How Deadheads and Directioners Made the Internet What It Is Today

Ordinary people tend to view stans in a variety of ways, either amused by theatrical slang (“Favk never can”), impressed by their organizational skill, or terrified by their willingness to launch large-scale harassment campaigns. A relationship is one of intrigue and doubt, not recognition; And even those who identify themselves as “chronically connected to the Internet” don’t always get motivated by Stans, content they see as just an intriguing part of the online environment. This is the place Kaitlyn Tiffany, internet culture writer for The Atlantic, enters. her next book, All I Need I Get From You: How Fans Created the Internet As We Know ItDive into the trenches of online fans — fried memes, bizarre and sometimes dangerous conspiracy theories — drawn from scientific research and her One Direction loving personal history. It traces how fans have shaped the Internet in the modern age: as our “dominant style of commerce” has become, infiltrating our speech. The book’s balance of first-person experience, academic analysis, humor, and rigor makes it an irresistible read.

Below is a modified excerpt of Everything I Need from Everything, which begins with the quest to vomit shrine to Harry Styles and expands on the history of online fan spaces, from Deadheads on the WELL to Directioners on Tumblr.


I’m looking for Harry Styles’ vomit shrine. I know it was on Tumblr – I remember seeing it there. In the fall of 2014, at the start of my senior year in college, I also remember a GIF of Harry Styles answering an interview question about the shrine for his vomit, nodding his head diplomatically and saying, first in frame one, “It’s impressive. Sure,” and in a second, Small stature, perhaps.”

Those are my memories. These are the facts. In October of that year, Harry Styles went to a party at the home of British pop singer Lily Allen in Los Angeles. The next morning, he was getting into a chauffeur-driven Audi, dressed in his tracksuit, on the way back from a “too long trip,” he told the driver to stop. On the side of Highway 101 just outside Calabasas, he threw near a metal barrier, looked up, and closed his eyes with a camera. Is sweaty, climaxed. His hair is dirty, puffed up in a messy bun. However, he wears track shorts and tights, stretches his knees on the side of the road, and still exudes Harry Styles chic. His cheekbones find the direction of the light thanks to a reaction or a gift from God.

On the day they were taken, the photos circulated in the tabloids and on Tumblr and Twitter, and a few hours later, 18-year-old Los Angeles resident Gabriel Kobera set out to find the spot and name it for posterity. She drove alone, then taped a piece of poster board to the fender: “Harry Styles vomited here 10-12-14,” she wrote in capital letters. The adorable picture that she first posted on her Instagram was later circulated on Tumblr, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and all the seemingly spammy celebrity blogs that are actually just a scam to the search engines. Even more than the Harry Styles photos, I remember that I liked the image of this sign. Harry Styles threw here! That’s all he did – but since we’ve only seen him vomit once before (total story), we’ve never seen him do that this is A strip of pebbles, the sign indicates that it is worth recording for posterity. Harry Styles threw here! Six months ago, it was Los Angeles Times She reported that 20-year-old Styles dropped $4 million on a five-bedroom home in Beverly Hills (a gallery of photos of the home’s interior was removed from the story shortly after publication). However, he came down the hills, jumped out of the car in a luxury suburb, and vomited on the street. Why stop at a piece of poster board? Why not plaque?

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