There are few relationships as complex as that between fans and the things they are passionate about. Being a fan can embolden, reassure, and inspire creators we love to reach new levels of success; it can show the best in humanity in creating a community of people who enjoy the same things. It does, however, also have a dark side (pun slightly intended). In recent years, I have seen sports fans burning jerseys they bought for hundreds of dollars because of a player’s opinions or actions that they disagree with. People make death threats because a referee made a call that was unpopular and they believe they were wronged.
And it isn’t just sports fans; geeks have been getting up in arms, calling people criminal for bastardizing their favorite characters or stories and review bombing movies in retaliation. My fellow nerds create internal cliques that espouse equality meanwhile looking down on those who disagree or like things that they don’t; this is where I have seen social media at its worst. People feel that their opinions and biases should shape the way others live. How self-important do you have to be to think that way? The only way I can think of to address this is through two groups I belong to that have showcased this unhealthy behavior; let’s start with the geeks.
Continue reading “Fanatics: How to Love Something Too Much”