FANdemonium!

Standard
fa·nat·ic
fəˈnadik/
noun
noun: fanatic; plural noun: fanatics
  1. 1.
    a person filled with excessive and single-minded zeal, especially for an extreme religious or political cause.
    synonyms: zealot, extremist, militant, dogmatist, devotee, adherent; More

    informalmaniac
    “a religious fanatic”
    • informal
      a person with an obsessive interest in and enthusiasm for something, especially an activity.
      “a fitness fanatic”
adjective
adjective: fanatic
  1. 1.
    filled with or expressing excessive zeal.
    “his fanatic energy”

Selenators, Beliebers, TeamDrizzy, the BeyHive, Directioners, and I’m quite sure I’m leaving some out…fanning has become a culture in its own right. Some of the first exhibitions of fandom were displayed back when the Beatles were heating up the music charts. Then it was Michael Jackson driving people crazy, causing them to cry just at the sight of him walking to the stage. These days, it’s Justin Bieber, Drake, Beyonce, and One Direction bringing out these emotions in fans of all ages.

There is quite a handy tool that fans today have that the Beatles and Jackson fans didn’t have back then, though: social media. Social media has seemed to give fanbases quite a certain measured amount of power. If someone attacks a celebrity that a fandom like, all it takes is typing as many little bee emojis as a fan’s index finger can take. Pages full of bee emojis in the comment section of the new enemy’s Instagram post – check.

The hostility that some of these fanbases exert can get to disturbing levels. If Justin Bieber dares to date anyone other than Selena Gomez or anyone at all, that new girlfriend is harassed endlessly in her comments. Fans ask each other why he’d date a girl that is so unattractive. The girlfriend receives threats, both in her comments and in her personal messages. Celebrities have been driven to a point of turning off the comment sections on posts showing them with their significant others, just to protect the people they love from an onslaught of hate and negativity.

Granted, not all fans are created equal; for every obsessive fan, I’ve seen level-headed fans that try to preach common sense to the others. It still doesn’t help the fact that fandom is becoming more cult-like by the day.

If you don’t believe me, check Drake’s comment section whenever he and Rihanna have gone from being reportedly on to reportedly off. Fans are dreaming up fictional soap opera storyline plots describing that possibly happened between the two stars, casting blame on either Drake or Rihanna and then arguing with anyone who opposes their views. They often have usernames such as AubrihForLife, Aubrih being a concoction of both Drake (Aubrey Drake Graham) and Rihanna’s names. Even when the two are reportedly off, these usernames don’t fade along with the rumored relationship; the users keep their usernames and continue to post Photoshopped edits of the two celebrities together.

What happened to your feelings about an artist centering around their art? When did we as a society become so immersed in the personal lives of these people, who just like us want to love and be loved in return? And when one of their relationships go awry, do they deserve to receive harsh criticism and nastiness in their comments? We received a taste of cheaply produced reality television shows geared to making television networks countless amounts of money, and had to apply that reality show mentality to every aspect of our existence? Is that what happened? I see drama on tv and therefore, I make more drama in my own life and if that doesn’t satisfy me, I extend that need for drama into my social media interactions on behalf of an artist who doesn’t know I am alive and will continue to live their lives, whether I’m typing long ass paragraphs to defend them or not?

And while there is nothing wrong with fantasizing about being with a celebrity, there is something wrong with threatening or spewing hate to someone they’re dating. If this celebrity is one of your favorite people in the world and he/she is happy, why can’t you congratulate them? Why do you find yourself throwing insults to an innocent person who you don’t even know? Does that sound right to you? As people, we need to really think about our actions. You never know who your actions will affect and in what way. You never know the insecurities you’re touching on when you throw those insults around. Essentially, you are allowing your love for an artist turn you into an online bully. Is that the type of person you want to be? Seriously take a minute to think about it.

If you fell in love with an artist because of their music, love their music. At times it may feel like you know this person, because you’ve heard their music for years and you’ve seen their interviews, but the reality is it takes more than those elements to truly know a person. Some of these celebrities are still learning who they are. So casting judgements on them, and lecturing them about how to live their lives is not the best use of your time. The best use of your time is getting your own life together, focusing on bettering yourself, and your relationships. The best use of your time is spreading out love into the world, instead of hate and negativity. If you don’t like an artist or don’t care for them, then there is no need to comment on their posts at all. Focus on the things and people in your life that you do love.

Instead of vowing to end the career of someone else who has spoken out about your favorite celebrity, and spamming their comment sections in the hopes of doing just that, how about putting that energy into your hopes and dreams, to help those dreams become a reality? Your “fave” has their career today, and will have their career, nice house(s), and nice cars tomorrow.

We currently live in a “must do anything to get noticed/acknowledged” culture, a culture where any publicity is good publicity. I’ve seen fans make negative comments to the people they claim to love, just because they believe that their favorite celebrity responds to more negative comments than positive ones. This mentality is whacked. And if you don’t realize that right away, it’s time to start climbing out of that rabbit hole you seem to have fallen in.

At the end of the day, the majority of your favorite celebrities, if they are truly good people, wouldn’t want you arguing back and forth on their behalf. They certainly wouldn’t want you slandering and crucifying them on a public forum, just for the sake of getting noticed. They would want you to live your lives and be happy. And even the most bored teenager in the world can find something better to do than argue; if not, feel free to comment and I’ll throw out some suggestions for you.

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