For a few weeks there has been this sudden upsurge in the toxicity of Pakistani people where zealots , obsessed with the personal lives of several actors, have foolishly targeted them online. Recently , there has been an inundation in the obnoxious and a toxic fan following around the country.
These imprudent supporters get so much obsessed with characters of their favorite shows that they not only emulate them but also try to picture the personality of the characters to be synonymous with the actual lives of the actors playing these roles. Its only when they realize that these actors were not what they wanted them to be , that they switch to personal attack and start making a fool of themselves.
We can still remember that as kids, how we used to emulate our favourite comic book heroes but it is rather appalling to see that even as adults , there are people who couldn’t escape out of their childish bubble. Simply type in ‘Ertugul Ghazi’ on twitter and you will see scores of said ‘keyboard warriors’ being so much fixated on the show that they have truly begun to censure their own Pakistani on-screen actors and actresses.
Our people have crossed the all limits when it comes to being ludicrous. Yes it is a fact that our beloved Pakistani people do think of criticizing their own celebrities as a past time hobby, but now these so called self proclaimed ‘connoisseurs’ of showbiz have started to take the hate even further by claiming Ertugul Ghazi to be the ‘greatest’ show there ever was.
It’s not just the Pakistani artists that are being targeted but recently many enthusiasts have targeted international actors under the pretext of religion. This is the level of absurdity and it really raises a question that why as a nation we have become so narrow minded and mentally obtuse? Who are we to comment on anyone’s personal lives? Fully inhabiting the mind, mannerisms, and reality of a fictional character can be very alienating as people often tend to drift away from reality forgetting the boundaries between what’s real and what had been just a part of a script.
Cyberbullying against actors is not a joke and for some celebrities, this pressure can become so great that it can even lead to serious mental health issues
The fan fixation on the show’s on-screen characters appears to have taken a trip for the more awful; screenshots from the Instagram profile of actress Esra Bilgiç who plays Halima Sultan on the show , uncovered the dull, yet diverting, side of Pakistani fans as they went on to preach her Islam on her clothes and poses. The image evoked remarks like ‘For what reason are some Turkish and Pakistani on-screen characters following Western culture?’ and ‘I loathe you in the wake of seeing this image Halima Sultan.’
That’s not all, many even compared her on-screen persona to something that they anticipated from her, all things considered. The ‘humble and honorable’ woman figure of speech was rehashed, suggesting that that is the means by which she should lead her life.
There were likewise long passages about how she ought to imitate the character she played on screen and that she would look much better in twelfth century clothing over the ‘western’ garments she wears in her own life. This blind fan following isn’t anything new here in Pakistan where many people would generate an obnoxious fan base for shows in the past aswell.
Cyberbullying against actors is not a joke and for some celebrities, this pressure can become so great that it can even lead to serious mental health issues. While bands of these so called self proclaimed ‘intellectuals’ attack celebrities online , they try to forget that they are people too , having lives and families aswell.
Criticizing an actor’s lifestyle and declaring it with a label of “un-Islamic” comes to show our degenerate thinking and it helps us to realize how many Pakistanis declare themselves as being the guardians of Islam.
Flashback to a couple of decades from now and we will see how the same people of our land were the only ones that were so obsessed with keeping the khilafat intact to that they even began their own movement, only to find that the Turkish themselves rejected the Khilafat in the end. It’s this very mindset that has trickled from several decades and into our nee generation – the very mindset of not minding your own business.
Until you have experienced abuse online it is very hard to understand how it feels. There is very little emotional or legal help for victims of online trolling
Another problem that might have fueled these internet trolls and obnoxious fans for ignition , might have been due to a term coined by Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 , known as “muckraking”. This was a form of journalism focused on exposure and humiliation all in the name of views and fame. This can also be seen done nowadays by various niche gossip websites all over the internet , even in Pakistan.
The surfeit of lies and controversies fed by various lamentable and third grade showbiz bloggers on these small gossip websites. This is the reason why these fans reminiscent to the fragility of a snowflake with their inflated sense of uniqueness, an unwarranted sense of entitlement and the way how they become easily offended and unable to deal with opposing opinions ; shows how these ‘snowflake fans’ turn to social media to let off their steam cooked up by various bloggers.
Until you have experienced abuse online it is very hard to understand how it feels. There is very little emotional or legal help for victims of online trolling, particularly for those in the public eye, who naturally find it more difficult to trust and therefore it necessary for us as Pakistanis to not target our countries finest artists that are actually trying to make this country proud.
Salis Malik is a writer based in Islamabad who also frequently writes for Global Village Space and is working with various international and national think tanks. The writer can be reached at email@example.com. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.