It’s Not You, It’s Your Fandom

"Tell me about your 'feels' one more time. ONE MORE TIME, I DARE YOU." *eye twitch*
“Tell me about your ‘feels’ one more time. ONE MORE TIME.” *eye twitch*

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?

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14 thoughts on “It’s Not You, It’s Your Fandom

  1. I’ve felt the same at times, but more often than not I manage to shut out all the gloating fans. When it becomes a competition about who knows more about the series and who is a bigger fan, it would be so much more constructive and better if the “seasoned” fans actually asked the recent ones what they like about the show and then give a little bit of insight of their own into it to get them a little more psyched about it. Instead of being a, “Here’s what I know about the show that you don’t” it should become a “Here’s what you should also think about to enjoy the show more”. That way, the fans won’t be as irritating.

    Also, you make me chuckle Koeker.

    1. Yeah. And it’s not always the competition aspect either. I think there’s something about seeing people hyperventilate over something that turns me away from it. 😛

    1. That’s a good strategy! Even if accidental. It makes the first experience more ‘pure,’ I suppose, to come into it as though you’re discovering it of your own accord.

  2. I hate spoilers. I’m into Doctor Who, but I don’t want to know about the new companion or see previews for the next episode. I”m already going to watch and I want to be as surprised as I can be while I watch (I’m rarely surprised. I can call just about anything).

    1. Spoilers do suck, yeah. I think that’s why I like watching things alone. Sometimes certain friends will try to get me into certain things, but they’re just talking the WHOLE TIME. Trivia, tips, spoilers, just… why on earth am I doing this again? >_> Clearly they’re the ones who want to do it, not me.

  3. Fanatics ruin everything. I had a friend constantly spoil a book series I was reading because she wouldn’t shut up. And when they praise something, you just shake your head because there’s no way ANYTHING is that good, that perfect. And when it’s bad, they don’t admit it. Or the go the opposite extreme and say how this new actor/director/change of the wind is sooooooo not Dr. Who anymore. So now, they’re a fanatic and a hipster. Go, you.

    1. Yeah, especially about the praise. Honestly, I don’t mind if someone really loves a series, but unless our interests are 100% aligned, that doesn’t matter too much to me. I’m the one going to pursue it, not them, so whether they like it or not doesn’t matter. Not in terms of them telling me every minute, that is. If they want to use it to say, ‘Hey, you should check this out, I really liked it’ (as opposed to, ‘Hey, this is garbage, check it out’?) that’s cool, but let me explore it on my own.

  4. I can definitely understand this to an extent – there’s times when I see people go OTT in their love for something I think was just okay, and it makes me wince a bit. (Tumblr is full of this sort of stuff.)

    But on the whole I feel that if people are getting that kind of pleasure out of something, (as long as they don’t attack/mock others for not knowing things) it means there’s more pleasure in the world, and that can’t be a bad thing.

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