Give Me Your Fandom, Spare Me Your Standom (EDITORIAL)
Give Me Your Fandom, Spare Me Your Stan-dom
You know what I like about Fan Bros.? You guys have good manners. It is really nice to be able to ask questions or express opinions and not feel like I need to hide my IP address. In general, commenters are friendly, intelligent and welcoming, which is why it’s hard to write the following statement:
Your standom makes me hate your fandom.
Being that everyone reading this statement is completely level-headed and understand that this is not a personal attack by any means and doesn’t in any way apply to them (do you like that little disclaimer?), I am sure you will be able to relate to exactly where I’m coming from.
Noob: I have not seen all of the XYZ movies but I’m excited to hear about plans for a new film in the series.
Typical fan/stan response: If you haven’t seen all the movies and created at least one blog/youtube video about the series then shut your face.
Noob: I would like to read a superhero comic. Anyone have any recommendations?
Typical fan/stan response: Well, I would start with Comic #1 and work your way forward, read all the graphic novels, watch the t.v. series and movies . . .
Noob: I just got through watching The Greatest Show Ever, but I don’t get/like it that much.
Typical fan/stan response: That’s because you’re too stupid/knuckle-dragging to understand its deep socio-political statements about culture, religion and family ties, Mouth-Breather!
Okay, these are extreme examples. But the fact remains that hardcore devotees are often times the biggest roadblock to expanding their fandom. So in the spirit of brotherhood building, I am going to give you three easy ways to keep from scaring the children with your standom.
1. Empathize with your audience.
Think back to a time when you were just discovering your favorite show. Maybe you were channel surfing and stopped because something caught your eye or you heard that an actor from another show you used to watch was moving over to this new program and you just wanted to check it out. Even f you have been with a fandom since the beginning, think back to how excited you were discover this shining gem amongst the media basura and the joy of convening with others who had also come to the same thrilling conclusion. Don’t you want to share those happy feelings? If so, please don’t knock the causal viewer for just now having found your fandom. Try nurturing their curiosity and you can experience the second hand high being the dealer instead of the addict.
2. Keep it Simple
“And then he went all Rains of Castamere on them.” If you watch a decent amount of Game of Thrones, you should totally understand that little snippet of conversation. But for the newbie, this stuff just doesn’t make any sense. So when sharing your fandom, try to avoid heavy amounts of insider terminology at first. Then, as the casual fan starts to delve deeper, they can better appreciate when you insert a few of those puns and quirky references, giving them incentive to continue down the rabbit hole. A great example of exciting, informative fandom introduction comes from ComicBookGirl19 and her epic histories of the different houses in the Game of Thrones universe.
3. Quit Your Hating
Abusive language, insults and intimidation have no place in decent conversation and do you no favors in trying to make friends and influence people. It also reflects poorly on the fandom you represent, making followers seem petty and delusional which are adjectives no creator wants their project associated with. So do yourself and others a favor. Be cool. Just like you shouldn’t have to accept abuse from others, don’t give into the childish desire to dismiss all negative critiques with threats and curses. Be inspired by your fandom and take the high road, or at the very least, be clever. You are a reflection of your beliefs and vice versa. Respect yourself.
At the end of the day, while these are works of fiction, you love them. Spread that love and embrace the noob, but please, leave your stanning at the door.
Image taken from here.