In This Coming Year, Can Fandoms Be Pleasant?

With Christmas now over (I hope everyone had a Merry one!) the time has come to start looking ahead to 2017. The general consensus is that 2016 was the pits, so I think everyone is ready for a brand new year to begin. For the first time in a few years, I actually have some new year’s resolutions and I hope I’m able to maintain them.

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I think, however, what we all really want every year is happiness. I know I do. We can’t control life and its many up and downs, but we can control what makes us happy. For me, there are a lot of things that make me happy. I love blogging, I love hanging out with friends, and I love watching TV.

I also love the Internet and its various circles. The problem with the Internet is that it’s a very awful place. So much hate and rudeness and intolerance and unpleasantness. It really is unfortunate that when humans come together online, this is the result. Of course, there are some great sites and communities and if you’re careful, you can enjoy them all with no troubles. I know this and try my best to do this. But due to my love for TV, I often find myself in various fandom spaces. I’m not that active but I do spent probably too much time scrolling through Tumblr and Twitter and Wordpress tags.

You’d think that since people in fandoms are just made up fans of whatever thing, it’d be a happy place of community and love. It can be, but usually for every few positive people, there’s a negative one, and negativity always has more of an effect. I don’t get it. Fandoms are supposed to be happy places. It’s strangers coming together to enjoy a show or a movie or a band or whatever. So why is there so much negativity? Why do some people feel the need to voice their negativity and spend so much time involved in something they hate? How is that healthy?

This isn’t about free speech. This is about people going out of their way to ensure that people know just how much they hate something. And that’s what I’ll never comprehend. Do you know what I hate? I hate Birkenstocks. I think they’re the absolute ugliest and most dysfunctional footwear out there. But I don’t tell people that. I don’t go finding pictures on Instagram or Tumblr and start spewing hate. Why would I? That’s a waste of my time and at the end of the day, nothing comes out of it. At most, if I was really desperate to voice my opinion on such a random thing, I’ll tweet something like ‘I’ll never find Birkenstocks attractive’ but that’s it. Because the makers aren’t going to see my comments and be like ‘oh, someone hates our thing, let’s stop making them’.

If you don’t like a thing, maybe making that clear a few times is fine, especially if you were once known to like the thing, but then MOVE ON.

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If you want an example, take the Agents Of SHIELD fandom. In Season 1, everyone got along. Everyone was happy. All good in the hood. Then in the last quarter of that season, a major character (Grant Ward) took a turn and was basically revealed to be a double agent. While everyone can agree that the twist was shocking and made for great TV, it was sad to be betrayed like that. And that’s when the split happened. There were then three groups of people: people who hated Grant Ward and wanted him dead, people who stood up for him and understood that his childhood/mentors were what led to his downfall, and people who didn’t care either way but still liked the show.

And at first, this split was interesting. Seeing such vast differences in opinions on the same character was neat, as both had legitimate arguments. But eventually it got so intense, and I got so fed up. A lot of the people who stood up for Ward were so upset at the show for not addressing what they want addressed (topics of victim abuse and blaming and redemption) that they tried boycotting the show, writing essays upon essays about why the show, show runners, and Marvel is a sham, and just making things unpleasant. It even turned from fans vs showrunners to fans vs fans, which is even worse.

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I understand that they’re not happy. I get it, and they are allowed to be unhappy. But when they spend months and months just actively revelling in their anger and hate in a place like Tumblr, it becomes frustrating.  Are these people really content with what they’re doing? Do they genuinely like spreading hate? Do they feel accomplished or that it’s a good use of time? I don’t get it.

If a show is making you unhappy, and so violently so, don’t watch it. Don’t think about it. Just move on and don’t let it consume your life. And the same goes for any book or movie or whatever.

Like I said, maybe expressing your dislike in a polite way once or twice is fine. Goodness knows I’ve done it. Just last week I tweeted that I was displeased with the Fantastic Beasts screenplay. But then I moved on.

