The good, the bad & the ugly: Social media tales from the stars

Local celebs weighed in on their best and worst moments on social media

Local celebs weighed in on their best and worst moments on social media
Local celebs weighed in on their best and worst moments on social media
18 Feb 2016

Local celebs weighed in on their best and worst moments on social media

Ah, social media. It’s a boon and a bane wrapped into bite-sized nuggets of information on the web. Love it or hate it, many celebs make use of various platforms – Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Weibo, Snapchat and more – to keep in touch with their fans, who they can’t see on a day-to-day basis.

Giving peeks into their lives on public platforms, however, also means that anti-fans (also known as haters), are able to make themselves heard as much as the fans are. In recent days, Mediacorp actress Rebecca Lim’s social media pages have been bombarded with comments after her post on ‘retirement’ was made.

While she has not updated since clarifying that she will not be stepping out from showbiz, comments on her Instagram have been rolling in continuously. Naysayers have called for an actual retirement, but her fans (collectively known as The Beckers Team) have been sending in a string of encouraging messages, all with one simple message: We’ve got your back.

The celebs in our gallery haven’t quite experienced the same intensity of comments as Becks, but we found out who thinks they’re not popular enough to receive bad comments, who felt better seeing condolences on a nephew’s passing and more.

Click or scroll on for the best of worst of social media as told by local celebs!

Joshua Tan (@joshuatwe13)
Joshua Tan (@joshuatwe13)
18 Feb 2016

Joshua Tan (@joshuatwe13)

What are some of the most encouraging and discouraging messages you’ve received on social media?

Well, some of the ones that affected me more were the ones I received when I just started out acting. Some people were commenting on my nationality and calling me a foreign talent which I really did take to heart. I'm an Australian citizen born in Melbourne, but was raised in Singapore.

I grew up on this sunny island, went to school here and served my time in the army and yet somehow I was less of a Singaporean than others who spent zero time in Singapore but held a Singapore passport. But as I matured I learnt to spend more time focusing on constructive feedback rather than destructive feedback. 

What was the most impactful comment you received on social media and how did you react to it?

I still receive messages on my social media from parents who tell me how much of an impact I have on their children, which reminds me what an influence I have on the younger generation. Sometimes I think of acting as my job and forget that people get affected and influenced when they see my productions. Many parents have come up to me and told me how much their kids want to join the army or even the kids themselves come up to me and say they want to be just like me when they grow up. It scares me sometimes to understand what an influence I have on people. I've always wanted to be an actor but never expected being an influencer on the younger generation because of my work.

Do you read comments on your social media platforms and if so, how often do you do so and do you reply to them?

Yeah I do very often, and I tried replying to most of the comments when I first started using social media. However, it got to the point that I was spending more time replying comments instead of focusing on my work and it became distracting.

Then I realised that if I replied to certain fans online but neglected others I was being unfair, if I wanted to reply to one, I would have to reply to every single comment. Eventually I stopped and instead hold #askJosh sessions on my social media once in a while so I can interact with the fans. I also encourage them to come to events as there are higher chances of interaction at live events.

Sonia Chew (@soniachew/@987sonia)
Sonia Chew (@soniachew/@987sonia)
18 Feb 2016

Sonia Chew (@soniachew/@987sonia)

What are some of the most encouraging and discouraging messages you’ve received on social media?

Most people are nice and tell me things like, “I’ve seen you grow up since you debuted” and all that and it really makes me feel good. I’m a very punny person and I have followers who will out-pun me at times – it actually makes me feel happy reading those comments because I know there’s more than just me who enjoys such jokes out there!

There are some people, however, who say not-so-nice things. Recently, there was an incident where someone actually said something like “Oh nice face but you’re flat” and it was pretty hurtful. My supporters did jump in and say things like “It’s normal”, “Not everyone is perfect” and more so I perked up pretty quickly.

What was the most impactful comment you received on social media and how did you react to it?

