Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Pros and Cons of Being a Fan


Let's face it: all of us are fans of something, or at least, we might have used to be if we left it behind. Most of us adore a certain celebrity, singer, business icon, comedian, critic, politician, band, show, and everything else in between. But how far is too far? 

With the recent uproar of 1D (One Direction) fans going hysterical over fast selling out of VIP tickets in their latest concert here in the Philippines, and the much-earlier story in Japan, during the Free! Season 2 announcement, where fangirls fought over the shortage of Makoto Tachibana (character from the anime)'s posters, using traffic cones, you gotta wonder: is being a fan of something really safe or not?



Fanbase / Fandom 101


First, let's define the basics:
  • Fanbase / Fandom - a series / universe of influence caused by a certain person, concept, TV show, cause, or whatever it is. "Fanbase" is generally used but nowadays, you'll hear the words "fandom" too, especially with anime.
  • Fangirl / Fanboy - the fans, especially die-hard ones.
  • Canon - indicates that a story or fact is true and have happened in the series or fandom.
  • Headcanon - a scenario thought of by a fan that is not really canon with the series, but would like it to be canon.
  • OTP (One True Pairing) - a couple that fans pair together, alternatively "ship / to ship / shipping", which is short for "relationship".
  • Fansign - those usual white placards or pieces of paper held out by celebrities, cosplayers and whatnot (that you see on Facebook) in which the name of their fans are written on.
  • AU (Alternative Universe) - putting characters in another series, fandom or universe, e.g. putting 1D boys in the apocalyptic world of Attack on Titan and struggling to keep themselves from being eaten.
  • Feels - also used in common memes and as a slang, it means you're moved, depressed, sad, inspired, or anything else, about the fandom or it's elements, especially if you cried. When people use "OTP feels", they're so much emotional about the story of their favorite pairing/ship.
There may be more than these basic terms I've given you, but let's go back to the point of this blog entry.

Fan Problems


Being a fan is hard, I mean, super-extra-mega-ultra-giga-hard. There are many things that can block your way from being able to get in touch with your fanbase, fandom or idol:
  • Money - e.g. buying CDs, DVDs, merch, attending concerts
  • Geographical location and distance - e.g. attending live shows and interviews, meeting them in person, having people of the same fanbase/fandom to relate with or talk to
  • Language - some idols have foreign fans so it can be hard to communicate with each other
  • Overpopularity - e.g. that person you idolize is too famous that you've got billions of fans to compete with and get possible attention from social media
  • Bastard fans - e.g. those die-hard types that don't accept criticism for their idol and, uh, you know, similar things
  • And much more
But enough said, what are the advantages and disadvantages of being a fan of someone or something? 

Advantages


Helps you get focused


Because you have an idol in your life, it gets you motivated for whatever you do. For example, if that person or group is earning big and getting fans, you're doing the same amount of hardwork on whatever field you're in.

Gives you more creativity


Without a doubt, having musical influences if you're going to be a recording artist or composer is a must. The same goes for any fields such as visual arts, video production, animation, filming, acting, dancing and much more.

Keeps you positive in life


Most idols, fanbases and fandoms are usually positive ones so even if you're hooked, you're hooked to positive vibes.

Opportunity to talk and relate with more people


You'll easily blend in with a discussion of a TV series or celebrity if you're a fan. This gets you more social skills and plus points for your friends and other people.

Disadvantages


Drains your wallet


Most CDs and DVDs cost Php 300-500 ($ 7-10), along with those merch such as T-shirts, limited edition boxes and of course, for artists, concert tickets. Transportation fees, especially if you live far away, is also quite a financial impact.

Can cause conflict with loved ones


Most die-hard fans seem to forget that they have parents, siblings and a boyfriend/girlfriend, and sometimes leads to arguments because they've been hooked to the fandom. I've experienced this 1 billion times, and trust me, I'd rather not talk about it.

Become close-minded and selfish


Same as above - you only focus on your idol and nothing else, and some actually worship their idols in the extremities. Because you're drawn into the attention of your fanaticism, everything around you starts to blur away.

Wastes your time


The reason why I kind of slowed down in watching a lot of anime after high school is that I want to focus more on making music and other creativity stuff like artworks, stories and the like. Just hours of watching an anime or TV show can already waste a significant amount of production time for me. But for stress relief, I can still want to watch in free time.

Lack of / too much fans


I've had lots of good examples in my life for this one. In the case of YouTube gamer PewDiePie, I originally tried as hard as hell to contact him to notice / be part of my original fan-album, "PewDiePie Adventures", but because he was too famous, I was just buried in the dust. On the other hand, having lack of fans, especially if the fandom is not too famous (e.g. RPG Maker horror games or indie films), you'll get stressed because you don't have anyone to talk your "feels" with.

Can overshadow your creativity


Be careful when you have musical/art influences because if you idolize them too much, you'll just be extending their works and style to your own. Be original and step out of their shadows. It's okay to adapt a little - but don't entirely copy their own preferences.

Can lead to depression or fatality


As per the examples in the first paragraphs. But hey, even in those Michael Jackson and Elvis days, my mom told me, that many women actually committed suicide when Elvis died. O_O

Conclusion


There's nothing wrong with being a fan, but being too die-hard can lead to serious problems and disadvantages that can harm not only yourself but others around you that you care about. So remember that idols are only there to guide us; they might be a few steps higher from where we stand, but they're still humans like us. We can be like them - we can create and inspire, too!

Just don't let "envy" get there first.

5 comments:

Paula Pablo said...

Hi! I would like you to know that I'm going to use your post as a reference for an essay on fangirling for class. Is it okay? :)

Kristel "Kazaki" Cuadra said...

@Paula Pablo
Yes, you may, just put proper credits/links. Thank you!

kimberly pearl yabut said...

Can you at least give me 1 theory on why people become fans.. please.. i badly need for my thesis.. ����

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