If you’ve ever felt like Twitter is “a shitstorm of people trying to be awful to people,” well, you have something in common with Harry Styles. Ahead of his films Don’t Worry Darling and My Policeman’s fall premieres, the 28-year-old singer-slash-actor got candid about his attitude towards and usage of social media in Rolling Stone’s September cover story. He’s never downloaded TikTok, and he only uses Instagram to look at posts about plants and architecture. As for Twitter, he does his very best to stay away from the app.
The aversion is entirely understandable. Since Styles began dating Olivia Wilde, director of Don’t Worry Darling, a number of fans have been circulating threads listing all the ways in which they consider her to be problematic and starting rumors about drama between her and Styles’s costar, Florence Pugh. “That obviously doesn’t make me feel good,” Styles said of the toxicity from the small section of his fanbase that doesn’t abide by his “treat people with kindness” motto. He saw it coming from a mile away: At this point, he’s so used to negative responses to his romantic partners that he’s taken to giving them an early heads up.
“Can you imagine, going on a second date with someone and being like, ‘Okay, there’s this corner of the thing, and they’re going to say this, and it’s going to be really crazy, and they’re going to be really mean, and it’s not real… But anyway, what do you want to eat?,’” Styles summed up his cautionary script. “It’s obviously a difficult feeling to feel like being close to me means you’re at the ransom of a corner of Twitter or something. I just wanted to sing. I didn’t want to get into it if I was going to hurt people like that.”
Wilde hasn’t let any of it get to her, nor let it change her perception of Hazza fans. “What I don’t understand about the cruelty you’re referencing is that that kind of toxic negativity is the antithesis of Harry, and everything he puts out there,” she told the interviewer, Brittany Spanos. “I don’t personally believe the hateful energy defines his fan base at all. The majority of them are true champions of kindness.” Until the rest change their ways, don’t expect to see much movement on Styles’s Twitter feed.