Today, when the world is a smaller place and boundaries are being blurred on internet, this question is more pertinent than it ever was .It’s very easy to form virtual teams and groups with like-minded people and create forums for discussing your views through the medium of internet . But what is the main idea behind all these activities? It is to celebrate an artist’s talent, to spread the happiness and cheer that his/her mastery of a craft infuses in us as viewers. As a fan, even when we look for additional information on the object of our idolization, outside of their role, it’s driven by a curiosity born out of the respect for their talent. A fan is a viewer who establishes an emotional connects with a particular artist, more than a generic viewer, because the amount of inspiration they receive is, sometimes life changing for them. In short, being a fan or an admirer is all about love. Love and Respect.
Still fans are generally not regarded with a lot of respect. Celebrities are generally wary of them. Why people who are capable of so much love and passion towards a person they don’t even know, are not given due respect? The answer is very disturbing as it needs some major soul-searching. The fact of the matter is that it doesn’t take a lot for us to cross the thin line between admiration and obsession.
Tragically,an artist who impresses us with his craft soon becomes an object. We start deluding ourselves into believing that just watching them on-screen gives us a right to judge them, decide for them and treat them as our property. In my opinion It is a dangerous trait and not at all to be taken lightly. We as civilization cannot indulge this attitude. It’s high time we contemplate on this issue and set a code of conduct for fans. Are we sick? Do we have issues in our own lives which reflect in our attitude towards celebrities?
Different people connect to different actors. Some people like some actors, other like others. It is a simple fact. Choices differ just as in case of food or dresses. The difference here is that your choice is a living breathing person. When to prove your choice is better, you start degrading the other, you cross that line. Free Speech is an asset, open forums and discussions are a boon if used with maturity. As viewers, we have a right to criticize the skills of an actor if we don’t find it at par , the same way as we extol the skills of someone we like. But the minute these discussions turn into fights, the criticism turns personal, language becomes derogatory, the whole point of communication and fandom Is wasted. Unfortunately that’s what happens most of the time in case of TV Celebrities.
I am appalled how a nation which claims to have a high intelligence, fails to realize an obvious fact: TV Actors act. They play a part. They are not what you see them on-screen. Is it really rocket science to figure that out? And why does media encourage this delusional concept by using their character names even while reporting real life news about them? Why do channels issue advisories to actors to be cautious as to “not to hurt sentiments of the viewers” in their personal life? Isn’t it criminal to encourage the sick make-believe world of some people as the price of an actor’s personal life?
Online fandom is a tricky thing. The lines are blurred and easy to cross. The factor of anonymity sometimes brings the worst out. Fans should start taking themselves seriously so that celebrities can too. Respect is a two-way street.
- Fans or Fanatics (coleykstevens.wordpress.com)
- Social Media: The Digital You & The Social Stalker (simplisafe.com)