The Grammy-winning pop singer Alessia Cara is taking a break from social media after negative comments. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Alessia Cara plans social media break, calls out nastiness of online fan culture

TORONTO — Alessia Cara says she’s stepping away from her social media feeds after a recent onslaught of negative comments.

The Grammy-winning pop singer took to Instagram late Monday to share a number of screen shots from her Twitter account that showed users criticizing her appearance and firing obscenities at her.

The 22-year-old singer says the comments — captured in a post she’s since deleted — reflect “a way larger issue” with 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 — at least speaking for myself,” Cara said.

“I need some time away from it directly, whether it’s a few days or a few weeks. Sometimes I think you need to step away from those things.”

Cara later outlined her thoughts in a live Instagram video where she said she believes the separation created by computer and phone screens downplays the “gravity of words” in online conversations

The singer, who grew up in Brampton, Ont., has often connected directly with fans through various online platforms. She frequently shares clips of her global travels on Instagram and reserves time to answer fan questions on Twitter.

In her latest post, Cara lamented the toxicity of ”stan culture,” a term used to describe how super-fans divide themselves into factions online.

While ardent supporters of performers including Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift and Beyonce boast about their favourite artist’s latest achievements, some also attack other artists. The conversations frequently spiral into name calling and insults about a performer’s appearance or abilities.

“This whole world of stan culture, while it’s amazing and great and connective a lot of the time, it can be very hurtful,” said Cara, who releases her album “The Pains of Growing” on Friday.

“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.”

Other young pop stars have also spoken about the impact of online culture on their personal lives.

Shawn Mendes addressed the pressures of fame in a Rolling Stone cover story released Monday, admitting he regularly checks Twitter and YouTube to read what people say about him.

The 20-year-old Pickering, Ont. singer said he’s bothered by online speculation about his sexuality, which has included comments about whether his mannerisms are too feminine and whether or not he’s seen with girlfriends.

Cara urged her fans to be more considerate in their online messages.

“It’s a weird world, and a weird time — it’s already hard to navigate on its own,” she said.

“We don’t need to be making each other’s lives harder.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

“Our members have decided they just can’t do this anymore. We’ve protected this province and you’ve treated us like dirt, so enough is enough,” says AUPE vice-president Bonnie Gostola, whose members protested outside the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre on Momday. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)
Updated: Hospital workers strike in Red Deer

Some surgeries and ambulatory care clinics postponed around the province

Alice Kolisnyk, deputy director of the Red Deer Food Bank, says the agency expects an increase in demand as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Every new subscription to the Red Deer Advocate includes a $50 donation to the food bank. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Support the food bank with a subscription to the Red Deer Advocate

The community’s most vulnerable members are always in need of a hand,… Continue reading

The Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre could be affected by cuts to Alberta Health Services announced by the government Tuesday. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
David Marsden: Yes, we know how to do laundry

Union leaders would have us believe there’s something special about their members:… Continue reading

Pumpkins for the 46th Annual WDACS Pumpkin Ball on display at Vision Credit Union Wetaskiwin. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
46th Annual Pumpkin Ball held virtually this year

This year the pumpkins were sold over a six-day online auction.

Email letters to editor@interior-news.com
Removing Molly Banister extension makes no sense

Re: “Removing road extension would be ‘terrible,’ says former city manager,” Oct.… Continue reading

jj
NDP is certain to tire of propping up Trudeau’s Liberals

To impose his will on the House of Commons, Prime Minister Justin… Continue reading

Mariah Bell of the United States competes during women’s freestyle program in the International Skating Union Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)
Canadian Keegan Messing earns bronze at Skate America in Vegas, Chen wins gold

Messing earns 266.42 points at Skate America in Las Vegas

In this Oct. 7, 2020 photo, chef Sohla El-Waylly prepares Swedish meatballs during a taping of “Stump Sohla,” in New York. El-Waylly became a familiar face on YouTube as a standout on Bon Appetit’s test kitchen channel. But during the nationwide racial reckoning following the police killing of George Floyd, she was among members of the test kitchen who accused the channel’s owner, Conde Nast, of discriminatory practices. She departed Bon Appetit in August after failed negotiations. Her new show is her own, pushing her to deploy her talent, charm and encyclopedic culinary chops to solve challenges. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
‘Babish’ expands as pandemic boosts YouTube cooking shows

Daily views of videos with “cook with me” soaring

Most Read