Fandoms have taken the internet by storm as more and more young people try to prove their commitment to the artist they love. What can we learn from them?
I am currently stanning GOT7, which is a multiracial KPop group. Last 2017, I saw my brother watching GOT7’s performance and after watching it also, I started to look up more information about the group. Aside from their talent, I also appreciate them because of their hard work in their craft that got them to where they are now.
Actually, I already knew about lots of K-pop groups way back but when I was in Grade 8, I saw my classmate watching “I Need You” dance practice and since I also had an interest in dancing, I also started watching them and eventually stanned them.
Before, I was just disinterested about K-pop but I started to appreciate it during this pandemic. It started when I watched a shared BTS video on social media. Then I started to get hooked because of that performance.
It’s the story of their struggle and how they faced opposition. While fandoms love the music and performances, what really bonds them is the feeling of being connected to the struggles of their idols. This makes them feel that they are part of the journey.
There is really a stronger impact when you know about where they came from, how they started and how they got to where they are today. It’s not just simply about their looks and talent but also about their hard work.
One is the appreciation of the group’s values. These groups show that it is not just about looks and talent, but also hard work. Second is the thought of being part of their journey. For these reasons, fandoms support the group they stan. What also strengthens a fandom is a sense of mission and belongingness.
By default, we have a desire to be invested in something or someone and we want to be part of the journey.
Toxic fans are obsessed fans called “sasaeng”. They invade their idol’s privacy by stalking them. As for me, I know my limitations.
Some fans do not want to be associated with a fanbase because of the labeled stereotype from toxic fans. The toxicity comes from fandoms fighting other fandoms and sometimes, from obsession.
The principle is to really know our limitations.
For those who are not part of any fandom, it’s easy to judge fandoms because of the unhealthy things. However, we also have to be compassionate and understand where they are coming from. Let us avoid bashing and cyberbullying.
For those who are part of a fandom, we have to know our limitations. There should be a clear line between being a supportive fan to already committing idolatry.
The deeper essence that resonates in fandoms is the sense of belongingness. We all have this need so if people find this in fandoms, let’s respect that.
However, there is another community that meets the need for belongingness, love, acceptance and sense of mission – the church community. People in the church may not share the same interests, fashion or personality but there is no other place that could offer acceptance and love like the church community.
Fandoms are founded and composed of people so it has both toxicity and bond. The difference of church community to fandoms is that its founder gave His life for the members. The founder did not just perform but gave everything to them. The various uniqueness and diversity of people in a community expands our capacity to understand and love other people and makes us see a picture of who God is.
Let’s be kind, compassionate and be more understanding. The world is already too polarized and divided by fandoms, political beliefs, race, ideologies, etc. It’s a good thing to remember, especially as a Christian, that our work is to represent God [through our life and relationships].
Today on Campus is hosted by Dave Estrera and Jello de los Reyes. In this episode, they are joined by Jana Calanog and Graceshelle Abilong, students from different ENC centers in the Philippines.
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