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Fandom | Why We Need Fandoms

Katelyn delves into fandom and what it means to fans around the world.

Fandoms are by no means new. The art of being addicted to a book, writing, or show has been around for probably centuries.  But, let’s be honest, we do it better.  We now have books and movies accessible 24/7 through these flat bright screens that sit on our laps. That’s crazy.  No, really. Think about it.  Think of all the fans we can meet just in 5 minutes at a single site.  How many fan pages there are for a single character or series?

We are connected in a way that humans have never been before.  But, with all that goodwill also comes criticism.  We spend too much time on our phones (which I won’t argue with), we live in fantasy, we don’t connect with the real world.  And maybe we don’t.  However, that doesn’t mean that’s a bad thing.  Fandoms give us an outlet, a way to make sense of and work through real problems in a made-up world.  They are important to us and it’s time we understand why.

1. They Give Us Commonality

Fandoms can be huge. I mean, gigantic. There are hundreds of people talking about any given thing at any given time. Fandoms connect people from across the room, country, or world. These books and movies connect people who otherwise wouldn’t have ever spoken to one another. They give us a community; a place to talk or write with one another about a common subject. We may end up disagreeing with the minor points, but in the end, we still love the topic.

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2. They Are Gateways

Fandoms give people reasons to do things they otherwise wouldn’t have done. Go to a convention in a $400 costume, write fanfiction, read books over 100 pages…etc.  When you love something, you want to learn about it and you want to share that love and knowledge with others.  Our love of our movies/books prompts us to open ourselves up to new and exciting new things.

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3. Help Us Learn Lessons

Some of the most profound and meaningful things in our lives come from the characters our fandoms provide us with. We see them make mistakes, bend, break, rise, and succeed in arcs that only wizards and masterminds could have thought up.  We learn about ourselves through those characters. And we can become better. Have a favorite character?  What do you love about them?  What are their greatest attributes?  Got it? Now, mimic them.  Become them. Be the best of what that character has to offer. Be better, be kinder, be wiser, slow down, speed up, be fearless. Become the character you admire until others in your fandom see that character in you.

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4. Expressions

Fandoms allow us to express ourselves. Talking to someone who is also eye-deep in your fandom can be a breath of fresh air. Suddenly you can use those deep remarks no one will get unless they’ve seen season 4 episode 12 as many times as you have. You can say “he is like ___” and sound sane. We can make instant friendships. Have you ever introduced two mutual friends only to have them hit it off and forget you were there? Fandoms do that.

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Mark Hamill on the set of THE MANDALORIAN, season two, exclusively on Disney+. © 2021 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ª. All Rights Reserved.
5. Let’s Admit It, They Set Apart Whose Seen/Read What

Yeah, they do. You mention Gryffindor and a third person’s all “I’m Ravenclaw!”  So, you think a deep conversation is about to happen about the sorting hat and the house differences. Then you get deep and they get that lost look on their face.  I’ve miraculously had it go the other way too. I’m talking to a good friend about the original Star Wars EU when an acquaintance walks by.

Acquaintance: “You guys talking Star Wars?”

Me: “Yeah. What made you think that?”

Acquaintance: “I heard the word EU. Continue.”

And suddenly we had a new person to add to our group Star Wars chat. When talking fandoms, it becomes easy to tell who’s seen the movies and who knows what they’re talking about.

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Not part of a fandom?  I doubt that!  Have a favorite book or movie?  There’s a club for that.  Look, read, and learn.  Be a part of something fantastic. Join a fandom.

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One thought on “Fandom | Why We Need Fandoms”

  1. Such an excellent article and topic. Fandoms are what keep me happy and give me a lens to view the real world. I think everyone should have a Fandom framing their lives

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