Sunday 20 August 2017

Comment: It’s okay Ed, not everyone has to like you (but most people do)

The singer does not update Twitter any more (BBC Radio 4/PA)
The singer does not update Twitter any more (BBC Radio 4/PA)
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Ed Sheeran just headlined Glastonbury and announced a European stadium tour, including a whopping seven dates in Ireland, for next year.

Each and every date will, undoubtedly, sell out in seconds.

He has sold 26 million albums worldwide.  His third album, divide, is the biggest-selling album of 2017 so far and his comeback single (he took a bit of a sojourn last year) ‘Shape of You’ has surpassed 1.5 billion streams in less than six months.

He is phenomenally successful.

Millions love his music.

Not only that but he’s widely considered to be one of the nicest men in the music industry.

You only have to look at how he spends his down time.  He’s surprising fans while they’re doing the shopping, he’s making a little girl’s dreams come true on the Late Late Toy Show, and he’s doing his best to combat ticket touts for the sake of his fans.

He is, by all accounts, a supremely nice guy.

Millions love Ed.

But not everyone.

Unfortunately, that realisation has been tough for Ed, who this week abandoned Twitter because he can’t deal with trolls “saying mean things”.

He told the Sun, “I’ve actually come off Twitter completely. I can’t read it. I go on it and there’s nothing but people saying mean things. Twitter’s a platform for that. One comment ruins your day. But that’s why I’ve come off it.”

Despite being at the pinnacle of his success, the singer recently faced backlash over headlining Glastonbury with some feeling he was an unsuitable act to do so.  Many of those critics said the same about Jay Z.  Unless you’re a rock band in the traditional vein, you’re not going to be received well by the old guard.

Some people just don't like this music, which is fair enough.

Then there was the misunderstanding which led to Lady Gaga’s followers attacking him on the social media platform.

"Lady Gaga's fanbase read an interview in which they assumed I was talking about her and they all f**king hate," he told The Sun. "And it wasn't anything to do with that at all. So I think Twitter gets on a massive steam roll of assuming things and then you get in the s**t."

It can’t be denied that being on the receiving end of a barrage of abuse, sometimes very personal, on Twitter is not good for anyone’s mental health.

Everyone who uses the platform is open to it and when it happens it’s galling.

But while the attacks are often personal, they hold no weight as the trolls rarely have any real knowledge or understanding of the person they’re attacking.

They may as well be throwing knives at an Ed Sheeran cardboard cutout.

However, Ed has taken it personally.

“The head-f*** for me has been trying to work out why people dislike me so much," he said.

He is clearly a man who needs to be liked.  We all do to some degree.  But surely the sold out stadiums, the millions of album sales, and the love from fans should be proof enough that the love outweighs the hate by a long shot?

You're the biggest star on the planet right now, Ed.  Bask in your success, and don’t take the keyboard warriors' misguided hate personally.

Everyone (well, almost everyone) genuinely loves you.

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