Alexa Chung: Reading fan blogs is like being privy to what's said behind your back

Girl About Town

Share
Related Topics

When I'm alone I find myself anchored to my computer. YouTube and Facebook are too enticing for me not to reach for my laptop whenever I'm bored. Internet social networking is surely the saddest thing modern technology has to offer my generation. Rather than visiting art galleries or reading or doing anything worthwhile (eg, going to the pub), instead I'm posting boring chat on somebody's "wall" in an effort to keep up with whatever's going on. It feeds our need for attention and to some degree legitimises stalking. Surely both of these things are deeply unhealthy.

And yet before I had Facebook I had my phone, something else I constantly check for text messages, so perhaps it's just me that's addicted to the web/attention. I know this isn't true, though, because beyond Facebook and MySpace and Bebo or whatever else it is that happened in the wake of Friendster, the internet is crawling with blogs created by people in order to document their lives via photos and witty throwaway comments they spent hours constructing. And if you delve a little deeper, if you want something a little darker, there are plenty of chat rooms associated with bands, actors and, most importantly, television personalities people apparently either love, or love to hate.

I've had first-hand experience of this. After my first appearance on television, naturally I Googled the show to see what people thought of my presenting skill, or lack thereof. And there it was in black and white, hundreds, if not thousands, of people confirming my deepest fears: I sucked.

And yet for every person who hates me, there is another (obviously incredibly intelligent) person who is willing to jump to my defence – but it's a case of too little, too late. Only the negative comments stick. I'm happy to say I'm not the only one sad enough to Google my own name, and I know plenty of other people who fall for the forums because it's like being privy to what people say about you behind your back. We often make a point of reading out all the hateful things people write about myself, Rick and Grimmy on Freshly Squeezed to compete over who got the best insult. We give shout-outs to the people who've made the most poisonous comments.

But who are these people who while away the hours pouring their venom on to keyboards? I guess they're the same ones who comment on this very column – hi, guys. I know that everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion, but when they start writing it down in places I can find it, I really wish they weren't. Sometimes I feel like I survived my schooldays, only to grow up and be bullied by people I've never actually met.

But then there are the people I have met who still think I'm an idiot. I wonder whether Cheryl Cole (below) found me to be "all superior, like", as she was happy to tell British Vogue, when I was making cups of tea for Girls Aloud on a shoot they were doing for the now-defunct pop magazine Smash Hits.

In actual fact, this was our first encounter, when I was assisting a photographer, long before I took on the task of reading out snide questions on the now-also-defunct music show Popworld. I'm not trying to start a war with Cheryl Cole, far from it – I'm just gutted she dislikes me because I happen to love her. Without becoming too sycophantic, I think she's hotter than the sun. And perhaps she's right and I was a little frosty when I interviewed her, but hopefully I've thawed out since then.

Defrosting is a tricky thing to do in this weather. I now face the colossal task of trying to look attractive and female while also managing to stay warm. After dabbling with Missoni elbow-length gloves and over-the-knee socks under my Balenciaga jeans, it has become apparent that this is virtually impossible. So I've decided to stop giving in to vanity and have ordered a sensible men's goosedown coat to keep me warm. At least this way, when the online forums dislike my outfit, I can think to myself: yes, I may look ridiculous, but at least I'm lowering my chances of catching pneumonia. Not that I'll be reading them, of course. Ahem.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Travel Customer Service and Experience Manager

£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing travel comp...

Recruitment Genius: Cleaner / Caretaker / Storeman

£15500 - £17680 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A position has become available...

Recruitment Genius: Head of Sales - SaaS B2B

£60000 - £120000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This conference call startup i...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital and print design a...

Day In a Page

Read Next
File photo dated 11/3/2014 of signage for the main entrance and emergency department at a hospital  

Weekend opt-out is stumbling block as BMA and NHS negotiate new consultant and junior doctor contracts

Charlie Cooper
The alleged meeting between George Osborne and Rupert Murdoch is said to have taken place in Downing Street in late June (Getty)  

Rupert Murdoch's private meeting with George Osborne: The mogul always likes to back a winner

James Cusick James Cusick
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen
Satya Nadella: As Windows 10 is launched can he return Microsoft to its former glory?

Satya Nadella: The man to clean up for Windows?

While Microsoft's founders spend their billions, the once-invincible tech company's new boss is trying to save it
A Very British Coup, part two: New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel

A Very British Coup, part two

New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel
Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Icy dust layer holds organic compounds similar to those found in living organisms
What turns someone into a conspiracy theorist? Study to look at why some are more 'receptive' to such theories

What turns someone into a conspiracy theorist?

Study to look at why some are more 'receptive' to such theories
Chinese web dissenters using coded language to dodge censorship filters and vent frustration at government

Are you a 50-center?

Decoding the Chinese web dissenters
The Beatles film Help, released 50 years ago, signalled the birth of the 'metrosexual' man

Help signalled birth of 'metrosexual' man

The Beatles' moptop haircuts and dandified fashion introduced a new style for the modern Englishman, says Martin King
Hollywood's new diet: Has LA stolen New York's crown as the ultimate foodie trend-setter?

Hollywood's new diet trends

Has LA stolen New York's crown as the ultimate foodie trend-setter?
6 best recipe files

6 best recipe files

Get organised like a Bake Off champion and put all your show-stopping recipes in one place
Ashes 2015: Steven Finn goes from being unselectable to simply unplayable

Finn goes from being unselectable to simply unplayable

Middlesex bowler claims Ashes hat-trick of Clarke, Voges and Marsh
Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Atwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years