Side Note

Live-tweeting your celebrity encounter is corny

We’ve heard it our entire lives: celebrities are people, just like us! Apparently, plenty of people forget this the moment they actually encounter a celebrity in real life. Yesterday, Twitter user @hayejunt tweeted that she recognized Greta Gerwig in her afternoon viewing of I Feel Pretty at a Union Square theater, and spent the movie detailing Gerwig’s beverage choice, movements, and verbal musings on the film.

The 22-tweet thread is a small blip in a larger web filled with endless stories like this one. An elbow brush with fame almost always makes the internet, but this thread is a more feverish reaction than I’ve seen publicly revealed before. It points to a clear predicament: In cities like New York, which are filled with celebrities, they’re generally meant to be left alone on the street. But because everyone now has the ability to capture any moment, public or private, it creates an awkward clash when someone simply decides to violate that unspoken contract. Musing about Gerwig’s laughter is one thing, but obsession can go beyond Twitter threads, and tread into very dangerous territory. Just last month, Taylor Swift had a stalker enter her Manhattan home.

It does say something weird about all of us when we put the private lives of other human beings on display so easily. Even more telling is the amount of people who have happily engaged with that thread, seeing nothing uncomfortable about it. Not to leap to “defend the celebrities” as a political stance — they’re celebs, they’ll be fine — but it’s kind of corny. We’re all entitled to a good geeking out, but maybe saving it for the group chat would be best.