Thinking about fandom and the way I’ve been actually trying to be as nonconfrontational as possible on my separate social media profiles. I’ve had a lot of bad experiences in fandom rather consistently since I joined. I think it is partially my own fault since I am, in fact, a cunt. HOWEVER, I also think it’s very disproportionate from what the average other fandom members experience.
Here are the three areas I’ve isolated for fandom controversy directed towards me:
- Social Justice Controversy: I make some sort of post or commentary about race/gender/sexuality/class/trauma and then it becomes a whole Thing. This is often my fault because I’m bad at letting things go and will often be loud about how I think people are being dumb. That said, there’s only so much personal responsibility I’m willing to take for predominantly white nerds getting mad at me because they’re afraid that they’re racist.
- Terminally Online Slapfights: Proshipper vs Antis, arguments about character interpretation, meta, ship drama, “who tops and who bottoms” what the fuck ever. None of this matters and none of this is real and everybody cares so much all the time.
- School Girl Antics: This really weird thing that happens fairly often where people openly dislike me or even harass me, literally because they don’t think I’m that funny or that my fics are that good. Somehow, this is my fault and we are back in high school throwing spitballs at each other during APUSH.
The third one comes off as kinda conceited and self obsessed, but whatever. The point is that I’m trying to avoid conflict recently.
On my main twitter I have fully given up and only use it to complain and make jokes at my friends. Other than FE3H which is permanently quarantined there I just don’t wanna put much fandom content out. I think ao3 discourse literally broke me.
But, I still like fandom and I still wanna create in it. So, the easiest solution is to just post on separate accounts. Which isn’t hidden or anything, but I’m not eager to publicly and visibly link them together in my profile information. It’s pretty easy to find my tumblr/danmei twitter I am not hiding those.
But also, I kinda am? In simple ways. Like I can be called TJ or I can be called Tanner and both names are fine, but for other accounts I’m leaning towards Tanner. For some reason though I’ve decided to section Tanner off as my cool fandomsona. Tanner doesn’t get into discourse. Tanner doesn’t even know what a proship is.
So, I’m trying to avoid conflict. This is easier on tumblr, and also harder on tumblr at the same time because tumblr is full of insane overgrown children that have self isolated for more than a decade and fermented this hyperspecific culture of being aggro about everything vaguely social justice while also refusing to engage in any actual theory or academia. Which we been knew. So, Tanner on tumblr just chills and deletes posts whenever people want to argue about it. Tumblr also has no sense of object permanence, which I wish more people would realize, where the best strategy for things is whenever someone starts being annoying just log off. They get bored. Whatever.
Tumblr’s still easier though because in terms of politics I’m not that far off from the general area of the stupid ass site I’m on. Literally my biggest political controversy I feel strongly about on tumblr is that I think everyone’s super obnoxious about YA and romance novels. “Bring back being pretentious” or what the fuck ever, it’s annoying.
Honestly… I think I might just be too nice for tumblr LMAO
Danmei twitter is a bit weirder though to keep chill with. I’m trying very hard to not touch anything with anti/proship discourse on it. I don’t identify with either, and I’m going to die if I have to continue interacting with it. I’m just not looking that hard. I just don’t want to care. I’ll unfollow if I see stuff that makes me uncomfortable, and I’ll block if there’s something noteworthy in terms of “I do not fuck with this”
It’s an odd experience of trying to not post every single sjw thought that flips through my silly little brain though. Especially when conversations about race come up because I love talking about race I have so many opinions. Danmei twitter’s weird though because I am also trying an experiment where I… simply don’t mention that I’m Black frequently. “Nonwhite” is really all the information people need to know for a silly little danmei twitter, especially since I’m avoiding conversations of race. I also still talk/type the same way, so I guess the day I get called out for appropriating digital aave will be well deserved.
Honestly? Kinda depressing. I love talking about being Black. I have so many jokes that are not funny to anyone but me. MLK didn’t die for me to not be able to giggle about Wu Xi wearing a durag.
But still… every time I’ve ever been harassed or entrenched in drama or misinterpreted it’s always been worse when I have my race visible on social media. So. Well. That’s a thing.
Existing in fandom is an experience though because honestly I feel like I make friends pretty easily in fandom. I like to be involved and I like to talk! The most fun part for me with fandom is legit social media interactions with making aus and headcanons and meta. I love that fandom is a collaboration and I love that there are parts of it created through the collective imagination.
I also get into stupid shit pretty easily in a way where I’m not even sure what exactly I’m doing wrong. Again, this will sound self obsessed and I’m willing to live with that, but uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh why do ppl kinda come off as jealous?
I mean there’s been dozens of times I’m pretty sure of finding vagues about me from people I literally do not know and have never interacted with. Often times, based on the idea that I’m not that funny, or my fics might be popular but they’re not that good, or they don’t like the rare pair ship me and my friends talk a lot about, or that my attitude is just generally annoying. And it feels very personal in a way where people whining about how Dimiclaude sucks does not. Like these are personal criticisms of me from people who do not like me.
Which is just weird because it happens fairly often, even when I don’t have many followers. I can’t tell how common an experience this is because it feels like it happens more than it should. I don’t mean to exaggerate either I mean like? I’ve had people I don’t know tag posts with my name to complain about me.
My theory is that I am equal parts sociable as I am hatable, and every joke I make needs to be balanced by the universe with a vague tweet to keep me humble.
So, I’m trying to avoid that recently. I don’t really know how to avoid it really but we are trying. So far, it’s been keeping more of a distance with other people and not joining things like Discords. Also, trying to not do things like have inside jokes or interact with people in a way that would come off as clique-ish. And also, trying to find a right balance of responding/interacting with people who are nice to me, but I don’t follow. And also, trying to follow less people and be careful with following someone who follows me/might follow back and make sure that I’m ready to commit to the intimacy of being oomfs.
Which is all insane. Literally insane. I have tiny little fandom social media profiles where I make silly little jokes and try to commit to writing funny little fics.
In my defense of overt paranoia, in combination with my poor fandom experience, I also just have issues.
Like, am I wary of being emotionally close to people online because someone vagued my Sylvix fic, or am I just still a little traumatized from being sexually assaulted by a fandom friend when I was 20. Do I get worried about putting too much personal information online because I’m worried someone’s gonna doxx me for calling He Xuan a whore, or am I just anxious about being attached to my sibling’s very public criminal history?
Probably a mixture. Childhood trauma is a whole thing, but it wasn’t made better by years of poor experiences online.
- On tumblr, I’m trying to not get into fights with the excessively aggro geeks that have been on there for years and don’t know how to interact with normal people anymore like fish adapted to the darkest pits of an internet echo chamber feeding off the scum of discourse remnants.
- And on tumblr, I am also doing my hardest to care about things like pan rights and hyperspecific ace discourse because I like the pastel mogai crowd of anime bloggers who try to be nice to each other more (to be clear, I have no issue with pansexuality/asexuality/etc I just don’t care about discourse)
- On twitter, I’m racefaking as an ambiguously nonwhite cartoon character appropriating aave to see if I’ll get called less slurs (to be clear, I am not actually racefaking)
- And on twitter, I am also trying to hard dodge every single mention of anti/proship discourse and close my eyes and just fucking vibe or whatever like a normal person
- Then on both platforms, I’m attempting to downplay how severely my pussy pops and to not talk to people too much in case they fall in love with me and my big witty brain (this is, as the kids say nowadays, /j)
And so far it has been fine? And also almost definitely a mixture of healthy behaviors alongside weird trauma responses indicative of the toxicity of fandom.