One of the things I love about Twitter is that it fosters community. I've taken to Twitter during sleepless nights, personal crises, work, and even E.R. visits. It can lead you to believe you have a strong support system when you're totally alone and scared, and while encouragement from others is comforting, it's no substitute for human connection.
Amanda Bynes, the former Nickelodeon powerhouse whose impressive resume has been overshadowed by her erratic, scary, and even abusive behavior as of late, knows a thing or two about relying on Twitter for validation and correspondence. The 27-year-old, who has been senselessly burning bridge after bridge by dubbing people unattractive and unworthy of her time (and life itself), is reportedly only reachable via Twitter. Former co-star Lance Bass claims she "deleted all of her email addresses and cell phone numbers so none of her friends can get in touch with her." One could say he's lying, but the former All That cast member has also blasted her family on the internet several times, stating she no longer keeps in contact with them, namely her "ugly" dad.
Former Nickelodeon actor Nick Cannon tried to get through to her as well, to no avail. The Drumline star said in a radio interview with Howard Stern, "That's like my little sister. To see someone you've seen at nine and you know she was running around with a snotty nose, and now to see her like that, it's like, wow, man. It's sad. I tried to reach out ... She doesn't have any of her people [staff members] anymore."
It should come as no surprise, then, that Amanda Bynes has been spotted alone a great deal these days. Just this weekend, she was pictured staring at her cell phone and a camera in a hot tub in Atlantic City, surrounded by confused-looking onlookers as she played around with gadgets. The picture is awkward and even makes me feel uncomfortable, but more than anything, it makes me sad, as it shows how alone she is right now. She may have brought it upon herself, but that doesn't make the alienation any less tragic or unfortunate.
And this isn't the first time she's been seen riding solo on the East Coast. During the same weekend, she reportedly lunged at a man in a casino, where she was also photographed alone:
Last month, she was also reportedly seen bouncing around Sky Zone in Buffalo, once again by herself:
She was seen walking through a Jersey mall with a dog earlier this week:
I'll admit it's not too classy of people to take photos of her everywhere she goes, but for someone with more than 2 million Twitter followers and a true talent for attracting attention, you'd think she'd be seen hanging out with friends more often, not among judgy-looking strangers in New Jersey:
Or doing this:
Whether she's truly unwell as some have suggested or newly vicious, it's been tough for some to take pity on Bynes. Like an elementary school bully, she calls everyone she dislikes "ugly" and tweets things like "If you're not hot I don't value your opinion. Stop trying to force me to listen if I show no interest." To Amanda, we're all ugly, at least if we don't call her a "queen" on Twitter as some of her doormat followers have taken to doing.
She doesn't seem to find any of her antics troublesome, either. Bynes reportedly got in touch with a friend to admit that her peculiar decisions (perhaps shaving half her head, making this scary video, posting topless photos on Twitter) are all for show.
“All this has been an act and you know it!” Bynes allegedly wrote in a text message. “I am an actress and know what I am doing. I got to 2 million followers and now everyone wants me. I am smart and not stupid. Everyone mentions my name. The world loves me!”
Well, certainly not the folks you called ugly and told to go off themselves. Your Twitter followers may blindly dote on you, perhaps because you love retweeting compliments, but at the end of the day, they're nothing more than social media users you'll probably never meet. Your Twitter followers aren't going to be there for you when you're sad or want to go out and do something fun.
I'm sure some of them would agree to meet up, but would it be because they genuinely like her or just want to socialize with a celebrity? Real happiness comes from friends and family members, and perhaps if she hadn't shut them out, she'd have people to go to the mall, Atlantic City, a bounce house, and NYC hotspots with. Instead she's just with her phone, and really, what good is that if there's nobody you want to talk to outside of Twitter?