There should be a lot of positiveness in Alessia Cara‘s life as she’s days ahead of releasing her highly anticipated sophomore album, The Pains of Growing. However, this is unfortunately not the case.
The 22-year-old singer has received an influx of derogatory messages online after her performance at the 106th Grey Cup halftime show.
After sharing a number of those hateful comments, the up-and-comer revealed she would be taking a break from social media “This is the s**t I read on a daily basis,” Cara wrote. “For doing nothing.”
She further addressed the unforgiving power of online bullying in a highly personal Instagram video. These posts have since been deleted.
Following the onslaught, Cara pleaded to her fans to “never put someone down online or elsewhere.”
“This whole world of ‘Stan culture,’ while it’s amazing, great and connective, a lot of the time it can be very hurtful.” she said.
“Stan culture” refers to the Eminem song Stan (2000), in which a diehard Eminem fan named Stan becomes obsessive and stalks him. He eventually becomes mentally unstable, resulting in the murder of his girlfriend and his further suicide.
Cara speculated that users tend to believe they’re protected by a screen, which results in malicious behaviour for their own personal enjoyment.
“It gives people a platform to not only put people against each other but feel like they can say whatever they want to anybody all of the time,” she added. “It sucks and it doesn’t feel good.”
Stan culture has become prominent in modern society with the explosion of social media. However, it wasn’t always supposed to be a bad thing.
Artists like Ariana Grande or Justin Bieber have “Arianators” and “Beliebers,” people who they actively interact with and take under their wing. These are known as “Stans.” They are dedicated to their celebrity idols in every way, shape or form.
Most of the time, Stans are kind, respectful and sometimes worship celebrity figures as some kind of deity. But in some cases like this, fandom is taken to an extreme level where they start hurling abuse or crossing personal boundaries, much like they have with Cara.
In the video, Cara said the comments reflect on a “way larger issue,” which is online bullying.
“When you say those things to somebody — even if you’re trolling or just trying to make a joke — it makes that person’s day that much harder,” she said. “Or at least speaking for myself.”
She apologized to her listeners and revealed her plans for a social media detox, whether that be a “few days or weeks.”
“I need some time away,” she admitted. “Sometimes I think you need to [just] step away.”
Luckily, Cara still has many dedicated fans to show her love and support.
“Who would bully Alessia Cara?” asked one fan. “She’s literally the sweetest person ever. This is why trolling needs to end. Y’all always cross that line.”
Cara’s second album, The Pains of Growing, will be released through Def Jam Records on Nov. 30.
You can pre-save the album digitally or pre-order a physical copy on the official Alessia Cara website.