on the planet

    • I think they’re both needed (I’m part of both, after all). Also they need to learn from each other. Social, for example, needs to work out a model around ethics. MSM needs to work on its speed and relevance.

  9. Your right I think the NZ Media made such a fuss over nothing, I love how she tweets and keeps us up to date on what she’s doing, how she’s feeling etc, thats the whole point of social media. NZ Media is pretty ratch!

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