An ode to celebrities getting cryptic on social media

"Do" - Harry Styles, 2019

On Saturday, as you are no doubt aware, Harry Styles sent the Twittersphere into meltdown with a single word.  For those of you somehow out of the loop, let us explain. After a five month internet silence, the Gucci muse popped up with the kind of unexplained, cryptic status that would send your softboi ex running for his rollies.


That’s literally it. Literally all he said. Yet the post has since, as of the time of writing, racked up 126,856 retweets and 586,838 likes…we can’t even imagine what his mentions will be like. This non-event has fans speculating that he might be releasing new music soon because, well, that’s just how celebrities communicate nowadays.

Take Harry’s former 1D bandmate Zayn Malik,  who tweeted “TRAMPOLINE.” after an extended period of social media hibernation only to jump on a version of “Trampoline” by electro-pop trio SHAED three days later. Another common wtf tactic is the so-called “social media blackout”, where musicians (Grimes, we are looking at you) delete all of their posts only to replace them with a slogan, date, or countdown clock to announce the release of a new project.

All this does little but remind us that social media does not, in fact, offer us any window into celebrities’ “real” lives. Looking at Ariana’s curated IG feed it’s clear that the pop princess, like so many in the industry, has her own social media manager and probably a top-secret, celebs-only finsta buried under layers of code.

Yet there are, sometimes, moments when famous people seem to have been let loose on their own social media to post whatever bizarre content they want (there are many listicles devoted to celebrity social media blunders) so let’s dream that Harry, rather than having any ulterior motives, just felt like tweeting “do” to 33.4 million followers.

8 October 2019