One thing that I’m really obsessed at the moment is fan culture and specifically fandoms of the internet. If you don’t know what a fandom is, basically it’s a community of fans revolving around a TV show, a movie, a book or something similar to that. Generally fandoms tend to involve people ages 13-21 on average, but anyone could potentially be a part of a fandom if they enjoy something enough.What I would like to talk about today is that you can like something SO MUCH that it actually destroys your life. Let me explain:
If you think you can just waltz into a fandom, that is not how this works. One does not simply join a fandom. It just happens to you. And most of the time, it’s when you least expect it.
Firstly, the person discovers and enjoys the thing. Then the person goes to the internet and has fun finding out about it and people who feel the same way. Person then suddenly becomes aware of that overwhelming perfection and it becomes the main reason for being alive.
Next thing a person does is surfing the internet for places where you can talk with other people in the fandom (forums), you’re making fan art, you’re reblogging hundreds and hundreds of gifs on tumblr, you may even write some fanfiction. And there is no going back. Once you start having these intense emotions or “feels” for something, its like your soul would have this massive void if you would ever leave the fandom.
It’s kinda like a drug. While fandoms generally don’t cause you any physical harm like real drugs will, they will have an enormous effect on your social life. Do not watch a show or a movie for which you have intense feels around your non fandom friends. If you try to enjoy you’re favorite thing and start feeling your feels around the people who just don’t get it, they will think you’re insane.
But what is it that turns a person that just likes something into this emotional wreck? It’s the internet! So you watched something that made you feel some feelings. If you didn’t go to the internet and see 10 000 other people feeling the same feelings, it’s a “feelingsplosion”. It’s basically like a group soap opera with ups and downs and fight and drama that at the end of the day is all centered around a mutual obsession over something.
But the separation between this hard core internet fandom and just a casual real life fan is what amazes me. A casual fan will pretty much just enjoy the thing whilst the internet fan is rocking backwards and forwards in the corner because of all the feelings.
Basically, fandoms are like drugs. You just need that little bit to get you hooked and than a tiny bit more here and there when BAM, suddenly your life is a train wrack. There should seriously be a fandom rehab.
And for anyone who is reading this who doesn’t consider himself a part of fandom like this, you have to understand something: You’re fandom friends really care about this stuff. They actually have emersed themselves so deeply into this world and have invested so many emotions into the characters that they might actually be googling rituals that they can do in order to try to send themseves into that fictional universe and actually live there. Sadly there is no way to do something like that and what’s worse, eventually, you’re going to hit something like a brick wall in your fandom. What I mean by this is you’re watching your favorite TV show and you watch all available episodes and then you find out there is going to be like 6 months or a year before there’s new ones or the series is over, you can almost feel your heart shatter inside of your chest like you have this close group of friends and they all suddenly died. It might differ to you what happens based on your fandom and your level of feels, but regardless of this, you will slip into some kind of a horrible fandom based depression.
You probably spent the last few minutes going like: “Yes, yes, oh god she understands!” or you’ve been going: “I understand none of this and now I’m scared.” In which case yes, you should be scared.
But what I wanna now is: Are you a member of any fandom? Has it destroyed your life or are you just finding this all terrifying and strange? Let me know down in the comments.