If Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do” is a testament to the public’s tendency to jump to conclusions and voice opinions about her, then, boy, did social media responses hit the nail on the head.
On Twitter, everyone and their mother had something — or multiple things — to say about Taylor Swift’s new single, “Look What You Made Me Do” when it debuted Thursday at 11:30 p.m. Hot takes, memes and good ol’ T-Swift fun-poking reigned supreme on timelines from roughly 11:34 p.m. onward. And it certainly wasn’t hard — after all, the song had lines about making a list and checking it twice, one of the most repetitive choruses since Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” and an unintentionally laugh-out-loud funny spoken verse about her former self being unable to come to the phone right now “because she’s dead!”
“I’m sorry the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now”
“Cause it’s late and her momma don’t know”
— Maeve (@maevedunigan) August 25, 2017
me when I wear a center-part pic.twitter.com/70quA8mOQs
— Julia Reinstein (@juliareinstein) August 25, 2017
But as I write this Monday — four days later — there isn’t a single person on my Twitter timeline sharing thoughts on Taylor Swift. Even with the debut of the single’s music video last night, “Look What You Made Me Do” is already, like the “old Taylor,” dead.
Part of that has to do with our 24-hour news cycle. We’re constantly on the lookout for the next big story, and these days it feels like the stories just keep on coming. Take Friday, for example: President Trump pardoned sheriff Joe Arpaio, North Korea fired short-range missiles, Trump ordered the Pentagon to enforce the transgender military ban and Trump advisor Sebastian Gorka resigned.
It’s not like Taylor Swift should be the leading story in all that.
But since Swift’s song was on everyone’s mind, it is evident that social media culture thrives on being the first and having the funniest, most interesting hot take. Creating a long-lasting conversation doesn’t matter. It’s all about firing off that one perfect joke before we move on to the next thing we can make fun of.
I cared so passionately about this single being terrible that I tweeted at least seven times (and later deleted some of the less funny tweets because you’ve got to maintain that #brand).
I couldn’t care less about sharing thoughts about the single now. Not because I don’t care about Swift’s music — my recently played list on Spotify can attest to that — but because we’re past the point of being able to tweet about it now.
To further reiterate: The song is very, very bad. But behind the chanting and less-than-believable persona she’s trying to embody, Swift has a point: We as a society are very quick to share unfiltered, contradictory opinions just for the sake of sharing.
The social media reaction arguably does a better job proving that point than she did. As a whole, we’re quick to judge and make fun of things, not even because it’s what we passionately believe, but because it’s a popular, interesting and fun opinion that can get us a couple of retweets.
As she captioned one of the promo photos for her upcoming Nov. 10 album, Reputation, “There will be no further explanation. There will just be reputation.”