Fandoms. What are they exactly? Well, here are some definitions for you:
FANDOM: The community that surrounds a tv show/movie/book etc. Fanfiction writers, artists, poets, and cosplayers are all members of that fandom. Fandoms often consist of message boards, livejournal communities, and people.
FANDOM: An emotional drug. With other such hypnotized fans just as addicted as you or any other fan are, to a specific subject. A large group of unstable and emotional fans that devote half of their time in daily life, loving the thing they are so dedicated to. Whether its the writers, the shippers, or the followers; they all emotionally go haywire over it as one. There are many fandoms, but some of the more common & most emotionally unstable of fandoms are … come on now. I’m not stupid. I’m not going to actually name the crazy ones!
FANDOM: An awful, wonderful community of people who’s feelings don’t matter to the authors and creators of books, television shows, movies, etc… OH GOD THE FEELS– My fandom will be the death of me…
FANDOM: A cult that will destroy your lifeI have 17 fandoms… DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY FEELS I GET A NIGHT
Get the idea? Well, I am part of a fandom. It can be a wonderful, fun, exciting place. It can also be a horrible place where the equivalent of the “mean girl” exists. They hide behind their computer or phone screen, tapping vile, vitriolic words, spewing them out for all to read. The stupid part about these particular people is that they actually refer to themselves as fans of the show they are bashing. They hate and loathe almost everything about it. Yet they continue to watch. They find nothing wrong with verbally attacking writers, producers, directors, even the actors, about the story line of a particular episode.
They don’t actually understand that the show is not written specifically FOR THEM. They demand that the protagonists of the show must be portrayed in a certain way. Most often in bed, kissing constantly, and living in fluffy cloud of peaches and cream where real life cannot intrude on their non stop love affair. They cannot understand that for a TV show to survive 8 or 9 or 11 years, it must change and move forwards. Even if that means their favourite character is not portrayed in a positive light.
They often then turn their bitter, sour tongues on other fans who dare to defend the show. They resort to naming and demanding people unfollow certain people. They threaten to report them. But mostly they just are nasty, mean, negative nancies.
They have open conversations on forums and social media sites like Twitter, where they gravitate towards each other banging each other on the back, waving their pitchforks in the air and chanting. They have no problem forcing their opinions down other peoples throats and turning on them and attacking in an verbally vicious way if they are questioned about their own views.
Twitter has been a place where, for some reason, it’s more important to have more followers and to follow more people than the next person. Whether to you have any interest in a person, their interests or what they tweet about, or not.
I don’t understand that myself. I regularly go through my followers and purge the suspect and weird ones. Why a fast food place in DesMoines feels the need to follow me escapes me, except for the fact that I once may have mentioned french fries with ketchup and they therefore assumed that I must eat there.
I have also been forced to block a large number of these “true fans” of my show. If tweeting a showrunner or writer and “UPPER CASE SCREAMING” at them, telling them they have killed the show, destroyed it, ruined it, giving details of scenes that don’t work, is being a true fan? I guess I’m really not.
In their world. And frankly, I really don’t want to be.
Now, for the good side of MY fandom. These are the people that truly love our show. Many people write recaps and reviews in positive ways. There is a whole group that write fanfiction, myself included. There is Tumblr where you can find screen caps, gifs and videos about the show. We have chat rooms and forums where we gather to praise a particular episode or discuss the things we liked and didn’t like.
See, in my world, you don’t HAVE to love every episode and every scene to be a true fan.
You understand why something was written the way it was. You come together virtually to hug each other when you’re happy or sad. You accept that a particular episode wasn’t really a story that appealed to you, but you still have appreciation for the work that went into it. You can talk to your friends about why you didn’t like it, and they sometimes agree with you, or not. But you still chat about it and your feelings without any malice. And you wait for next week with anticipation.
We will sometimes tweet the actors, directors or show runners with our congrats on a great episode. We join in with the fun when something exciting happens, like one of the actors has a baby, wins an award, or has something exciting happen to them. Mostly we just follow them because they are the people who give us our show.
But always, ALWAYS, we are super supportive and positive because we actually LOVE and appreciate our show. My fandom has brought me into the arms of some wonderful people. Literally. It was the highlight of my recent holiday to meet face to face the people that I met via twitter and give them all a big warm hug. It also proved to my husband that I’m not the only middle aged woman in the world who has a crush on a particular actor.
So I will continue to be part of my fandom. I will keep watching my show, which has just been renewed for an 11th season! That’s a gift to the fans. I will keep writing my fan fiction. I’ll keep chatting to my friends, and I will definitely keep away from the nay-sayers. All fandoms have two sides. I prefer mine sunny side up. And with bones in it.