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.