This story from Huffington Post is interesting because one thing that bothers me most about the 1D fandom in general is how quick people are to tell other 1D fans to “go kill yourself”. Maybe I’m just an old fogey, but back in my day, we never said shit like that. I’ve also noticed the disturbing trend on tumblr of posting “If I get XXX notes by XXX date, I won’t kill myself.” When I was growing up, no one was talking about self-harm at all. I can’t even name one person at my school who committed suicide or even threatened to. I blame the internet! Maybe I’m just horribly out of touch with what it’s like to be a teen these days, but these are the things that concern me. Anyways, this story is about a 1D fan who attempted suicide and 1D fans sprang into action to get her help. Oh, and HuffPo totally misread the “Bravery” trend – LOL, they don’t apparently ship it.
“No one retweets me anymore and it makes me sad,” tweeted a teenager named Taylor Salvatore on November 8.
But last night, when Salvatore tweeted that she had attempted suicide by intentional overdose, there was no shortage of retweets from her fellow One Direction fans, who sprang into action to make #prayforTaylor a worldwide trend. Fans of the massively popular boy band also alerted Taylor’s family, who rushed her to the hospital and possibly saved her life.
In the process, however, they revealed how disturbing and wildly out-of-control the “bravery” trend of suicidal ideation within the 1D fandom actually is.
“Bravery” is not a suicide trend LMAO. It’s a word Larry Shippers have adopted because Louis tweeted it and it represents what they see as the struggle against management and all the hiding and bullshit so get your facts straight, HuffPo. A quick search on YouTube shows a ton of Larry Stylinson: Bravery videos and just google “bravery larry stylinson” and a million results will pop up, so yeah, not about suicide at all. Continuing…
Salvatore has a rare condition known as misophonia, a neurological “glitch” where certain everyday sounds can trigger rage responses, suicidal impulses, and other intense reactions. Though Salvatore can do little socializing for risk of exposure to unwanted sound, she finds comfort in music — especially that of her favorite band, One Direction.
On Sunday, Salvatore tweeted, after learning she would not be attending the band’s Madison Square Garden concert, that she was “D O N E.” Although later she seemed fine, tweeting about other upcoming concerts and encouraging friends not to self-harm, she also tweeted that she was “genuinely scared of my future like will i be dead will i be in jail will i be happy or sad”.
Shortly before midnight Eastern time, Salvatore’s tweets took a turn for the grim, and finally she tweeted that she had overdosed:
Her friends on Twitter immediately urged her to call 911, and when that got no response, they began to RT for help, sending the hashtag #prayforTaylor spiraling upwards to trend at #3 worldwide. Almost immediately, friends who knew her real life contact information stepped in, tweeting her real name and location, and even her phone number, in order to reach police in Salvatore’s vicinity:
Twitter user @unionziam took the step of messaging Taylor’s sister, Alex Salvatore, and one of Taylor’s cousins on Facebook. Salvatore replied in an exchange that Taylor had awakened her parents and that they were probably “headed to the hospital.” When the Daily Dot attempted to contact Salvatore by phone, her mailbox was full.
This caused a chain reaction of other twitter people to threaten to self-harm and a bunch of tweets praying for them not to.
…prompting at least one Twitter user, @Nialls_Nipple, to lash out at the string of Twitter trends: “NO, STOP IT. NO MORE PRAY FOR SUICIDE BULLSHIT. #PrayForTaylor that’s it. She actually attempted to commit, no one else, SO STOP LYING.”
Her frustration is valid. The One Direction fandom has for a long time been both plagued by online harassment and obsessed with its own predilection for self-harm. It’s not uncommon to see Directioners writing (and sometimes carving) the word “bravery” onto their arms and wrists in solidarity for what many feel is the act of courage it takes to stay alive.
Umm, actually no…those are Larry Shippers LOL. And Elounor fans responded by writing “delusional” on their wrists (why not deluded? LMAO). Here’s where the story really gets interesting because they bring up the “bullshit” tweet:
In September, when One Direction member Louis Tomlinson declared that the rumors of his relationship with bandmate Harry Styles — a relationship that has become an obsession for many fans — was “bullshit,” fans fabricated the idea that nine of their own had taken their own lives. They turned “#RIP9LarryShippers” into a trending topic without any attempt to verify whether anyone had, in fact, died.
Just dropping this here because a news source actually talked about the Bullshit tweet!
While I agree, the RIP9LarryShippers thing was never proven, I hope whoever was responsible for tweeting that/keeping it up on twitter (even to this day) sees the effect that tweet had on young emotional girls. There’s obviously something going on in the 1D fandom or the types of fans that are drawn to 1D and I think it’s reckless to tweet things like this (whether you think it was really Lou or management posting as Louis Underscore Tomlinson).
It’s been a recurring pattern in the fandom since at least July, when one fan deleted her Tumblr amid threats of suicide, prompting the fandom to fall into mourning for her demise.
Salvatore blamed her suicidal tendencies on a “relapse” rather than any One Direction-related harassment or distress. Three hours after her ordeal began, she finally updated Twitter again, tweeting a photo of her hospital room to defend herself against allegations of having faked the whole ordeal.
It bears noting that the major difference between Taylor Salvatore’s alleged suicide attempt and those of other Directioners in the past is that this time, fans were able to draw on real-life details that Salvatore had shared and quickly leap in to contact her family. While other alleged suicide attempts within the fandom have been unverified, there aren’t always ways for online communities to verify the real-life identities of those in their midst, which can mean that some people really do disappear without a trace.
Yet while Salvatore’s story had a happy outcome, the reaction from the Twitter community borders on glamorization of suicide as a means of garnering attention that some fans feel they can’t get any other way. As a byproduct of the outpouring of concern over her well-being, Salvatore gained 7,000 new Twitter followers.
Though last night the One Direction fandom was able to intervene to help Salvatore and possibly others as well, it seems troubling that the fandom is simultaneously elevating the suicidal in the name of helping them.