Fandoms: a great way to make friendships and enjoy your interests even more. They are bound by people of the same passion and interest so it is no wonder how easily friendships are made. But behind this joyful fashion, comes the dark side of their culture. Fandom culture can be alarming, too. And that’s what we’re gonna talk about.
No. 1 on the list is Fan wars.
Fan wars are something that will never be detached from fandom culture. These can be small and rather “petty” arguments but sometimes they can become personal. Some fans tend to attack fellow fans from other fandoms because of disagreements that are mostly just their personal preferences. Sometimes, this dispute can come within the same fandom as well. Fan wars are very prevalent on Twitter which acts like the nesting ground for fandoms. And this is what we call Stan Twitter.
These fan wars often weaponized cancel culture, not for the personalities they follow but among themselves. This is when fandoms become toxic and earn that reputation upon their name. Fans of such fandoms even go as far as to bombard these celebrities’ socials mean comments while comparing them to their favs. This fandom culture is so normalized on Stan Twitter that it is mostly treated as a laughing matter instead of something that can lead to serious or damaging consequences.
How to combat this?
1. Choose your circle. Just as you would pick your group of friends at school, practice who you surround yourself with online. This will help you avoid “problematic” fans and form healthy relationships within your circle.
2. Don’t spend too much time online. Sometimes, social media detox can help you avoid online drama and focus on more important things.
3. Block and mute. Yes, these options exist for a reason. Always remember that your online well-being is important so feel free to block any accounts that may not be too good for your digital consumption, even if they don’t attack you directly. We may not be able to control who uses these online platforms but we can control who we interact with on our own personal space.
Number 2. Obsession.
Some fans may display too much devotion for their favs that the only thing that’s left is to worship them. This fandom culture can lead to an obsession which can affect their daily lives and relationship with other people. Believe it or not, some couples break up because of this very reason. While it is definitely okay to adore or be inspired by public figures, it is important to acknowledge the reality of life and be sure to not succumb to delusions. Also, too much obsession may make you forget about your priorities in life.
Obsession can also affect your perception of reality through looks and preferences. Sometimes, fans forget that the people they look up to are also just human beings and are not perfect. They may look “perfect” but that’s because they have to. Focusing too much on this factor may distort your perception of beauty and its reality. Some even go as far as going under the knife to look like their faves, completely disregarding their own unique self.
How to combat this?
1. Set boundaries for yourself. Knowing how to limit yourself will help you remember what your priorities are. Never stray from your reality and always value the people around you more than those who don’t even know you exist. (*ehem* just a quick reality check.)
2. Do not try to be perfect. Nobody’s perfect even if that is how you may view your favs. Be inspired to do better and be better but never to be perfect. And of course, do it for yourself, never for anyone else. *wink*
Number 3, going beyond the boundaries.
Sometimes, fans can completely go feral they forget to put boundaries between themselves and the people they look up to. In the Philippines, for example, the love team culture is so patronized. Some forget that they only have chemistry on screen because that’s their job but they don’t feel romantically towards each other. They tend to bombard these celebs with comments on their sentiments on their social media pages.
In other cases, fans also post explicit and inappropriate comments about their idols. Oversexualizing celebrities is not okay, even if it is the concept that they involve themselves with. It is important to remember that just like all of us, these celebrities would love a safe digital space of their own. After all, we are all just humans, wanting to have a good life for ourselves and our loved ones, right?
How to combat this?
1. Respect. The best and only way to establish necessary boundaries is to have respect. Respect for your own online presence and respect for the people you claim to support. Always try to put yourself in their shoes before you do something that might affect them. By doing this, you will be able to realize if it is something that might not be okay to do. As the golden rule says, “Do not do unto others what you don’t want others do unto you.”
Shedding light on this matter will help us realize overlooked mishaps that we do or tolerate on social media. Social media is already a dangerous space and our job is to make it better for our own good. Involving yourself in healthy online habits will go a long way and may even influence even more people online.
Diana is passionate about writing most especially, creative writing. She loves to write poetry whenever she has free time and inspiration and shares some of it on her Instagram poetry account. Her inspirations can be from personal experiences, an outburst of emotions, or through art and music that resonates through her soul. Diana appreciates art and literature the most, especially the classics but is not the biggest fan of reading.