Gotta Be Positive

Okay, so, fair warning to all dear readers, this might be a bit of a ramble of an editorial, because it’s a bit of a stream of thought in places. I’ll try to not ramble too much, and keep it all relevant, but sometimes tangents happen. Like I said, I’ll do my best to keep on point. What is that point? Well, it’s like this: lately, especially on mediums like Tumblr, I’ve been seeing a surprising amount of negativity in fandoms.

Now, I’m not saying that negativity in fandoms in something odd. No, like we said in a previous article, nothing is perfect, so there’s always going to be something that makes someone go “now hang on a minute.” But what I’m talking about is going into a tag and seeing nothing but people spewing what seems to be all this unnecessary vitriol at their fandom, the people who run it. No one and nothing is safe – not even Tom Hiddleston, judging by the outrage that has happened from a simple comment he made. Not that I’m trying to make an example of Hiddlestoners, it’s just the most recent happening to hand.

Now, if I’m being honest, this is only a smattering of fandoms (and not everyone in them) when we consider the huge tapestry that is fandom life, but it’s happening with the random big fandoms, which… can be worrying. How do I explain… Okay, simple is best, so I’ll go with the simple. Being negative is fine, but when it’s gotten to a point when it seems like every other thing said about the fandom is negative… that’s probably the time to step back and wonder about priorities. As odd as this is going to sound from us fandom is not the be all and end of all life. It’s meant to be, primarily, a fun activity for us to participate in and, well, if all it’s doing is making you mad, something’s wrong there.

And the issue here is, I don’t think anyone can actually pinpoint the precise place. Oh, x amount of people may say it’s here, but then you’ll wander over to the other side, and another x amount of people are disagreeing whole-heartedly, and saying the problem is this instead. Problems in fandom, when it comes down to it, are entirely subjective. Well, to a certain extent anyway, but let’s try not to get into that can of worms tonight, the current one is more than enough for us. Especially since it’s one of those rare topics that really don’t seem to have a conclusion. Well, a clear and distinct conclusion, is what I mean. There’s always the option of throwing up our hands and admitting defeat, but we’re not really into that here.

So, okay, you’re experiencing a lot of negativity in your fandom, and while you don’t disagree with some of the points being raised, there are some that you feel are probably taking it too far. Or in some cases, missing the point entirely, but in those cases there’s not much you can do but try to educate people. Actually, that’s pretty much the answer for a lot of things, you need to sit down and explain why a thing is the way it is and whether or not that makes it alright or really wrong. Though there’s always the flip side in which it’s blindingly obvious what the problem is and the amount of people who don’t get it are staggering and it actually makes you worry for their mental state in some cases. You may think I’m exaggerating, and maybe I am, but I bet you can think of at least one group of fans who fit the above description.

And I find myself coming to a point where, well, there’s not much else that I can say. There’s a lot of negativity popping up, and I guess the only way to properly counter it is to try to show the positive things about the fandom. The things that people can’t help but like. I know, it’s obvious but… sometimes under a stream of hate, the obvious can seem really hard to find.

People can have more than enough negative stuff in their life, maybe fandom is their escape. I’m not saying don’t give critical comments, but I am saying there’s a fine line, and it’s important to be aware of when you cross it. Fandom is meant to be fun after all, right?

Z McAspurren.

This entry was posted in Issue Forty-Three, Wildcards and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Gotta Be Positive

  1. mekare says:

    The more I hear about tumblr the less I want to have one… I don’t mind visiting a select few where I have verified that they are safe, i.e. won’t repost this negativity stuff and are run by responsible people who express their joy in fandom.
    Is it the medium that is facilitating reposting in the heat of the moment – making it easier for feelings to escalate? I tend to think twice before I hit the post button on dreamwidth. And since there is no “repost” option the immediate range is limited, but I like it that way.

    • It’s quite possible. Like any social media platform, Tumblr has its good and its bad sides, but it’s true that things do get reblogged – and taken out of context in the process, sometimes – very quickly. Thanks for your thoughts! -Ed.

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