People who refuse to join Facebook or Twitter always have the same refrain: “If I want to talk to my friend, I’ll give them a call on the phone.” These are the cranks, the curmudgeons. And yet, occasionally the slavish devotion to the voice-to-voice phone call seeps over to the internet’s most passionate corner: Beliebers.
Teens love Justin Bieber. Teens are also idiots and/or naive children (I’m willing to entertain both options). As as result, there are plenty of public Tweets from teens to Justin Bieber giving him their phone number and asking him to give them a call.
Makes sense, right? Justin probably gets bored in his backstage dressing room while waiting to entertain fans with his smooth vocals and dazzling dance moves. He logs onto Twitter.com and sees a Tweet to him with a phone number asking him to call. He’s intrigued. Who is this mystery woman? Oh what the heck, he thinks. It might be the girl I fall in love with and marry. I better give it a call. Never say never.
Of course Justin doesn’t actually call his fans, because he’s too busy making hit records and also because that’s just not how the celebrity-fan relationship works. But what would happen if he tried? Turns out he’d have a lot of trouble actually getting through.
We called 10-12 numbers tweeted to Justin requesting a call, and were met with a wider range of phone issues than I imagined. Numbers that wouldn’t ring, numbers with Lady Antebellum callback music but no voicemail, even an operator message “extension could not be found” (huh?).
When we finally got a hold of someone, Justin would have been disappointed with the results.
Transcript below (for our purposes, all girls will be referred to by different spellings of the name Ashley):
BuzzFeed: Can I ask you a few questions?
Ashley: Who is this?
BF: I’m a reporter for BuzzFeed. Has Justin called?
A: [sounds of phone being passed]
Ashley’s mother: Who is this???
BF: Hi, I’m a reporter for BuzzFeed.
AM: I’m the mother, my daughter left her phone number for Justin Bieber or something?
BF: Yeah, she tweeted it and asked Justin Bieber to called her.
AM: Of course, I warn her never to give her phone number on the internet! And no Justin Bieber did not call here.
BF: Are you concerned about her putting her phone number out on Twitter?
M: Who are you exactly?
BF: I’m a reporter for BuzzFeed.com.
JM: Oh, ok, I’m going to hang up now and have a talk with my daughter.
On the next call, Justin’s sweet words would have been lost in translation.
BuzzFeed: Hi, I’m calling for Ashlee, about a Tweet to JB?
BF: I’m calling about a tweet asking Justin Bieber to call?
A new person: “ALLO?”
BF: Hi, are you a fan of Justin Bieber?
BF: Did you send him a tweet asking you to give him a call?
BF: Did you send a message over Twitter asking JB to give you a call?
A2: I DON’T SPEAK ENGLISH
Finally, we got in touch with a true Belieber – someone ready to pick up the phone when an unknown number calls on the chance it might be Justin calling.
BF: Hi, I’m a reporter for BuzzFeed. I saw you asked JB to give you a call on Twitter, etc.
BF: Has he called?
A: No he didn’t.
BF: Do you think that he might?
A: Um, I don’t know, he probably has a lot of fans. I don’t know, but I hope he will!
BF: Does Justin call his fans?
A: Ummmm, I don’t know.
BF: Were you nervous about putting your phone number out on Twitter?
A: Mmm, no not really!
BF: I hope he calls! What would you say if he called?
A: I haven’t thought about that, I’d probably scream.
BF: So you think you’d just scream and hang up?
A: No, I think about it, like I say I’m gonna scream if Justin Bieber calls, my best friend and I talk about this all the time and we’re like, “I’m gonna scream when he calls” and then I’m like “no, he probably hears that all the time, what if he’s like, oh god, they’re screaming, you know?”