I’m not exactly the most ‘guai’ (well-behaved) personality around so I was really surprised when I got the parental stamp of approval a couple of times! There was this mom who posted on my page, telling me that she’s been listening to me on the waves every day when she sends her daughter to school from when she was in lower secondary.

Now she’s in upper secondary and she told her mom that she wants to follow in my footsteps, go to a local polytechnic and be a radio DJ in the future! It really meant a lot to me that I could inspire someone like that.

Do you read comments on your social media platforms and if so, how often do you do so and do you reply to them?

Yes I do! I try to but it’s hard to these days because I’m filming and I have my radio show and all that. I do reply people but if people ask questions that have already been answered then I’ll leave it to them to scroll back for the answers themselves.

Sometimes fights occur within my comments and my fellow DJs will jump in and make funny comments. We don’t text each other about it beforehand and we just do it spontaneously which makes it even funnier, actually!

Aloysius Pang (@aloypang)
Aloysius Pang (@aloypang)
18 Feb 2016

Aloysius Pang (@aloypang)

What are some of the most encouraging and discouraging messages you’ve received on social media?

I don’t think I’m really that active on social media but one of the best things to receive is when someone praises my acting skills. The worst is when I receive insults – not to me but to the people around me. That’s something I really dislike. You can point fingers at me but you can’t do that to my family or my friends – they’re innocent.

What was the most impactful comment you received on social media and how did you react to it?

There was one particular comment that targeted how I look and blamed it on my family and said that it’s my parents fault for how I turned out. I won’t mention what exactly the person said because I don’t think what was said is nice.

I received this comment when I first started out but it’s still very impactful and has stayed on my mind till this day. Basically, any comments targeting my parents will cause me to flare up slightly.

Do you read comments on your social media platforms and if so, how often do you do so and do you reply to them?

When I’m filming, I don’t have time for it but on off-days, I definitely try to catch up. I will go back to read the comments one by one because I think I should be grateful to people who put in effort to give comments. It’s the least I can do for them.

I have a habit of not replying comments because you can’t get to everyone and if you reply some but not others, those who didn’t get responses will start to ask “Why didn’t you reply me?” I don’t want to create conflicts so I don’t even reply my friends or colleagues to be fair to everyone.

Jaspers Lai (@jaspersjaspers)
Jaspers Lai (@jaspersjaspers)
18 Feb 2016

Jaspers Lai (@jaspersjaspers)

What are some of the most encouraging and discouraging messages you’ve received on social media?

Social media provides a platform for artiste to express our thoughts and art, but it is the very same platform that allows comments that can either make or break our day.

Recently, I released my single #HEARTBEAT online with conjunction with our Ah Boys To Men concert. I uploaded it via YouTube and Facebook. One of the "funny" comment I got is, "EEEK the whole song is auto tuned..... HE CAN'T SING"

It made me... speechless. It’s very sad to know that people judge you based on the thing he or she sees in that post. People didn't try to understand that the auto-tune is on purpose...That song itself is electro based, thus, the producer and I both agreed that the best way to blend in with the upbeat electro feel is to make my vocal sounds more robotic. And I LOVE the effect.

Let’s not pass a judgement so soon based on just one song – it wouldn't be too late to judge me after they hear me sing it live. (chuckles)

On a happier note, I guess most of the comments online are rather encouraging to me. The most heartwarming comments will be how my art work has made their day. Sometimes I will produce online videos and viewers will always comment that they love it so much and that they have a good laugh over it. Nothing is more encouraging to hear than your work is being appreciated and loved.

What was the most impactful comment you received on social media and how did you react to it?

One of the comments that stood out and made an impact to my career recently is one by our local singer-actresses Joi Chua. I did a spoof of her 3688 theme song MV and it went pretty viral.  I was rather scared that she might find it offensive initially but she found it funny and commented on my post with 3-punches emojis and numerous thumbs ups!

