Lady Gaga’s Weird Tweets Are an Ongoing Social Experiment

Solving the mystery of “I’m calling my next album ADELE” and “F.”

Lady Gaga holding a phone
Steven Lawton/Getty Images

Lady Gaga may have delayed the release of her upcoming album Chromatica, but its attendant press tour is still showing signs of life. Presumably long before she helped raise $35 million for the World Health Organization Covid-19 response fund, Gaga posed for the May issue of InStyle. The accompanying cover story, which published on Wednesday, is particularly illuminating about Gaga’s future: She very much plans on getting married, and is “very excited” to eventually have children. (She already refers to her home as “The Womb.”)

Gaga’s words on the past, though, are arguably more intriguing. As you may recall, Gaga treated her Twitter followers to a steady stream of enigmatic tweets over the course of 2019. In August, there was a single character: the letter “F.” In October, there was what turned out to be an empty promise: “I’m calling my next album ADELE.” And in November, there was a puzzling throwback to her most divisive album: “I don’t remember ARTPOP.” Altogether, they amassed hundreds of thousands of likes and retweets, even though no one seemed to know what exactly they meant.

The confusion, Gaga explained, was her plan all along. “I’m trying to crack the code that is the algorithm of the internet, and I will do so in various ways,” she said. “You may not always understand why an ‘f’ tweet gets that many likes. Who knows why? It was just a social experiment. I’m trying to understand people.” (Perhaps Britney Spears was, too, when she made Gaga the subject of her own enigmatic tweet in 2011.)

More broadly, Gaga seems to have a love-hate relationship with social media. “Honestly, sometimes I wonder if the people who invented social media all got in a room and went, ‘Let’s start something where nobody has to be brave and everybody can hide and be mean,’” she said. “It’s not all bad, but a significant change has happened in culture as a result of it. This idea to socially network was supposed to bring us closer, but it built a bunch of walls and made it harder for us to be ourselves around each other.” At least, those of us who aren’t Gaga.

Related: In Praise of Lady Gaga’s Weird Tweets