To say that the netizens were invested in Hania Amir and Asim Azhar’s relationship would be putting it lightly. There was something about this young couple that they managed to grab the attention of everyone, whenever the two were spotted together. A couple of young, attractive, and successful artists; Hania and Asim were dearly loved by social media.
He threw her extravagant birthday parties, she was his loudest cheerleader, and the two of them appeared so blissfully lost in their relationship that they couldn’t care less about anything else. Whatever relationship they shared was bold, young, reckless, and quite frankly, seemed straight out of a movie scene. Why wouldn’t it seem to be desirable?
Until, it ended.
How the internet had reacted to Hania Amir and Asim Azhar’s “breakup” is not a secret. The two were mercilessly trolled on social media. Memes were made, jokes were cracked; to push things to the limits, a Facebook event was also planned by some trolls to protest in front of Hania Amir’s house for breaking Asim Azhar’s heart. Hilarious.
To Hania and Asim’s credit, they tried to take all the social media trolling in a stride. Hania had acknowledged the memes and retorted playfully to them on her part. Asim also continued to mention Hania with respect and admiration that went beyond whatever the current label of their relationship was. But, alas, that just wasn’t good enough for social media. Because every little acknowledgment, every little interaction post their “break up” was only fueling the netizen’s interest in the private lives of these young stars.
Even now when the news of their relationship ending has become common knowledge, social media continues to find ways to link these two together. The captions on their Instagram posts are not just captions, they are cryptic messages alluding to their past. Any new song or artistic endeavor is simply an ode to their history. Their lives, beyond their relationship with each other, have ceased to exist for netizens on social media.
Why is it so? Mashal Khan, who herself has ended a relationship that was never kept away from the public eye, explained it very well. Speaking to MangoBaaz, Mashal made a very good point about how the fans get so invested in a relationship that they feel like they have a right to know about every single detail that led to the relationship’s ending. The fans want a return of all the time and emotions that they have invested in a celebrity’s relationship.
However, the fact remains, that the celebrities don’t owe anyone any explanation about why a certain relationship didn’t work. These are deeply personal matters and no person, celebrity or otherwise, would appreciate any outsider trying to pry too much into them.
But the argument of the other side cannot be ignored as well. If the celebrities really want their personal matters to remain personal, why do they make them public in the first place? Hania and Asim’s every move on social media would not be scrutinized by the netizens had they not opened up the window for them to peep into their relationship in the first place. If there’s anyone to be blamed for the celebrities being constantly bombarded with disturbing personal comments, it’s the celebrities themselves.
A look at how netizens reacted to news of a celebrity couple confirming their relationship via a wedding announcement versus a celebrity couple that continues to hang out together without putting a proper label on their relationship, shows that the former couple tends to receive more love. For example, Sana Javed and Umair Jaswal went public with their relationship with pictures of their nikah. The pictures went viral on social media and this couple was showered with love and blessings from all around.
Although rumors of Sana and Umair being in a relationship had been around for a while, the two were not subject to as much public scrutiny. The duo had made sure to keep their relationship as private as they could, essentially not giving anyone on social media the power to dictate how to handle it. A power that celebrities, who choose to be open about their relationships, hand over to the netizens. And once it is handed over, there’s no taking it back. Because the celebrities might stop being public about all their interactions, the fans once invested only continue to get more eager to know all the details.
So, does that mean celebrities who keep their private lives, specially their love lives, away from public eye are better than the ones who don’t? We can’t say it. After all, how a couple chooses to handle their relationship can be decided by no one else but themselves. However, some ground realities cannot be ignored.
The dating culture in Pakistan is not as widespread or commonly accepted. For a couple in Pakistan, dating can only lead to marriage which is the ultimate “happy ending” or a breakup which is perceived as the “ultimate heartbreak”. There is no concept of amicable breakups where two people choose to end a relationship because it is not giving them the happiness and satisfaction it once did. Relationships are complicated, messy, and cannot be simply explained in black and white terms. Celebrity relationships, both public and private, are not exempt from this rule.
There is a lesson to be learned here from the Hania Amir and Asim Azhar relationship situation. And it is simply this: people will talk. Just because the technology offered by social media has made it easy for celebrities to share every aspect of their lives with their fans, the people using social media are just not evolved enough to take in all that information casually. The more they consume about a celebrity’s life, the more entitled they feel towards it. And they are going to exercise this entitlement to make whatever unsavory remarks they feel like making.
It is sad, it is unfortunate, but that’s just how it is. So, maybe the next time any celebrity couple wishes to be open about their un-labeled relationship, they should know the possible reactions they can get from the netizens. If they want to bask in the happiness of the happy attention their relationship is getting, they should also be prepared for the negativity that any change in the relationship will bring them.