This past week has been, well, let’s be honest. It’s been hell. I’ve watched not one, but two fandoms turn on themselves. They’ve attacked on producers, writers, and actors. When that wasn’t enough, they turned on each other. People who have a common interest have been more interested in abusing each other and tearing down what brought them together in the first place.
It’s a funny thing about digital communities and social networking. It’s all so anonymous. There is no guarantee that any of us are who we say we are. That anonymity can be very freeing, allowing us to interact with people or say things we might not otherwise. It can make even the meekest of people the bravest person on the planet. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. I know it’s pushed me out of my comfort zone. As recently as two years ago, I never would have considered writing fan fiction or a blog. Now, I do and enjoy both. I’ve happily gone from a lurker to an active participant.
Unfortunately, there is a downside to that anonymity, that freedom. In some people it seems to be the permission they need to turn off their inner filter. I was raised to believe that there are just some things that you don’t say. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for freedom of speech. I just think it’s possible to speak without being abusive.
This week, it has seemed as though anyone with a differing opinion has been treated like fresh meat in a pool of piranha. The attacks have been swift and brutal. I’m sure the people attached to the shows, the actors, writers, producers, have brushed off these attacks without a second thought. They have placed themselves in a position of being on the receiving end of negativity as well as the adoration that comes with celebrity. It doesn’t make it right. Sadly, it is just part of the job.
I’m more concerned for the average fan, especially the ones who still enjoy the show and are attacked and ridiculed for admitting it. It sickens me to see the lengths that some people will go to all in the name of being a ‘good fan.’ I long for the days when we could all get along, when our fandoms were almost like Nirvana, placed where we could happily coexist. Instead, what I have witnessed this week could be better described as hell on earth for those being attacked, for those not getting onboard with the mob mentality.
In light of the atmosphere surrounding two of my favorite fandoms, I have reverted to my lurker status. I’ve unfollowed a few, muted a few and mostly just kept to myself. I’m back to being a fandom of one. For the most part, I’m okay with that. I resent that I don’t feel as if I can be free with my opinions, because honestly, I’m mad, too. I would like to commiserate with those that share my opinion. I’m just not willing to attack everyone else along the way. So, I’ll just sit on the sidelines, waiting for things to calm down before I wade back in. I’ll stick to expressing myself in the ways I’m most comfortable with – a little fan fiction here, a little blogging there. I’ll play it safe, because when this drama passes (and it will) and the rabid fans have moved on to the next crisis, those of us on the sidelines will be ready to take the field again.
It’s sad when that happens. I’m sorry. Which fandoms were they?
Bones & The Vampire Diaries, especially TVD!
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Why did both of this happen in both fandoms?
In TVD, it started with Nina Dobrev’s announcement that she was leaving. Bones hasn’t been as abusive, but there has still been fighting within the fandom. I’m not sure what sparked it this week.
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Ah. I love Bones, but I just don’t follow it as closely as I should. I figured Nina Dobrev’s departure would cause some issues. It is sad, but in the end people have to realize that she is still a person who deserves a normal life. And honestly, anyone can only speculate what really happened between her and Ian Somerholder. For all we know it could have been a nasty break up. Also, it’s obvious she still has feelings for him. If you had to work everyday with your ex who you had feelings for, it would eventually wear away at you. Especially when he is flaunting his fiance everywhere. I love Ian Somerholder, and he seems like a genuinely good person, but there’s only so much of that that a person can take. I realize it is easy to be civil and “act like adults”, but eventually it’s just hard to continue on, even for the strongest of people. I love TVD, but I feel like they could wrap it up well, and still have a good story line, hopefully. The problem is that because actors are paid so much for what they do, etc, people forget that they are also human and deserve to have feelings too. No amount of money in the world can heal a broken heart. (Sorry for the book. Lol.)
I wish they had made the decision to end after this season, knowing that Nina was leaving. Or at the very least, not have had Damon and Elena talking about forever if they were only going to be ripped apart again. As far as her leaving, I don’t understand why fans angry at her. If she’s ready to move on, whatever the reason, it is her choice. People should respect that. Of course, respect within the fandom has been hard to find this week.
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Wow! You summed it up for me, not just about fandom, but about differing views on life in general. I have been back at lurker status for the last few months with several interests I follow on Twitter. I joined Twitter because of Bones and fanfic, but have been very disappointed with how “the attacks have been brutal and swift” no matter what the subject and the difference of opinion. I too was raised that there are some things you just don’t say, and to treat others as you would want to be treated, whether you agree with them or not you do it respectfully. It has very depressing to me to see how rare this is becoming on Social media, talk shows and mainstream media/news. Lately, I have been sticking with Bones, The 3 NCIS and Castle re-runs. Ther are also several fanfic I may have memorized soon! :).
Thank you for eloquently putting into words what I have been feeling. Like you, I will wait for them move on to the next crisis, and hope to find a Nirvana to escape to for entertainment.
Thank you for sharing your creativity (writing and knitting!) . It’s been one of the positive of my joining Twitter!