Celebs are now us­ing an app to apol­o­gise for their pub­lic faux pas

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES TRENDS - Lind­sey We­ber

To be fa­mous in 2019 one must pos­sess (in ad­di­tion to tal­ent, or at least pop­u­lar­ity) a patina of authen­tic­ity and a will­ing­ness to ad­mit wrong­do­ing. Also: an iPhone.

Lady Gaga makes for a per­fect case study. On Thurs­day, she sent an apolo­getic mes­sage to her over 77 mil­lion Twit­ter fol­low­ers. The singer wanted to let her Lit­tle Mon­sters know that, after re­newed crit­i­cism of R. Kelly, she had de­cided to pull a track she had recorded with him in 2013 from stream­ing mu­sic ser­vices. “I’m sorry,” she wrote, her words cast against a gray­ish faux-paper back­ground fa­mil­iar to Ap­ple users and celebrity news con­sumers, “both for my poor judg­ment when I was young, and for not speak­ing out sooner. I love you.”

Her state­ment was writ­ten us­ing Notes, a free app that is pre­loaded onto Ap­ple de­vices for the pur­pose of stor­ing per­sonal mem­o­ries and to-do lists. In re­cent years, though, it has be­come the medium of choice for celebrity mass com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

The rea­sons for writ­ing these Notes notes vary, but of­ten they are mea cul­pas for pub­lic er­rors. Ar­mie Ham­mer apol­o­gised with aNotes app note for crit­i­cis­ing his peers for post­ing grief self­ies after Stan Lee’s death. Ken­dall Jen­ner apol­o­gised for her cloth­ing line’s in­sen­si­tive use of the No­to­ri­ous BIG’s and Tu­pac Shakur’s like­nesses. Ar­i­ana Grande apol­o­gised for lick­ing a dough­nut.

Part of the medium’s ap­peal is the ease with which its con­tents may be shared. Notes app apolo­gies are screen­shot­ted and dis­persed, first on Twit­ter and In- sta­gram, and then in en­ter­tain­ment news re­port­ing. They are em­bed­ded into tabloid web­sites and quoted by mag­a­zines, as pol­ished state­ments com­ing di­rectly from pub­li­cists might be.

Some­times state­ments in­clude gram­mat­i­cal and spell­ing er­rors, or pro­fan­ity, which func­tion (per­haps un­wit­tingly) as rhetor­i­cal de­vices, mak­ing the au­thors seem not only un­pre­ten­tious but fal­li­bly hu­man.

The best Notes app state­ments fol­low the same guid­ing prin­ci­ples of any good apol­ogy: get in and get out; be di­rect; don’t try too hard to de­fend your­self; and (this is a bonus!) maybe say what you’re do­ing mov­ing for­ward.

The brevity of so­cial me­dia pushes most peo­ple to­ward a short and sweet state­ment. But when 280 char­ac­ters doesn’t quite cut it, Notes app, or what­ever text keeper An­droids come with, does the trick.

A Notes app apol­ogy has its pit­falls. If fans sus­pect an apol­ogy isn’t as heart­felt or gen­uine, the en­tire thing could back­fire. But worse is a com­pletely un­apolo­getic apol­ogy.


Lady Gaga used Notes to apol­o­gise to her 77 mil­lion Twit­ter fol­low­ers

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