I’ll be working on a larger post later but for the time being I really need to get some of my thoughts and feelings out.
Fandom is eating itself. We’re so desperate to try to control each other, either because of things we don’t like or things we’re worried about that we’re attacking our own and making fandom a very scary place. I’ve lived too much of my life on fear of what other people would do or say b/c I had a bad opinion or wanted a “wrong” thing and I’ll be damned if I do it here. It needs to stop.
Areas of fandom have been toxic for as long as I’ve been in fandoms, which is since 2002-2003. I’ve got several friends who have been in fandoms for decades and even some who were around for Star Trek TOS when fanfiction first became a thing, and even back then there were toxic people.
The sad part is that social media is making it easier for the toxic people to have a voice and, with all the time they apparently have on their hands because otherwise they must have no life, plenty of time to harass anyone they feel like harassing, including the actors themselves.
It’s upsetting, and it’s something that I think needs to change from within. I think people need to stop allowing it or even acknowledging those who have anything to do with it because the bullies like to have voices and know they have an effect on people. Younger fans don’t have the courage or the experience to handle it well. I know I didn’t for the first few years I was in fandom, and it stopped me from writing for years. In the last 4-5 years I’ve stopped acknowledging them and I rarely get hate or awful people because they don’t get anything out of me.
I wish fandom as a whole could just completely ignore the toxic people and deny them a platform or voice, but I know a lot of people can’t or won’t. I don’t really see another alternative, so until then I just block/unfollow anybody who even sort of leans that way and stick to people who are awesome.
There’s a lot of awesome people out there, they’re just not as loud as the awful people at the moment, so it’s harder to find them, and it seems the toxic ones are overtaking things, but they’re not. At least not now or in the past 🙂