For an actor, there’s nothing more encouraging than having the person you spoofed compliment you. Subsequently, the movie team arranged a surprise meet up with Joi on one of their outdoor events with a pretty large news coverage. It’s amazing to know what social media can do...it connects people and arts.

That comment kept me going strong for subsequent other projects because I know my team and I are doing it right.

Do you read comments on your social media platforms and if so, how often do you do so and do you reply to them?

Well, I always do. To me, viewers are my bosses. However, I categorise comments into two: constructive and non-constructive based on personal experience. There will always be haters and haters will hate you while hiding behind their computer screens trying to bring you down. The opposite of haters are the cheerleaders, who will encourage you regardless of what you do.

I try to strike a balance between both and not to be too indulged with either. I will try to understand what people hate and love about me and if there’s constructive criticism, I’ll accept and learn from it.

Thus, I try my very best to reply to all comments personally, but sometimes, it’s so flooded with love and I’ll have to address all of them at once. At the very least, I’ll press the like button on comments to acknowledge them.

Felicia Chin (@iamfeliciachin)
Felicia Chin (@iamfeliciachin)
18 Feb 2016

Felicia Chin (@iamfeliciachin)

What are some of the most encouraging and discouraging messages you’ve received on social media?

I feel very encouraged whenever students will tag us whenever they are having exams/projects and say like, “Can you wish us good luck please?” and I will whenever I see these. Recently one girl actually tagged me and said, “Oh my goodness I have such good results. Thank you Felicia Chin for encouraging me!”

That is just so significant to me because social media can be used in so many ways and I think it’s great that I can just provide some positive vibes to them and help them in some way or another. I feel surprised that it meant so much to her as well and I am happy that it helped.

I’m pretty partial to positive or negative comments so I don’t take note of them that much.

What was the most impactful comment you received on social media and how did you react to it?

Social media has changed so much. I still remember when it was in 2007 when I had and I would have daily chats with my fans on the chatroom and I even have like photo contest and sharing with them things that I like and they will send me things that they drew or they have a passion for. It was really cosy and like really talking to friends. Then, certain haters started to enter these chats and they would do nasty things so I stopped all of it.

Those memories still stick with me and now, even though Instagram accounts can have thousands of followers, I still take it as a personal sharing platform for my friends and fans. I treat my social media account like that because as an artiste I wants to be sincere and I think whatever that I share it helps them in some way of another. I don’t see social media as a way of commercial thing. It is more of personal sharing corner for myself just like 8 years ago on my blog.

Do you read comments on your social media platforms and if so, how often do you do so and do you reply to them?

I try my best to reply comments because of this show I am really very busy that I haven’t even been updating so often but when I can, I will try to reply everybody. If I can’t, I will reply anybody that I personally know – that’s me.

I remember on my birthday, I replied hundreds of comments thanking them for wishing me on my special day, but if really I can’t I will say thank you everybody in general.

Audrey Goh (@sparrowonweed)
Audrey Goh (@sparrowonweed)
18 Feb 2016

Audrey Goh (@sparrowonweed)

What are some of the most encouraging and discouraging messages you’ve received on social media?

I think your followers tend to be similar to you in nature – I’m a very easygoing person so it feels like the people who follow me tend to be that way too. They say nice things all the time and it really makes me feel happy reading their comments, even if it’s something that says “Have a nice day!”

Also because I’m really easygoing, I don’t let the negativity get to me. I used to get affected by it but not anymore because I know I do have people who support me. For those who want to be discouraging, I can only say that they don’t know me and I can’t convince them otherwise if they’re going to be against me from the start.

What was the most impactful comment you received on social media and how did you react to it?

Last year, I got dropped from a project at the last minute because one of the foreign clients had an issue with my social media handle, @sparrowonweed. It’s not as frivolous as some may think it is; neither does it have any connection to drugs or anything of the sort. I felt really upset so I made a long post on my Instagram to share how I felt. After that, a lot of people said really nice things in general – I can’t remember what it was exactly – but it did help me feel better seeing all these encouraging comments telling me to not give up and to be who I am.

