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The Hater: What’s the deal with Taylor Swift’s new song?

Twitter users, YouTubers, and true Swifties combine forces to solve the mystery behind “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.”


Jordan Valinsky


Posted on Aug 15, 2012   Updated on Jun 2, 2021, 12:46 pm CDT

We love the Internet. Except when we hate it. Every week, Jordan Valinsky bottles the angst of his Millennial generation and finds something to despise about the Web.

Accomplished Cracker Barrel gift-shop tchotchke Taylor Swift released her new single Monday. Everyone on the Internet is not only confused—they don’t know how to feel about themselves being confused. They’re confused about being confused.

Swift’s new song, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” is exactly what you think it is: a three-minute ballad about how she’s abandoning department store prices and transforming into a full-time T.J. Maxx maxxinista. Doesn’t she seem like the kind of girl to make a “day” out of driving to the nice T.J. Maxx in an upscale Nashville neighborhood to treat herself?

Or, most likely, it’s about a break-up.

But the new song is weird… in a good way! It doesn’t have the usual Swift-characteristics of being countryish, laborious to listen to, and mentally draining. (Hi, “Teardrops On My Guitar.”)

Instead, the song is punchy and poppy, sounding more like Avril Lavigne than something for CMT. It could be a late contender for song of the summer, but summer is over, so it’s not. That’s what led everyone on the Internet to feel funny feelings and experience at least three different types of emotions. Let’s straighten our bangs and talk about it together.

1) Who is she being so mean about?

The title explains it clearly: Some bro out there wronged her, and she’s so done with him. What bro, though, is an Internet mystery.

She has been linked to Jake Gyllenhaal, laughing at how she shares the same name with Taylor Lautner, being intolerable with Joe Jonas, and some guy named John Mayer.

It could be any of those four, so leave it to Twitter to have a real, earnest discussion about it.

@LyrcialHippie opened the floodgate of discussion and reasonably offered their opinion: “I think it’s probably about John Mayer beause he’s an assole.” @CookieDoughTric offered solid evidence: “Taylor Swift’s new song is obviously about John C. Mayer.” Because obviously.

But some Twitter users are learning toward Jonas. “I hope her new song isn’t about Joe Jonas, she needs to stop picking on him. it’s been 4 years. Move on, girl,” tweeted Jonas PAC member @xJonaticsAUS.

Conversely, there are some conspiracies! “Ok so it’s Joe Jonas’ birthday and Taylor Swift’s new single is out…coincidence?,” tweeted Wikipedia reader @aninadash_.

Then there was this guy who was annoyed that no one told him about the Swift-Mayer relationship: “Had no idea Taylor swift dated John Mayer,” tweeted a sad @mikepentz. “This changes everything!” He was later heard screaming into his Muscle Milk as he flicked through issues of US Weekly from 2009.

So, what is the definite answer of who the song is about?

The writers at an allegedly real website called Star Pulse used their Knight Foundation grant and narrowed it down to Mayer or Jonas. They think it’s about Mayer because some dumb lyric in the song references hiding, which Mayer is doing in Montana.

It’s most likely, but certainly not, 100 percent about Mayer, probably. We can shut Twitter down.

2) No one can tell if they like or hate the song

Now that we understand Swift is a girl who dates anyone within five feet of her, let’s talk about the actual sound of the song. That’s what left everyone on YouTube very confused.

It’s a departure from her other songs. That’s leading people to have very conflicting feelings. It’s no “Call Me Maybe,” I mumbled into my Lean Cuisine, “but I don’t totally hate it.” I discovered that’s a common feeling in the YouTube comments.

There is a stark divide in the song’s comment section, between true Swifties and people pretending to be true Swifties. The one rule about being a Swiftie is to publicly flaunt your membership on every website.

“WHAT? this song is not one of Taylor’s greatest songs, kinda disappointing actually, because I really like all of her songs, except this,” wrote bintang on YouTube, who admitted she’ll buy the album anyway.

But shots fired!

“I mean like… If you like some of the song and hate the rest… but swifties should like all of her songs. yes I think its an ok song because I like her country songs better but I still like this song,” wrote TakeMeAwayCC.

Others complimented Swift for changing it up. “You guys aren’t real fans. Get over yourselves. Let Taylor grow up and experiment!,” xxmakeuplover05xx wrote.

3) Acceptance, sort of

The interesting part about Swift’s new song is that Swifties hate it, but people who hated Swift previously love the song. No one knows what to feel!

“God I hate Taylor Swift but that fucking song….” tweeted @StefanMaxxx, who has probably appeared on Rich Kids of Instagram at one point in his life. @cinthyazap said the same thing but even admitted to the world that she’s “obsessed.”

However, it’s @HannahPezza who echoed what everyone on the Internet is thinking: “I can’t decide if I like, or really hate Taylor Swift’s new song.”

We’ll just have to agree to disagree or something.

Photo via Hashgram

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*First Published: Aug 15, 2012, 6:35 pm CDT