There are certain things or events in life that have the power to completely change your life. One of such things is joining a fandom…. Bet you thought I was going to spout some philosophical BS right?
But it is true, that joining a fandom has the ability to just turn your life around and make you do things you never thought possible.
Fandom is essentially referred to the subculture that is composed of fans brought together by a feeling of camaraderie and sharing common interests.
But the reality is not that cut and dry, the thing is a fandom is very much a very large and very dysfunctional family. With some good and some bad, the creepy uncles, the nosey aunts, a few evil relatives and it’s like all of them have come for a visit. At the same time.
There are laughs, there is love, there is also hate and negativity, but one has to be in a fandom, to truly realise how amazing being in one can be. However one does not just join a fandom. It’s not like one just wakes up one day and decides that they want to join in. No, there is a whole process that goes in, before one is completely immersed into a fandom.
So, here are the 7 stages of being in a fandom:
- Casual Observer:
This is the first stage. It can range from you already having some knowledge about the topic to not knowing the a,b,c’s of it. But you somehow come across it, perhaps a friend recommended it, or you saw a funny Facebook post about it or any of the multiple other things. Point is, you come across it and are intrigued.
- You Like It:
This is the more non-committed stage, where you like it and are like- “this is cool. This is fun. It’s not bad”. But you won’t call yourself a fan or anything. Coz you’re not crazy about it or anything. You can distance yourself from it.
This comes after the liking stage. You like it, and are intrigued to learn more. You start to see all the posts and comments and start to have opinions of your own about the character, situations and all. But you keep them to yourself. No need to immerse yourself into the crazy. It’s just your thoughts.
- Can’t Hold Back Anymore:
This comes after sometime and the intrigue phase. By now, you are not madly following it or anything, but you have seen enough material to offer some pointers and theories. And by this stage you cannot hold back anymore. So you start to write posts and reply to other posts.
- The Discussions:
By this stage, one is somewhere in the middle. You can still pull back, but each day, it gets harder and harder. And then one day, you end up in a discussion. Could be you started it or could be you joined in the middle. But you just have to get all the thoughts out.
- The End is Near:
Not to sound so ominous or anything, but the end of your normal life is coming near. By now, you have started to come to the harsh reality that maybe you are a fan. You are still in denial about being crazy about it, but well…you can only deny it for so long.
- You Get Followers:
This is the final stage, the stage when you fully realise and come out of the denial. That You. Are. A. Fan. Yup, the minute other people start following you, you are completely, fully and forever in the fandom. You are a part of this large crazy family now. Welcome to the family.
So, there you go. The stages of being in a fandom. Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments.
Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.