The Insincere Fan

Point blank, let me say: I am a fan. I am a fan of many things.

Recently, I saw an interesting tweet storm by a fan of a person I am also a fan of, and hoo boy, do I have a lot of opinions about that thread of tweets. Basically, she, Poster, was saying that she was going to “officially unstan” this person Celebrity*, because, while Poster acknowledges all the good work Celebrity has done throughout her career and that she legitimately loves doing her work, she said that Celebrity hasn’t paid any attention to her fans whatsoever, barely interacts with them on social media, and just ignores even the fans who write her tweets sharing how much Celebrity has “changed their lives.”

Okay. Well, first of all, I am not that celebrity (😂), and I am not in any way affiliated to her, but there is a lot of things wrong here.

I see this a lot in stan communities, where a lot of fans become fans of something — be it a person or a group or a creative work — and they expect something in return for simply being a fan of it.

I think that’s really insincere.

It’s all about self-gratification. To be fair to them, they may not realize what they’re doing, though, but it’s wrong and unfair to the person of affection they’re placing the burden on. When you like something, you like it for what it is. When I like a person’s work, I write them messages on social media telling them that I really love their work and all the effort they’ve put on it, and my reason for that is I just want them to know that there is at least one person — that person being me — who genuinely likes their work, who cares about the work they put out into the world! Who knows, maybe it will inspire them to create more or do more of whatever it is that they do. I don’t care if they like my tweet, retweet it, or reply to it; what’s important to me is that they read it. That’s it! That’s the most important thing of all. For other people, however, it becomes a numbers game. They want the likes, the retweets, the replies… They just want to be noticed, maybe so that they could brag about it to other fans in the same community. I’ve seen it happen. It becomes a competition about who gets the most notices by that person. It’s not about the person anymore; it’s about them.

But that’s not how it’s supposed it to be. That’s unhealthy, disrespectful, dishonest, and honestly a little delusional.

And then these things happen. They don’t notice you, so you put the blame on them? When did it ever happen that suddenly they had an obligation to fulfill of noticing you regularly? They never had any responsibilities towards you. This started out — and should remain as — a matter of appreciation, the appreciation coming from you as a fan. Sometimes, people are busy doing whatever it is that they do in their daily lives to invest time in social media. Also, there are many reasons why celebrities choose to be extremely private and reserved in dealing with other people, especially strangers — which is what we all are to them. Besides, celebrities receive a lot of mentions on social media, that I’m pretty sure they don’t have all the time in the world to sort through every single post they’ve been mentioned in. And who are you to contest your importance in their life? You chose to be their fan.

It’s weird.

* Just being cautious here. Since I talk about her a lot, people might think it’s her, but it’s not Lani.

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