Justin Bieber surprised the world yesterday by releasing a new song called 'Friends' in collaboration with producer BloodPop. The song is, of course, an infectious jam you'll want to listen to on repeat. It's nearly impossible for anybody to try and fight the magical ear-worms Bieber is now famous for creating. The best course of action for literally everybody is to just sit back, relax, and enjoy this new fire track.
In the midst of my many listens of 'Friends', though, I realized a pretty troubling trend developing around the tracks' release: not only were fans speculating whether or not Bieber's song was about Selena Gomez, but so were numerous media outlets. While it seems easy to make the connection between Bieber and Gomez through this song - Bieber is asking to be friends with an ex who still means a lot to him on 'Friends,' after all - we should still be wary of this speculation.
Gomez and Bieber have been broken up since 2014, yet they're still intrinsically linked in the media. The pair can't seem to post anything online or do anything professionally without it being endlessly speculated on and picked apart by fans, tabloids, and more. Breaking up is hard enough to do. Breaking up in the age of social media is even harder. Breaking up in the age of social media when literally the whole entire world is watching, commenting, and speculating on your every move, it can make it virtually impossible to move away from a relationship both professionally and personally.
Gomez has even spoken out about this phenomenon, saying she understands that it's difficult for people the separate the pair of them even though they've been broken up for years. "The internet wants to freeze this moment in time and constantly repeat it," Gomez told The Sunday Times in 2015. Despite even more time passing, Gomez was forced to talk about her ex in nearly every interview she participated in to promote her album Revival. "Of course I got my heart broken," Gomez admitted to Refinery29 in the midst of the firestorm. "Of course I was pissed about it. There, everybody has it. I was so disappointed, because I never wanted my career to be a tabloid story."
Finally, and rightfully, Gomez shut down the endless questions about a relationship she was desperately trying to move on from. The 'Fetish' singer told W magazine that she was "so exhausted ... I honestly am so done. I care about his health and well-being. But I can't do it anymore."
With the release of 'Friends,' though, Gomez is once again at center of the internet's obsession with her previous relationship, even though she's clearly moved on in her personal life. She's made it clear that she's ready to move on, so maybe we all should, too. Bieber is a pop hit machine with a penchant for catchy tunes and memorable lyrics, so there might not even be a personal connection behind 'Friends' at the end of the day. If there is, it's up to Bieber and Gomez to decide if they want to make that information public.