I’m not sure if this is going to be a series on this blog or just a one-off, but as I have proclaimed myself in multiple videos (shameless self-promo: https://www.youtube.com/user/AmandaMarie59) to be a fangirl, ohh do I want to talk about it today.
I’ll be honest with you, fangirl is a term I’m becoming a little skeptical of more and more these days for various reasons (mostly negative connotations), but in my particular case it is still an appropriate label, so I’ll stick with it for now.
I’ve been a “fangirl” of sorts since I was about eleven years old. I loved things before that, but that was when I got more internet freedom and discovered mugglenet.com and fan videos and bought my first (and second) Harry Potter poster. Oh boyyy did I love Harry Potter in middle school, and of course I still do just as much now. I went through phases with liking different things rather….intensely, to some. There was a band and different book series, and now (surprise) I’m quite emotionally invested in the world of youtubers.
What’s interesting to me is how much being a fangirl has changed. It still has a lot of the same aspects: fanfiction, fan videos, fan art, over-dramatic emotional reactions to any change, posters/merchandise. The change is more that it went from being something I felt was a bit hidden on the internet, that fans had to search to find, to being a mainstream way of life for many tweens and teens now. Now with this rise of social media it doesn’t take writing letters to your favorite actors like twelve-year-old Amanda did to get noticed; public figures are more accessible than ever, and some of them, such as youtubers, are just normal people who get paid to check on their audience through social media. What a time to be a fan.
The accessibility of fandom through social media has allowed the mania to flourish and form whole communities around specific interests. It also has given the fans hope that some sort of interaction between them and their favorite celebrities is just a creative tweet away…or 10,000, if they’re persistent. This kind of interaction is really what inspired this post.
Now, to be clear, I’ve never been someone who made fan accounts on a social media site to get someone’s attention, and while I do respond to the occasional tweet or comment on videos, I don’t spam anyone, and I don’t expect a response. The couple of times I have gotten a response, though, I squealed. Yup. I, a 21-year-old woman, squealed because for a brief second of time someone I admire (professionally, not romantically, public figures are strangers technically) responded to a comment I posted on their video saying “Thanks Amanda, I appreciate that. x”
I never understood why people invested their time into fan accounts, and sometimes I find them to be bordering on harassment, but in these rare moments I get it. It doesn’t matter if it’s just a little something, for this brief moment in time someone you look up to had you in mind and appreciated what you had to say; out of over 7 billion people on the planet, for a short second they thought about you. And you didn’t even have to spend anything on postage.
It’s interesting to me, both how fans and creators are closer than ever, and how I can still get so emotionally invested in art and the people who create it, despite never having met them and knowing that they are just normal people like myself. What can I say? I love to love things. As for the close relationship between fans and creators/artists, I’m not sure how to feel about it. Is it good, because creators can more easily thank their fans and receive their feedback? Or is it doing more harm than good, invading these creators’-normal people like you and I-personal lives more than ever? Maybe it’s just a double-edged sword.
I’d love to know what you think about the topic in the comments (and if I’m silly for caring that someone thanked me) and also if I should continue the topic of fangirling on this blog! Thanks so much for reading, you’re lovely. x