The internet is a beautiful thing, letting us communicate and collaborate and congregate in all sorts of new ways. It lets us find other people who share our interests and hobbies, lets us share stories and create art and basically go nuts over things that aren’t real and people who will never care about us.
Unfortunately this wonderful creation has given ample space for a certain breed of internet-goer, a strange mutation of our species that number in the millions, jumping from subject to subject, leaving vast paths of destruction and horror in their wake. That’s right. I am referring, of course, to the rabid fanatics.
Fans are not limited by age, sex, gender, subject or fandom. It gets pretty crazy, and you can usually see them coming a mile away. There you are with your friends, casually enjoying a good show or book, and then you see it. Off in the distance a cloud of dust rises like an angry haboob, moving faster than a bullet train as it approaches. Sensing a possible new fandom, the cloud approaches, and then you hear it. Amidst the “WHOS UR FAVORITE SHIP LOL” and “I WROT ABOT THIS IN MY FANFIC” you can hear the sound of your own appreciation for the series dying a quick but painful death.
On a more serious note, this is what it feels like to me whenever I try to get into a new series, or when other people try to get me into a series they like. I’ve found that first impressions are extremely important to me, and fans of a series can often leave me with a negative one. If I’m already entrenched in a series, it’s hard to get me to dislike it, though some people certainly seem to want to try.
When I try to get into something new, I tend to avoid almost everyone who’s into that particular thing. One recent example is Doctor Who. Once people found out I hadn’t watched it, it was like a tidal wave of crazy as everyone scrambled to convert me to their time lord faith. I don’t want to hear about who your favorite doctor is. I don’t care if you’re a ‘Whovian.’ If I see you post another Tardis-related image I’m going to block you (and if you brag to me one more time that you know what ‘Tardis’ stands for, I’m sewing a zipper to your lips). I ended up watching a few episodes, and I liked it… but I couldn’t help but instinctively feel a little repulsed when I first saw the title. By that point the irritation had already been ingrained in me.
Now, I know this isn’t fair to many good series out there. I know that I should judge a series(or anything, really) based on its own merits, and not those of its crazy fans. And that’s why I try to avoid people until I’ve established myself in it. I’m not entirely sure why (though I don’t seem to be the only one), but people fawning over a series doesn’t make me more inclined to get into it, it makes me less so.
I know not everyone is, though. How do you react when getting into something new? Are you more likely to get enthusiastic about something if you’re constantly bombarded with people going crazy about it, or are you like me and tend to avoid that until it no longer puts liking the series in danger?