Really, the internet itself ruined Fandoms, the beast that once had an admirable look now swims in hate and lack of actual conversation.
The original intent of the internet was to bring the masses closer together. Share stories, swap programming code, and of course unlimited access to porn. It all went pretty swimmingly for a while, you could hop on message boards, argue with fans, maybe find out which celebrity was married, and of course unlimited porn!
Fandoms were always a thing, before the internet you met with people at get togethers and Drive-ins to discuss whatever property was the focus. Often you got into little squabbles over favorite characters, which movie was the best film, and these all helped fans bond over a mutual love. The internet improved and soon we were chatting with fans from other countries and having fun.
Than something happened, content creators happened. Nothing against figuring out how to make money on platforms, but it warped something.
Soon everyone wanted a cut of the digital cash cow. This reached fandoms, and everything went sour. Sure you had in fights and bickering but when half the amount of people in a fandom are content creators things get weird. Good conversations were replaced with snarky comments and the new currency was likes and follows. People started selling their souls for a heart and a number count.
What no one likes to admit to, is content creators are constantly at war with each-other, copying their neighbors success, side eyeing what’s on someone else’s plate instead of worrying about their own. That’s how you end up with twenty different videos reviewing the same movie the same way, only someone throws on a fucking mask on to try and be unique. Most these creators seem hollow and almost soulless delivering their pitch at you like a used car salesman.
They get the likes sure, but how many can you honestly name off the top of your head. Nothing against these folks, this is what the internet demands of them, so they monetize and churn out content until they say something terrible or piss off more powerful creators. The real sinister shit however, happens within fandoms.
Combine boosted egos and content creation with a die hard fan and you’re bound to have one nasty turd of a human being, digitally at least. What the internet provides is a buffer, you don’t have to face facts that there is always someone better than you.
There is always going to be someone who knows more, does more, has more time, and is more successful at the same exact thing you are creating. That’s not a bad thing either, its very humbling and it helps you figure out a life lesson, enjoy what you do. Life is super short, do you want to spend half of it shitting on and harassing people? Or just doing what you enjoy?
Content creators weaved into a fandom can be a good thing, there are a ton of horror content creators that bring joy to the community and genre. They make money on their art, and fans have a new way to be entertained. But than there are those who just want the likes and the money, the few that turn others against each other and hide behind a mask of idiocy. Website creators, YouTube personalities with the charm of a dish rag, and copy cats of all the above. They pull shady moves in private, they bully people off social media, they attack the weak and capitalize on the stupid. Its high-school all over again.
That sinister shit i mentioned, it happens out of the public eye. In DM’s and private messages, so when someone actually speaks out against something, they look crazy to other fans.
You have people spewing things like “you cant be offended” when people are raising an honest concern. You’ll know these bad apples because when something negative explodes, they immediately go into damage control. Most creators who are on the up and up tend to just stay silent if they know they haven’t done wrong. My personal favorite is the apology videos, while a genuine apology has great healing effects, content creators who don’t actually care have lost something within themselves. You get an apology video that looks and feels like an android is reciting a bit of script. The most infuriating part? They don’t even understand themselves or what they are doing anymore, its a self inflated sense of superiority and they wont listen.
You can explain things until you are blue in the face, but the problem is, these people have no power. Sure they have a perceived amount of power, they can buy domains out from underneath you, they can spread lies and send you threatening emails. But they aren’t a company, and most fandom content creators really don’t have much to stand on. The only person who truly leads and owns the art is the artist.
I cant start a Star Wars website and claim I’m a leader of a fanbase that’s already established.
I can makeup hashtags and start watch parties but in the end I’m on equal ground with all the other fans. That’s why i tend to stick with the actual artists of things I am a fan of. I also appreciate podcasters and the occasional Fanzine creators because they get it more than others. By the way, creating a website is so simple now that it takes no work. I made a website one weekend high out of my mind and in my underwear, so even that isn’t impressive.
In the end these soured up drama creators wont change, its fun to them. Their unfounded superiority is a-lot louder than casual fans and that makes me sad. What’s to do? The depressing answer is, nothing. Too many people are willing to side with a successor, and shit people combined with social media and the internet is successful. So I stick to the outskirts of things, I don’t participate in group activities and I barely collaborate with people. I applaud the real artists, filmmakers, musicians, actors, directors, and comedians. Will I ever reach that gold standard and make gobs of money and fame, no. In fact ill die broke and lost as an insignificant movie fan spewing out love of genre lost to the bowls of the world wide web, I wouldn’t have it any other way.