The following is an obituary for Zayn Malik’s Twitter handle. Please light a candle, bow your head, and proceed when you’re emotionally ready.
In the Twittersphere, every character counts. Condensing your hilarity into compact tweets is a chore, but paying attention to each and every symbol keeps you on top of your game. That’s why losing characters is always noticeable, often regrettable, and sometimes just plain heartbreaking.
Today, we mourn the loss of two little characters. They’re ones that might not mean anything to the non-believers of the world who pretend not to know all the words to “What Makes You Beautiful” or claim they’re not charmed by Harry, Liam, Louis, and Niall. But to the rest of us, they’re everything.
In a move that has made his exit from One Direction really and truly official, Zayn Malik has removed the “1D” from his Twitter handle. Yesterday, he was @ZaynMalik1D. Today, he’s just @zaynmalik. It just doesn’t *feel* right, but in our heart of hearts, we knew this day was coming.
Because he clearly thought it best to rip off multiple bandages at once instead of easing us into this transition, Zayn has also edited his profile. Not only is the link to One Direction’s official website gone, but so is his entire bio. As you’ll probably remember, the amateur philosopher’s message to his followers was once, “just close your eyes and enjoy the roller coaster that is life :) x” Now, there is nothing there. No smiley face. No “x.” The roller coaster has ended and Zayn has gotten off the ride.
Needless to say, Directioners’ hearts are heavy today. The hashtag #YouWillAlwaysBeZaynMalik1D has been trending all night, and grieving tweets have been pouring in from around the world. A sampling:
It’s also important to note that Louis Tomlinson’s bio still says he’s “1/5 of One Direction,” but I suspect it’s only a matter of time before that’s edited as well. It’s best we prepare ourselves for that now because the next few months are going to be full of adjustments and “night changes.” But don’t worry, Directioners. No matter how deep the “spaces” between us get, we’ll make it “through the dark.” We will.
R.I.P. @ZaynMalik1D 2010-2015