By Dennis Begley
This past month, unless you live under a rock, you have probably heard about the engagement of Hollywood’s new IT couple Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson being broken off. The outpouring of social media posts from this was enormous and showed a large problem in the toxicity that is social media and what it does to relationships today, especially those involving celebrities. I’ve decided to break down the problems that this showed in today’s relationships and social media culture in 4 separate parts.
When news broke of the couple’s broken off engagement there were immediate attacks on Pete Davidson’s character and looks and even during their engagement. Barstool Sports wrote “Crying his butthole eyes out: Pete Davidson and Ariana Grande split” and wrote an article asking about him having “butthole eyes” during their engagement. Their article announcing their discontinued relationship read like a sarcastic condolence stating “Pete Davidson has to move out of that 60,000 apartment something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy” reeking of mock sympathy and almost seemingly happy their relationship was over. Emma Specter of Vice wrote “even if you saw their break up coming from a mile away (I mean have you tried dating a 24 year old comedian lately?)”. Not only is it written as if Pete Davidson is some wannabe comedian that performs in dive bars and basements, but it also treats him as some DJ all girls date in their 20’s when he’s actually a very successful comedian with a long stint on one of the most successful comedy shows of all time in Saturday Night Live and has had his own Comedy Central special.
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(Continued from page 4) It also acts as if because Pete Davidson is a 24-year-old comedian in with that knowledge that gives her all she needs to know about him and who he is as a person although she doesn’t know him for anything except for his personality as a comedian and from his celebrity status.
The worst attacks I saw on Davidson though came from a horrible internet rumor that was swirling around social media regarding Davidson sending intimate photos of him and Grande to Grande’s ex-boyfriend, the now deceased Mac Miller. Despite the fact that there was absolutely no evidence to this horrible rumor and no evidence that Pete Davidson and Mac Miller even knew each other, the idea of them even having each other’s phone numbers makes this an even more ludicrous rumor. People were still immediately ready to condemn Davidson on social media. I saw multiple posts from people I am close with on social media stating “I wouldn’t put it past him. He’s a horrible person.” and “I believe it. Just look at the horrible jokes he’s made.” With all these attacks to a man only known to them by his media personality. It’s no wonder the poor man deleted his social media outlets.
I haven’t seen as many attacks on Ariana Grande during this break up on her personally, but people did attack her after the death of Mac Miller as well as her personal choices during her relationship with Pete Davidson, asking why she was with Davidson at all and for so long.
Let’s first start with the horribleness Ariana Grande went through after the death of Mac Miller; being told it was her fault that Miller has passed and had her Instagram comments and Twitter berated, simply because she had moved into a new relationship and engagement which she had a right to be in. She’s a human, not a piñata to attack. She had a right to be in that relationship, no matter how it may have made Miller feel. She was also attacked for not getting him sober, as if that was her responsibility and not Miller’s. The poor girl had just found out the death of a former boyfriend and people immediately chose to attack her while she was already going through this loss.
Her break up with Pete Davidson did also come with a fair share of criticism to her too though, but instead of attacks on why she did stay with Davidson for so long. Tweets stating “He made horrible jokes, he only cared about her physically, and all he offered her was goofy blonde hair and being very tall.” Although this is more attacks on Davidson and also comedy in general in the ideas of what you’re allowed to say, it is an attack on Grande as if she owes anybody an explanation for who she chooses to be in a relationship with and who she chooses to love and be with and this is a large commentary on what social media does to relationships in general forcing people to say why they’re with who they choose to be with and treat celebrities as pictures on a screen instead of human beings that made money and fame off having marketable talents.
The relationship of Davidson and Grande faced much scrutiny from social media both as it was happening and after their break up. The Barstool Sports “Chicks in the Office” podcast stated that their relationship “made no sense” as if relationships and love are supposed to make sense.
A report that really caught my attention was when MTV on Snapchat set a poll after theirengagement being broken off, asking viewers if “they’ll get back together” or “no they’re done”. Simply because they were a celebrity couple this was seemingly okay. Yet, imagine you had just had your engagement broken off and you found this poll on social media? The social media culture pretends celebrities aren’t people but puppets. It treats celebrity couples as a game and not a true relationship with people that care about each other and had their relationship broken off. These two people almost certainly have just had their hearts broken and both have already been dealing with a lot of other problems prior to this. As a young engaged man myself I can’t fathom what Ariana and Pete have been going through this past month and social media doesn’t help them. The fact that this was what people cared about
The thing that bothered me the most from this whole ordeal was the fact that this became huge news when America has many other things going on and social media would rather focus on this. This month, scientists told us that Earth could hit 1.5 degrees of Global Warming in just 9 years and no one seemed to care (although Davidson’s show “Saturday Night Live” and a skit he starred in did address this and good on Davidson for that).
A journalist was murdered and our president defended Saudi Arabia during this.
A synagogue was shot up.
Radio silence after a week.
Bombs sent to politicians.
Midterm elections were happening.
Yet people cared about this instead.
We have to do better. We need to do better.
Dennis Begley is a Staff Writer for The Comment