Lena Dunham is an excellent tweeter who brings her "Girls" witticisms and many life protips to the virtual world, but there's a major divide between herself and her Twitter feed right now because of all the trolls who've made her feel unsafe in that virtual space.
Dunham and her "Lenny" newsletter co-founder Jenni Konner appeared on Re/code Decode (via People) Monday (Sept. 28) and talked about the world of digital communication, and she admitted that while she respects social media for giving the world a giant microphone for their ideas, there's also a definite danger to the psyche lurking beneath the faceless commentary.
Lena said that while she's still hands on with her Instagram feed -- because (1) "it's a more positive community" and (2) it's a more instant gratification sort of medium -- she has handed over the keys to her Twitter feed because she can't handle all the mean that gets thrown her way on a regular basis.
"I don't look at Twitter anymore. I have a really great person [who handles the account]," she explained. "I tweet, but I do it through someone else. I don't have any access to [it]. I don't even know my Twitter password, which may make me seem like I'm no longer a genuine community user, and that would be true."
And while she does hop on to read other peoples' pages on a regular basis because she thinks it's an excellent platform for her comedians right now, she's not "involved" with the Twitter community in the same way that she once was.
"I very rarely respond to people. I still like the format as just a way to express ideas, and I really appreciate that anybody follows me at all. So, I didn't want to cut off my relationship to it completely, but it really truly wasn't a safe space for me," the Golden Globe-winning writer/actress said.
"I think that even if you think you can separate yourself from the kind of verbal violence that's being thrown at you that it creates some really cancerous stuff inside of you. Even if you think 'Oh, I can read 10 mentions that say I should be stoned to death' and laugh and move on ... that's verbal abuse. Those aren't words that you would accept in interpersonal relationships, and those aren't words that should be directed at you, ever. And so, for me, personally, it was safer to stop."
Lena also gave some heartbreaking examples of the kind of body-shaming troll tweets that she was dealing with, like "someone saying 'Lena Dunham's the fattest whore in town.'" CRINGE.
But now that she's put a body barrier between herself and her Twitter responses, she's free from that exact kind of virtual "violence" that she was enduring before.
"I don't care. I said something about Justin Bieber last week, and supposedly there's been massive trolling by Justin Bieber fans, but I don't know, so I don't care," she explained.
Dunham was referring to a comment she made in response to Bieber's "What Do U Mean," which includes the lyrics "When you nod your head yes/But you wanna say no/What do you mean?" Following the music video debut, she tweeted, "Let's do away with pop songs where a girl nods yes when she means no and vice versa, k?" and, needless to say, the Bieber fan community had something to say about it.
"I was being attacked by Justin Bieber fans, I would be upset every day if I was reading tweets from 13-year-old girls that were like 'You're fat, and Justin Bieber's our angel,' but I'm not. So, I don't have to be stressed about it. I've never even thought about it once," she said.
Having experienced the actual hurt that can come from the tapped out words of strangers, Dunham believes that the hate can be "dangerous" because Twitter "an be a tool for the desiccation of the egos and souls of ... teenage girls. There are marked incidents of girls committing suicide after massive Twitter bullying."