Pop star Justin Bieber’s rabid fans may not differ qualitatively from Elvis’ or the Beatles', but they have something their forebears did not: Twitter. More than 49.5 million users follow @justinbieber, an alarming number of whom use their handles as yet another opportunity to swoon: @marrymejustin, @followmejustin, @justinbmyboo, @justinbmysavior. No matter that the Canadian heartthrob’s PR woes now include being arrested for DUI and drag racing, peeing in a bucket and then spraying a photo of Bill Clinton with cleaning fluid, abandoning a monkey in an airport, possibly egging his neighbor’s house, visiting a Brazilian brothel, and stashing drugs in his bedroom.* Girls tweet at him ceaselessly, relentlessly, with the single-minded dedication of a robot compacting a box. Sometimes, when the planets align, he tweets back.
That’s when, in the parlance of the youth, ish gets cray. Getting “noticed” is one of the great achievements of Bieber zealotry. It is like being singled out by Zeus to bear the next hero of the Myrmidons. You become a celebrity in your own right—“can you get him to follow me?” others might ask plaintively—and, sometimes, a target of jealous rage. Last March, a 15-year-old girl received death threats after Justin retweeted her tweet: “Not really a fan of Justin Bieber but his acoustic album is really good!” Sample response: “Really @justinbieber you RT that and u don’t even know I exist and I’m a belieber I can’t I want to die kill me I can’t AAAAH.”
But it’s not all mean girl negativity. One throwaway :) or thanks from the Biebs has the power to generate hundreds of joyous, amazed, we-are-happy-for-you-but-worried-about-your-health tweets in just a few hours. There are the congratulations from the rest of the Twitterverse (“You deserve it!” “I’m so proud of u” “U ARE BLESSED”), the renewed pleas from bystanders for their own RT or follow, and, in extreme cases, the involvement of Mom. Don’t belieb me? Below, we highlighted a few tropes of Justin Bieber Twitter delirium, together with representative examples.
ISZ THIS REAL-- (@TheBiebahWifey) January 7, 2014
Did this really happen bc it seems like a dream to me, after all this time he finally noticed me I can't get this in my head I-- (@TheBiebahWifey) January 7, 2014
HE TWEETWS ME AND FAVES MY TWEET-- inactive bc vacay☀️ (@biebersviking) January 22, 2014
JUSTINTWERE DME IM CRYINN-- (@TheBiebahWifey) January 7, 2014
I CANT STDOP CRYING-- Abby (@STATICBIEBERS) January 7, 2014
I'm so happy I feel like puking lalkdjsks-- inactive bc vacay☀️ (@biebersviking) January 22, 2014
Justin RTEd me im still not over it i cant sleep its 2am ohmyGod akdjsbsjsbssbqueen butera ♛ (@Strat4dKidrauhl) January 14, 2014
Playing it cool
Professions of love
I LOVE YOU SO FUCKINGG MUCCH LIEK WTF JSUTIN I'm not STABLE @Justinbieber-- (@TheBiebahWifey) January 7, 2014
HHE STWEEDDAbby (@STATICBIEBERS) January 7, 2014
JAJSJSBSBSSBBB I CNAT BREYAJEBSBSBBSBSBNSSBS I CANT FUCKING BRATHE ENSBS WBW WHAT TR GUCK JSSBVSBSBSBSB CHISHBSSBqueen butera ♛ (@Strat4dKidrauhl) January 13, 2014
I STILL CANT BELIEVE IS THIS REAL LIFE OHMYGOD IM ON JUSTINS PROFILE IMSBSJSBSBS IM CRYING MY MOM IS ASKING ME WHY I AJZZJSJQBS-- queen butera ♛ (@Strat4dKidrauhl) January 13, 2014
I JUST CALLED MY MOM AT WORK SHE DIDNT EVEM UNDERTSAND WJAT I MEANT BUT FUCK THAT IM HAPPY-- (@TheBiebahWifey) January 7, 2014
Me: "Marry me Justin?" Justin: "....." Me: "....." Justin: "....." Me: "Well?" Mom: "He's not answering, ask another poster"-- THANK YOU JUSTIN (@JBsexykidrauhl) February 10, 2014
Inspiration for a new generation
@JBsexykidrauhl how was the feeling when Justin replied you?-- JUSTIN PLEASE (@hebecomealegend) February 10, 2014
@JBsexykidrauhl congrats... do you think i'll feel that feeling too someday?-- JUSTIN PLEASE (@hebecomealegend) February 10, 2014
(Ed. note: If she does, chances are we will know all about it.)
*Correction, Feb. 13, 2014: This post originally stated that Justin Bieber peed on a photo of Bill Clinton. Bieber peed in a restaurant mop bucket and then sprayed the image of the former president with cleaning fluid.