The last post was about fandoms. In this one I would like to share with you how my fandom is affecting my life.
I’m not new to fandoms or fangirling. I always got very excited about things that I liked. Even as a child I got obsessed with singers, actors, bands, TV shows or whatever. I was and still am a fan of many things.
But it was cca 3 years ago when I found out what being a hard core fan is like. I started watching a TV show and I really liked it. Then they introduced a new couple on the show. I fell in love with this couple immediately. I don’t know if you are familiar with the term “shipping”. If not, it means that you like the idea of two characters being in a romantic relationship. It doesn’t necessarily have to be sexual (but come on, who are we kidding:). I totally started to ship them. They became my OTP (One True Pairing – the ship you like the most).
This is all ok. There is nothing wrong when a person likes a relationship of two fictional characters, right? I think what made my obsession much much bigger is joining the internet fandom. The day I discovered tumblr was the day my social life died. I found so many amazing blogs dedicated to my OTP. I started chatting with the owners of these blogs. We were exchanging pictures, videos and gifs. Every day I spent hours and hours on tumblr, reblogging hundreds of gifs.
Then I found out about fan forums. Those are places where people who share a mutual obsession discuss that thing. I loved it because all these people completely understood how I was feeling. We were discussing every single detail of what was going on on our favorite show, we were analyzing every sentence, every scene, everything… We were sharing our opinions, stories and fan art. There was so much going on that I devoted all my free time to this site. I started to do worse at school because I just couldn’t focus on learning. I’d rather spent my time chatting with people on the forums. I also completely sacrificed my social life to it. Who needs real life friends when all the cool people are online?
The day I discovered the site fanfiction.net was the day when I started to abandon all my basic needs. Fan fictions are worse than drugs. You become completely addicted to them. Especially when you find writers that are such geniuses. Some of these stories are better than any book I have ever read in my life. When I found a good fanfic with 50 or more chapters, I read all the chapters in one day. And they were really long. It is like reading a thick book in just one day. The result of this was that I stopped getting sleep. I was so obsessed with what happens in the next chapter that I didn’t care about the fact that I will be tired as a zombie the next day at school.
And this madness went on for months. Throughout the 3 years I had a few breaks with my hard core shipping. Usually I stopped being so obsessed when there were things going on in the show that I didn’t like that much. So I somehow stopped abandoning my basic needs and I started studying like a responsible student. But after some time I always returned to the fandom. It happened to me just recently. I wasn’t following the show for a few months. But a few weeks ago I have watched the episodes I haven’t seen so far. And it was probably the biggest mistake of my life. My obsession returned. I think it is even bigger than ever before. I blame the show for my giant obsession because the things that our fandom was only dreaming about for years became true.
On the day when the newest episode came out I have done NOTHING productive. I watched the episode 3 times in a row, I went on forum and spent 4 hours reading all the amazing posts and chatting with other fans, then I went on tumblr and spent another 3 hours liking and reblogging gifs and pictures. I seriously caught myself staring at some gifs for hours and I’m not kidding you. Then I rewatched my favorite scene from the episode on youtube countless times and spammed the site with comments. And of course I had to watch all other fan videos available. At the end of the day I read some fanfiction that people wrote as the continuation of the epic episode. And when the day was over I realized: I need help. This is not healthy. I literally have done nothing productive all day.
I wish it was just one day. But I found myself repeating these actions 3 days in a row. I know I’m not alone in this. In our fandom it’s a common thing. We all went crazy because of what was happening on the show. We all started abandoning all of our basic needs because of how many times we had to rewatch certain scenes. And it’s not just a thing that happens to teenagers. I know people who are over 30 years old with kids and jobs and they act just like crazy teenage fangirls.
And how do I feel about myself now? I think this gif pretty much sums it up: