Friday, February 8, 2013

Fandom is My Anti-Drug...or Drug?

We have all been there. One of your friends says, "Hey have you seen/read/watched this?"

And you say "No."

Then they give you that stare like, how could you have never seen/read/watched this before. You'll love it.

After that begins the slipperly slope to a new fandom. All it takes is one suggestion and all of a sudden your waving around anything that looks like a wand, carrying salt everywhere, and planning to murder the man who cancelled Firefly. (Okay the last is a stretch, but you understand.)

All obsessions begin with as something small as reading a book or watching one episode and then they grow and mutate into this monster that steals all of your money and emotional stability. This is the Fandom Drug. BEWARE

There are helpful warning signs for you though. Certain stages that everyone goes through. Look for these signs and maybe you can help someone before it's too late. Remember they start small and escalate

Common signs and symptoms of Fandom Abuse

  • They're neglecting their responsibilities- Instead of studying for that exam, they are on their 4th hour of a Buffy Marathon and it does not seem to be slowing down. 
  • They’re using Fandoms under dangerous conditions or taking risks while under the influence of their Fandom- They are not only wearing a cosplay costume out but contemplating fighting crime.You may have found ninja throwing stars in their room.
  • Their Fandom use is getting them into legal trouble- They are illegally downloading all 10 seasons of Smallville at once while also downloading all the Harry Potter Audio Books.
  • Their Fandom is causing problems in their  relationships, They start losing friends because those friends think Community should be off the air or that Donna was a bad Companion.

Common signs and symptoms of Fandom Addiction

  • They’ve built up a Fandom tolerance. The show or book itself no longer quells their hunger. They start going onto fan fiction sites just to get a bit more.
  • They find more things to avoid or relieve withdrawal symptoms. If they have to wait too long for the next book or episode to come out, they start watching YouTube videos depicting their favorite parts, and not just reading fan fiction, but writing it too.  Anything that can give them more of what they desire.
  • They’ve lost control over their Fandom use. - They leave parties and outings because they have just had the best idea for the new fandom podcast they are developing.
  • Their life revolves around Fandom use. They can no longer come over on Thursdays because Community is back on and they cannot miss it. They also need to cancel their camping trip because there is a convention that weekend.
  • They’ve abandoned activities they used to enjoy, The once star football player is now practicing archery and the person who ran French club is now starting up a club for future detectives.
  • They continue to use Fandom, despite knowing it’s hurting them. They are constantly crying over some characters misfortune. You find in the corner on the floor just muttering the word "feels"
Physical warning signs of Fandom abuse

  • Bloodshot eyes, pupils larger or smaller than usual from staring at a computer screen too long.
  • Changes in appetite or sleep patterns. All they eat now is weird things like chocolate frogs and they never sleep due to marathons that keep them up all night. Their mantra is "just one more episode" or "just one more chapter"
  • Deterioration of physical appearance, personal grooming habits. They now have grown a beard because the Hobbit is coming out. Also, they never leave the house so why groom anyway.
  • Style changes. They no longer are the t-shirt and jeans person. They now wear flannel or bowties all the time or are completely steam punk. 
  • Speech changes. You start hearing phrases repeated like "Such fun!" "Run" "Wibbly wobbley timey wimey," and "Have you tried turning it off and on again." They also may start to referring to actors or fictional characters by just first name like they're really friends. 

Behavioral signs of Fandom abuse

  • Unexplained need for money or financial problems. Yet, their room is now covered in things from The Noble Collection and They also have a plane ticket to San Diego.
  • Sudden change in friends, favorite hangouts, and hobbies.You find them in the hanging out with people you've never met, drawing runes, and wanting desperately to go to a train station in Britain.
  • They have become secretive. They start sentences but then stop them, and all they say is "spoliers"

Psychological warning signs of Fandom abuse

  • Unexplained change in personality or attitude. One day they have a gruff voice and act like the world is ending and then the next they are pulling funny pranks and saying "mischief managed."
  • Sudden mood swings, irritability, or angry outbursts. One minute they are jumping up and down saying their OTP is finally together, and the next on the floor crying because some guy named Moffat killed someone again.
  • Appears fearful, anxious, or paranoid, with no reason. You ask why and they say, they are not sure if they can handle the next Clockwork book because of fear for Will and Jem.

So look these over and see if your friends are beginning to show any signs or maybe even you are. If you use tumblr, I am sorry but it is too late. You have some fandom addiction but it's okay. I have completed these lists many times. 

Remember having an addiction is nothing to be ashamed of. You can't help it. These shows/movies/books get under your skin and detox is almost impossible. Moffat and Whedon don't help the matter. They kind of encourage the behavior. But there is a community for you, and it's not just Greendale. It's the internet. Thank you internet for the support of fandom addiction. It would be tough to get through without it.

Make sure to follow us on:

Twitter: Andimatrainwrec (Katie), npalmerco08 (Nora)
Tumblr: Aaanndimatrainweck (official),  kahildreth (Katie), stillnuttypony (Nora)

And yes we did just re-read that and said, "Who let's us talk to people!"