Problematic Thoughts

Fucking Fandoms: Part 2

When I first got back into music, I threw myself in whole-heartedly. I researched and respected as many aspects as I possibly could. I joined way too many facebook groups, friended toxic people on twitter, and followed raving lunatics on instagram.

Lately, it appears that the toxicity level within these fandoms is reaching epic proportions–proportions to which I don’t want to be a part of anymore. Because of this, I have slowly started extricating myself from these fandoms. I’ve been more selective about friends and groups I chose to belong to and the end result? I’m just happier.

Besides being an avid music fan, I am also a high school English teacher. Over the past 12 years, I have witnessed the effects of bullying and cyberbullying first hand. The advent of social media has made it easier for people to be hyper-critical and downright cruel, while remaining faceless to their consequences and actions.

Not only have I witnessed the cyberbullying within the fandoms, but I have been a victim of it as well. For me, it is easy to separate friends from “friends.” The people who truly care about me in life would never treat me this way. The “friends” who claim to care (but are probably just after a bolster in their friend count numbers) are of little consequence to me. This, sadly, is a mind-set brought on by age and maturity. Something not everyone has.

Within the past few months I have witnessed people spread vicious lies about each other via social media without listening to both sides of the story. (And believe me, there are always two sides to every story.)

Before quickly jumping the gun because of rumors you “heard” or details that are divulged, be an adult about the situation. Ask the person involved if they a) want to talk about it and b) want to share their side of the story. Do notperpetuate lies.

Yes, you are entitled to your opinion. But do you really need to go about ruining another person’s life? This is why we are seeing a spike in teen/young adult depression, violence, and suicide. Do you want to have to live with that on your conscious? Chances are the person or people you are targeting are already having a tough time. Do you really want to be the person that adds to and exacerbates the situation?

To those of you that have been victims of fandom bullying, ask yourself:
a) why are you a part of the fandom?
b) can you leave the fandom and still enjoy the music?
c) are these people worth your time and effort?
d) are you a good person (in your eyes)?
e) do you have friends and family that love you?

It is always easier said than done, I know… I’m speaking from experience. But these people don’t really matter. YOU matter.

Tell everyone else to fuck off.

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