At the end of day, what really irks me is that it’s all fictional. These are fictional characters in a fictional world and the only people who can control this are the writers and producers. We viewers have no power, as I’ve addressed before. Maybe expressing such hate on real world issues like poverty or racism can be beneficial, but wasting so much time being negative about things that aren’t even real boggles my mind.

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We live in a world where there is so much sadness and anger. We have people and celebrities constantly telling us to keep our heads up and do what we love and be happy. Fandoms and the Internet was a place where I and many likeminded people are trying to do that. It’s a place where we all could enjoy something and face the fact that we’re all just bystanders to what we see on TV.  So it’s very upsetting that I can’t be as positive as I should anymore because I’m too busy getting upset at other people.

This coming year, whether you’re active in a fandom or not, do your best to stay positive. Keep things happy and calm as possible. I know it can be hard because sometimes things are so dumb you can’t help but express a little anger, but try to remember the task of happiness. Clearly, if something like a TV show or movie or something equally insignificant is making you that angry, you should get it out of your life. But you don’t have to ruin it for others.

Peace, y’all. Please.

 

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25 thoughts on “In This Coming Year, Can Fandoms Be Pleasant?

  1. I agree with this. Critical thinking about the stuff we read/watch us good but when it gets to the point that there’s more negativity than positivity it’s time to move on.

  2. Very well said!

    Yeah, fandoms can get really weird and ugly. I’ve seen too many communities torn apart over disagreement about a show or movie.

    I thought the Grant Ward twist was brilliant, and I didn’t see it coming. I only started watching the show in the past year, so I wasn’t aware of how fans had turned on each other. Isn’t watching this stuff supposed to be, y’know, fun? If it’s not fun, why keep doing it?

    Anyway, I hope you have a happy New Year! 🙂

    • Exactly. The thing about fandoms and its drama is that it’s largely behind the scenes so only people in the fandoms know about it, which makes it that much more frustrating.
      Happy New Years to you too!

  3. These are all reasons why I don’t belong to any fandoms, and visit them only infrequently. I noticed back about the time Buffy the Vampire Slayer switched networks – and a lot of other things – there started to be a real, serious issue with people just not being able to LET IT GO. Like you said, IT’S NOT REAL, and if it just bugs you that much, you can simply not watch the show/movie/not read the book again. If you want to express your disappointment, yeah, sure, go ahead. I certainly have myself; I’m probably one of a handful of people who readily admits or who honestly feels that The Hunger Games and Divergent were terrible. But I also stand by that is just my opinion, and I am super glad I can just avoid these series and let the rest of the world like it or not.

    • I understand how hard it is to let go. I too feel the need to stick with shows/books/movies I don’t like anymore just so I can be able to say I completed it. But that does not give anyone a free pass to be rude and nasty and make people unhappy online.

  4. And excellent post, message and graphics. Perhaps regarding 2016, I am an exception; but 2016 was a fantastic year for me with dreams coming true and I am even more hopeful that 2017 will be better for me and for everyone else in the world. Of course, some will suffer; but one can only hope it will be better for everyone.

    • I’m glad you had a great 2016. Personally, I didn’t have an awful year either and I am grateful. But there’s always room for improvement and happiness for everyone, so I have high hopes for 2017.

  5. Amen! I love this post and 100% agree! 😄 We shouldn’t focus on the bad things – as you said, there’s always things that make you angry, but you have to focus on the good things!!
    I think this new year is gonna be great! 😄 I’m kinda sad that 2016 went by so fast, but I also can’t wait to see what happens in 2017!!
    Again, great post!! 😄

    • Thank you! Focusing on good things extends to real life as well. If friends are making you unhappy, drop them. If eating certain foods is making you unhappy, stop eating them. Everyone struggles with it, myself included, but when it comes to something as trivial as fandoms, making sure happiness is priority should be easy to do.

      • No problemo! That’s what I always say, if they’re not good friends, freeze the relationship! LOL, wish my mom let me not eat onion. 😛
        Yeah, I also struggle with things like that. And yasssss you’re totally right! I should be easy!

  6. I agree so much. When i first started joining fandoms i thought it was just a little innocent concept to bring people with similar interest together, but it can get heated really quickly over something really petty

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