Superman versus Hulk

No, Fandom Isn’t Toxic

It’s kind of weird how we build attachments to things that we don’t actually own – like movies, TV series, and even mobile phones. Heck, read any Android versus Apple forum and you’ll find impassioned pleas from both sides as they try to convert the fence sitters. In terms of movie fandom, though, things can get pretty heated – especially in the whole MCU/DCEU debate.

As I’ve mentioned before, when it comes to art, it’s extremely subjective – one man’s treasure is another’s garbage and all that. However, a new wave of “journalism” has also emerged: antagonistic film blogging. Most of these men and women build up a career by pressing the buttons of the respective fandom to elicit a reaction of outrage – and yes, it’s definitely for the clicks. For some odd reason, human beings tend to share and get involved in negative topics rather than positive ones – and this snowballs into views and a lot of angry people along the way.

Naturally, I don’t agree with this approach. The problem now is, however, that anyone sharing their views is automatically labelled as clickbait. Not everyone is going to like a movie and if they can provide a valid opinion for their dislike, great – it’s their opinion after all. Yet, it’s treated as a cancer and that there must be some form of agenda, according to the fandom, right? No, if people don’t share your interests and views, it’s okay. You’re allowed to love whatever you want and no one should make you feel bad for it. If they do, why are you following/entertaining that person in the first place?

Then, there are the folks who only read headlines and make assumptions about a piece. Honestly, this is plain lazy and it’s your own fault if you’re outraged here, since common sense suggests you read something before commenting. Remember, most websites need to adhere to SEO practices while also making sure headlines are appealing at the same time. If it piques your interest so much, for the love of all rational thinking, read the damn thing before commenting.

On more of a side note: I read a tweet the other day that said, “All bloggers should be banned from movie screenings.” It made me laugh, since the poster obviously didn’t realise he/she was banning himself/herself in the process. Tweeting about a movie is as much blogging (i.e. micro blogging) as is someone posting a longer form piece on a website. Also, I’m quite sure that exclusion isn’t what any fandom wants to be known for.

The bottom line is this: the issue isn’t bloggers; it’s the power being given to them. If someone has built up a reputation of riling up things for controversy, surely you should know better by now and stop entertaining their nonsense. Tabloids have existed for years and have their own fan bases – but this doesn’t mean you have to engage in the gossip.

I don’t believe any fandom is toxic – that’s an unfair blanket statement. Like in any setting, though, I do believe a small percentage of the people can be douchebags and take things too far. But we cannot label everyone because of a few rotten apples – we should be better than that. Love what you love and enjoy it, because it makes life that much better. If someone doesn’t share your love for it, let it be. If they’re intentionally rattling your cage, there’s a nice little feature called ‘block’ – so use it.


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