Do you read comments on your social media platforms and if so, how often do you do so and do you reply to them?

Yes, definitely! I check it whenever I post something and I just stay on my page to check the comments pouring in. I do try to reply everyone but sometimes it’s really overwhelming so I can’t. Sometimes, fights happen on my feed for the smallest of things because one person says something bad and everyone rushes in to support me – that’s when I really feel loved by them. I’d much rather everyone not fight, though!

Darryl Yong (@darryl_yong)
Darryl Yong (@darryl_yong)
18 Feb 2016

Darryl Yong (@darryl_yong)

What are some of the most encouraging and discouraging messages you’ve received on social media?

Many supporters leave encouraging messages showing support and adoration but the most encouraging to date came from a gentleman who is a practicing lawyer and law column writer. He was very impressed by my switch from law studies to acting and wanted to do an interview with me to highlight law studies individuals who are making waves in their own ways.

As for the most discouraging, there’s no one in particular except for a few trolls here and there who would leave comments like "He’s so gay" or "Eww" and just out to make you feel bad about yourself.

What was the most impactful comment you received on social media and how did you react to it?

I don’t recall any impactful comment except that recently, my nephew passed away due to a car accident. The loss was sudden and shocking. I posted something and when I saw replies and comments sending condolences, I appreciated that gesture very much. Seeing so many people care, can make your mood a whole lot better.

Do you read comments on your social media platforms and if so, how often do you do so and do you reply to them?

I do read the comments because I always want to know what the audience or supporters think. I work much better with criticism so I am always on the lookout for constructive criticism on how to improve.  And I do reply but only occasionally.

Aden Tan (@adentyz)
Aden Tan (@adentyz)
18 Feb 2016

Aden Tan (@adentyz)

What are some of the most encouraging and discouraging messages you’ve received on social media?

I’d say that most my fans have been very nice to me; some spend effort to drop a simple comment like "Fighting!" every now and then to show their support and I really appreciate that. All their comments have been the most encouraging to me. I don’t really get many discouraging comments, maybe because I’m not famous enough yet so what I get are still mostly positive ones!

What was the most impactful comment you received on social media and how did you react to it?

I don’t really have a particular memory of a really impactful comment but I do remember those who have been supporting me from the start and I feel really happy when they comment, because I recognise their names and when they say things like “You’ve come a long way” or “You’re doing well” it really helps me a lot.

Do you read comments on your social media platforms and if so, how often do you do so and do you reply to them?

I do reply when I have the time and I also make the effort to read every single comment/tweet so keep ‘em coming!

Eunice Annabel (@euniceannabel)
Eunice Annabel (@euniceannabel)
18 Feb 2016

Eunice Annabel (@euniceannabel)

What are some of the most encouraging and discouraging messages you’ve received on social media?

The most encouraging comments I'd usually receive are when my followers/readers tell me that they've been following me or reading my blog since the day I joined the industry. It makes me feel that I must have done some good to have such loyal supporters. I usually don't let comments discourage me, I'm immune to hate comments and I tend to block them out so I don't pay attention to them. People who leave negative comments usually have nothing better to do, they love to push others down to make themselves feel better.

What was the most impactful comment you received on social media and how did you react to it?

There have been so many so I can't remember one in particular. Most of the time the impactful ones are when my supporters send me personal emails. It feels great knowing that they genuinely care for me even though I haven't met them in real life.

Do you read comments on your social media platforms and if so, how often do you do so and do you reply to them?

Yes, definitely! I check it whenever I can, like when I’m waiting for events to start or when I’m sitting down. I do try to reply but definitely not the haters – I’d just block them as long as I feel as their presence and comments aren’t good for me. After all, my social media pages are supposed to be my personal space, so I’d like to keep everything peaceful and positive.

Maxi Lim (@originalmaxi)
Maxi Lim (@originalmaxi)
18 Feb 2016

Maxi Lim (@originalmaxi)

What are some of the most encouraging and discouraging messages you’ve received on social media?

