I think it is time we have a serious talk.
The internet has been both a blessing and a curse for us. It has allowed for us to create forums and facebook groups to connect with each other all over the world. When friends and family do not understand how much the music means to us, we’ve had our fandoms to share. When we were in need, fandoms have been there to support us. From donating to medical expenses to buying tickets for long time fans who have never seen the band live to supporting artwork, the amount of goodness that has come from these groups is amazing. It’s astounding.
But with all this greatness and community comes problems. Lately, the internet has become a greater problem within fandoms. Bullying has become even easier because people can remain faceless behind a screen name and be down right CRUEL to each other.
In the past few weeks, I have seen a massive uptake in fans bullying fans through the internet. And this needs to stop. Music and art are here to bring us together, not to tear us apart.
Calling out “cringey” fans. Okay, we don’t have to love each other or love each other’s actions. But if someone did or said something that made a band member or artist uncomfortable, the artist would vocalize it. I have seen band members and artists refuse photos or artwork or even physical contact because it bothers them. But if they don’t have a problem with it and it makes a fan happy, they go with it. Ultimately, these artists know that WE (fans) are their bread and butter. If you upset a fan, you lose money. It’s just good business.
If something another fan does bothers you, okay. It bothers you. Lord knows there is plenty out there that bugs me. But I don’t call people out on it. Why? Because I’ve been bullied for things I’ve done. And even at 36, it stings. Someone takes something that makes YOU feel good and turns it to shit. It isn’t a pleasant feeling. So when someone does something that sparks joy for them (Marie Kondo reference), is it causing you physical harm? No. So why call them out? When you call them out for being “cringey” or “clingy” or “gross,” you are perpetuating that bullying. If it bothers you, don’t look at it.
These artists are human beings… just like you and me. They are capable of making decisions on their own. If it bothers them, they will politely decline. If it doesn’t bother them and makes you happy, they’ll go with it.
Bullying can have lasting effects, even though it only takes a few seconds for you to participate. Bullying can lead to depression, disorders, anxiety… and, in extreme cases, suicide. Please do not be a perpetuator of these problems. Stop them.
So maybe let’s stop calling each other out for things. Let’s continue to talk about and celebrate what brought us together in the first place: the music.
A Concerned Fan