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I’m not good at coming up with catchy thread titles, and also, feel free to move this if it’s not in the right place. 

I know we have a stan culture thread for celebrity fans but I’m curious about other people’s experiences in fandoms, the good, bad, and the ugly. Or the “just fine.” I’ve been in the world for about two years myself, starting when I started writing fanfiction again in 2021. (I wrote it once when I was a teenager and I always hope it’s not anywhere to be found online anymore.) 

Without naming fandoms, here’s what I’ve encountered:

The good: I have made a few friends from sharing our like (or dislike/hate watches) of shows or characters. I also have enjoyed being a part of some general fanfiction communities where people of all fandoms and writing abilities come together and discuss writing and life, and the fandom discussion just comes on the side. I look forward to different fic writing events and figuring out how I can interpret the prompts.

The bad: Like anything else, fandom can be very cliquey and closed off. I have struggled to fit in or feel accepted and I find it’s hard to keep track of all the unwritten rules and terms. If I had never started writing fic again, I wouldn’t know what an “anti” was or what a “pro shipper” was and I don’t even really care to this day what they mean. Sometimes being out of the loop is nice. 🤣

The ugly: How much it’s affected my mental health at times thanks to the insults people hurl if they don’t like my opinions. Seeing how serious and personal fictional shows and characters are to some people has been eye opening.  I’ve been kicked out of a space for “violating principles of a server in other fandom spaces.” I’ve had people check my post history and follow me around Reddit to be nasty on my posts because they don’t like my fandom opinions. I’ve also been disappointed when people don’t seem to like my writing instead of being happy I put it out there whether one person or 100 people read it. People can be bullies and really behave in an unhealthy way but preach acceptance and kindness in their next breath.

Overall, I tend to lean towards fandom being harmful if you’re not careful, but the positive experiences give me hope at the same time. It’s good to see there are people who enjoy a show or a character or a ship but don’t center their lives on it. And honestly, my experiences in spaces more focused on writing and other forms of creativity have been better than some fandom spaces. 


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1 hour ago, Cloud9Shopper said:

I wouldn’t know what an “anti” was or what a “pro shipper” was and I don’t even really care to this day what they mean. Sometimes being out of the loop is nice. 🤣

In short, a pro-shipper is someone who is all, "Live and let live" when it comes to what people ship. Even if a particular ship isn't their thing personally for whatever reason, they're not going to get on anyone else for shipping it or writing it or talking about it, and they're not going to leap to assumptions about the person who ships various pairing, either. Like, for instance, if someone ships pairings that are problematic/toxic in some way, they're not going to assume the shipper themselves must have some kind of problematic/toxic real world beliefs about relationships or want those kinds of relationships in their own lives, or whatever. 

An anti is someone who not only doesn't like a particular pairing (which is fine in and of itself, of course, it's totally okay to not like things), but will often actively go after the people who ship it, making assumptions about their character and the kind of person they are based off what they ship. They'll also try and stop people from writing or posting about those ships, because they feel it shouldn't be allowed to be a thing at all, for whatever reason (never mind that fiction has historically touched on dark and taboo subjects, and many of the canons people write about have ships that are questionable in some form or another), and will often harass and, in some extreme cases, dox people who like certain pairings, to try and get them into some kind of legal trouble. 

It's a whole ridiculous thing, but yeah, that's basically the size of it. 

As for my own fandom experience, I've been lucky that I've had no real personal issues with anyone. I might've been in fandoms where people I was friends with didn't get along with someone else, but that's their own issue and I always just stayed out of it. I think it also helps that a lot of my fandoms are smaller and thus haven't had as much drama (not to say small fandoms can't have drama, of course, they certainly can, but mine have been pretty chill, fortunately), and I also tend to just kinda stick to talking with a small handful of people for the most part. Maybe occasionally I'll post on a message board if I can find one, too, to have some of that community experience. 

Other than that, I just tend to stay in my little corner and try and avoid the discussions and places that I know will annoy me. And I'm not on social media sties like Twitter or Tumblr or that, so I think that helps, too :p. I'm too old for that kind of nonsense, I just want to read and write/post fics and gush about my favorite shows and characters and ships with people, LOL. 


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1 hour ago, Spartan Girl said:

Fandoms these days are exhausting. Especially when they take their shipping frustrations out on the actors.

I’m giving up one of my fandom Discords for Lent because I’m that over it that I’m willing to see how I survive for 40 days without it.

Spoiler alert: I’m sure I’ll survive. And may even come away happier. 

I’m sure some of you may want to know why I don’t go cold turkey and give up Discord as a whole or why I don’t just quit every fandom server. I guess it’s because thinking in extremes like that has never worked for me and baby steps are always better. I also do like my spaces that are geared more towards writing and my two fandom servers that have more positive energy and don’t want to leave those. 

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The only fandom I got seriously involved in was a Horatio Hornblower group which started out on the A&E message boards (way back when that actually was Arts & Entertainment) then moved to a private server.  I was fortunate enough to find some great friends there, including one with whom I've vacationed several times in real life, and was able to avoid the couple of people who annoyed me.  I drifted away awhile ago due to various life events, but I appreciated the experience and still write the fanfiction I started while a member of the group.  I've kind of been reluctant to get involved in other fandoms because the Hornblower one gave me a very high standard by which to judge.

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Several years ago - circa 2006-2008 - there was a "TV Vote" web site. The owner had it set up where you could vote for your favorite show(s) every hour; there was a top 40 and you could nominate other shows.

What started as a fun diversion became an obsession for me, and I wasn't the only one. The various shows built partnerships and rivalries. Cheaters were ratted out (it was easy to find out who was cheating since most of the sites had active fan forums, and we SPIED). Trash talking - good natured AND serious - was common on the "TV Vote" google group. I started emailing a Firefly "Browncoat" and we created a coalition of Bonanza and Firefly, believe it or not; we helped Firefly beat out Xena and they helped us reach our goal of 500K votes. (Firefly fans were RELENTLESS!)

What I discovered is there are nutcases in about every fandom. I understand why some actors are so cautious with their fans.

If you're interested, the top 10 shows and the votes they accrued:

(1) Firefly - 755646
(2) Xena: Warrior Princess - 558873
(3) Bonanza - 505769
(4) Gunsmoke - 319535
(5) Battlestar Galactica (2004) - 309762
(6) Buffy the Vampire Slayer - 294601
(7) Farscape - 276697
(8) Jericho - 265606
(9) Angel - 247242
(10) Combat! - 244131

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