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If being a fan were a high-paying job, I would definitely be a billionaire.
Associating ourselves with a specific fandom not only provides a sense of belongingness and comfort, but also offers a safe avenue for expressing our diverse fan expressions, creating a universal code.
I’ve been in different fandoms since I was 12 years old, and it’s crazy to think how fandom culture more than a decade ago isn't exactly the same as it is now.
Amid the facade of unwavering support, a paradoxical reality lurks beneath the surface: there are some fans who cross the thin line between admiration and obsession.
While the majority find solace and joy in the shared passion, a small fraction may exhibit behavior that veers into intrusive territory, threatening the well-being of the very idols they claim to adore.
As we delve into this complex relationship and make the audiences a starting point for understanding the consumption of stars, the active and productive elements of the star-audience relationship begin to emerge. And that is where the symbiotic nature of this connection becomes even more evident—and perhaps, dangerous.
When conversing with various P-pop fans from different fandoms last year, a prevailing sentiment emerged—most of them expressed a positive outlook. They went beyond perceiving their idols as mere public figures; instead, they regarded them just like their "friends" with whom they could engage in conversations.
This perspective revealed a depth to the fan-idol relationship in the contemporary world, transcending the conventional boundaries of stanning. And there’s definitely nothing wrong with that.
But in today’s era where the relationship is becoming more personal and closely linked because of participatory culture, it’s essential to remember that the idol’s accessibility and ordinariness aren’t free passes to cross the line.
While the increasing digital intimacy between idols and fans fosters a sense of connection, it should be accompanied by a heightened awareness of boundaries.
We bear a shared responsibility to respect the personal spaces of our idols. It is imperative for us to read the room and acknowledge that there are moments when even the most accessible idols deserve a private space.
The line between genuine support and invasive behavior must be clearly delineated and understand that idols, despite their public persona, are entitled to a life unmarred by constant surveillance.
The participatory nature of fan culture doesn’t negate the importance of maintaining a healthy relationship. As fans, our role as prosumers is not only to appreciate, but also to respect the artists we admire. Remember, idols belong to themselves, and we don’t own them.
*Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not represent the official stance of Parcinq Magazine, its affiliates, or its staff.