Twitter, Instagram,Facebook, Snapchat and other social media sites are often the gateway for celebrities to communicate with their fans and promote themselves.
It has also become the first medium for them to unveil the latest news such as releasing a track, launching a range in fashion and make-up or even announcing a break up, birth, marriage or death.
But what happens when internet trolls are on the prowl?
We see celebrities getting verbally abused, criticised, hassled and harassed by other social media users hiding behind the screens of their cellphones and computers.
Many stars have grown immune to the hatred while others troll back, but recently we’ve seen many celebrities fall off the radar. And fans are furious.
Last week, model and TV personality, Chrissy Teigen announced that she’d set her account to private.
“Not strong enough anymore,” she replied to the user who asked about it, and then added in a separate tweet: “It’s not haters or trolls or generally mean people. I just feel like I am absorbing bad s*** 24/7. My body and mind cannot handle it anymore.”
Justin Bieber threatened to shut down his Instagram account after having a tantrum over negative remarks posted on images of him with his purported new flame, Lionel Richie’s 17-year old model daughter Sofia Richie.
The fiasco unfolded in August when the Baby singer, fed up with an influx of pointed comments about his new relationship, gave his 77.8 million followers and other user of the site an ultimatum, “Leave her alone or I’m gone”.
He then put his account on private, wavered a bit, switching back to public settings for a moment, before deleting the account altogether.
Beliebers were devastated. Queen of social media Kim Kardashian, who was recently robbed at gunpoint, has since been socially silent. Her blackout is due to investigations into the heist, but the rest of the clan have stated they will be pulling back on social media due to the danger it could cause.
Singer Iggy Azalea has handed over her social media accounts to her management team to handle, saying her thoughts and opinions always get her into trouble.
Celebrities are always in the limelight, and it’s unfortunate that they have to endure badmouthing – but if you choose to put your private business on a social platform, then you need to be thick skinned because there are always going to be comments you won’t like.
Locally, businesswoman and media personality, Sorisha Naidoo has mastered the art of being active on social media without letting the taunts get to her.
“I chose to go private a while ago #pkh (pre Kardashian heist) because my Instagram as well as my Twitter have personal moments that I share with positive people. Unfortunately my Facebook page does not have that option. However it is great to see the good with the bad – it keeps me grounded,” she said.
Naidoo said she could not block out all negativity on social media, but liked to turn it into a positive.
“I am so grateful for the negativity on social media. If they are talking about me, I must be very relevant in their lives. I do prefer happy positive people, but I think life is a journey of accepting the good and the bad and I don’t mind either,” she said.
Asked if this trend could be the start of the end of social media, she said it could be the start of regrouping and spending less #selfietime. “The world is moving towards an era of self-awareness and introspection so this could be the jump start we all need.”