I usually like comments that compliment my acting skills rather than those that just say I'm cute or famous. I remember I did a role of an abusive son and I guess I played my role too well as many thought I was an abusive son for real.

I received a number of violent threats saying they will attack me if they saw me in person. Thankfully some of my fans went to reply to the threats saying I'm just acting although it was based on a real person and case.

What was the most impactful comment you received on social media and how did you react to it?

I remembered once Mark Lee came to my Instagram and told me how much he enjoyed my acting in Ah Boys To Men 3 and how he saw my maturity in terms of my craft. It meant a lot especially when it came from a veteran that I watched while I was growing up.

Do you read comments on your social media platforms and if so, how often do you do so and do you reply to them?

I will look through most of my comments but usually refrain from replying. Sometimes when you reply to a certain fan and not everyone, it will stir jealously and my fans might quarrel among themselves. However I do reply some of them once in a while when they have something interesting to say.

Shelia Tan (@sheliatan)
Shelia Tan (@sheliatan)
18 Feb 2016

Shelia Tan (@sheliatan)

What are some of the most encouraging and discouraging messages you’ve received on social media?

The most encouraging comments were from people supporting me since a long time ago. They remember the title of the shows, my screen names, what the story was about in detail, even though it was such a long time ago. It makes me feel very appreciated and that all the hard work is really worthwhile.

I must say I'm very lucky because I don't really receive a lot of discouraging comments. My followers are all really sweet. Or if there was any, it was very minimal it doesn't affect me and I can’t remember it. (laughs) Ultimately, I realised that if people love you, they will love you no matter what. Those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.

What was the most impactful comment you received on social media and how did you react to it?

My social media platforms are actually very personal. I post the most random things from my daily life, like what I do with my family, what affected me that day, how happy or moody I am. It's like a mini diary.

I guess the most impactful comments were days when I was very down. People would leave comments to remind me to be strong. They tell me how much they love me and will always be here regardless of what happens, even if I don’t know them personally. I get stressed easily so these comments mean a lot. They gave me a lot of assurance and life advice.

Do you read comments on your social media platforms and if so, how often do you do so and do you reply to them?

I read them every day, all the time! As long as it's a question, I will reply. I'm just a very ordinary girl that loves the performing arts. I'm very thankful that there are people interested to know how I live my life although it’s a very mundane one.

I feel more than glad to share the happy moments or sad ones with people around me and I'm thankful people actually stayed or took the effort to read. Even though it I may get boring at times. (chuckles) I always make an effort to reply as long as I have time.

Oon Shu An (@oonshuan)
Oon Shu An (@oonshuan)
18 Feb 2016

Oon Shu An (@oonshuan)

What are some of the most encouraging and discouraging messages you’ve received on social media?

There are many, many encouraging ones. All of them touch me in some way or other. They'll ask me to keep doing what I do, not to give up, and the ones that always surprise me are when they say that I made their day better, that kind of thing; they don't realize that they also make my day better!

Discouraging... I try not to remember. I don't mind a negative opinion, but one thing I won't accept is rudeness. Especially to other people in the comments. It’s just not nice. We have enough meanness in the world.

What was the most impactful comment you received on social media and how did you react to it?

I really don’t know how to choose – skip!

Do you read comments on your social media platforms and if so, how often do you do so and do you reply to them?

Yes I do! Once in a while, I go on an answering spree on maybe one of the pictures. I always feel bad when I reply one person and not the other, like I'm leaving them out!

Related:
Joshua Tan & Darryl Yong: We’re not narcissists
Aloysius Pang: I’ll do anything for art!
4 reasons to watch A Selfie’s Tale
“Toggle and cuddle” with the stars of A Selfie’s Tale

Find out more about A Selfie's Tale here.
Catch episodes 1-10 
here and binge-watch the entire series with Toggle-It-First.

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