Ashley, twitter & showing up

“No way?”

Kitts and I turned to each other in absolute horror.

Our favourite Strictly Come Dancing celebrity – and sure bet to win the thing in our books –  Ashley Roberts, had come bottom of the public vote and would face this weeks’ dance-off.

We were beyond baffled: she danced like an angel and was the strongest in the competition by far.

What on earth were the voting public thinking?

Still curious, I went online the next day to see if there were any theories on what could have happened. 

Were the public voting en-masse for the underdogs in the show? Did people not want her to win out of jealousy for her gorgeousness or ability?

The answer soon revealed itself: there had been a mass twitter outrage over the fact that she was a professional dancer and this apparently made the competition unfair.

Never mind that heaps of contestants over the years have had backgrounds in the pop industry, but anyway.

It gets you wondering about the persuasive power of social media, doesn’t it? 

It certainly makes me wonder how it feels to be on the receiving end of such attacks and how resilient you need to be to handle any sort of celebrity these days.

But most worryingly, when our call as people of faith is to, ‘shine like stars’, (Phil. 2:15) how much tougher is walking that road set to become, in a world where mass opinion shouts so intimidatingly?

It leaves me worried that, before too long, no one will want to show up and be real online at all, so terrified are they of how others might respond.