Loving your fandom while avoiding the toxicity

15 min read

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Astralseed's avatar

Fan Art Week

Hi everyone,
as part of Fan Art Week, I'm here to discuss how to continue loving your fandom while avoiding any toxicity in its community.  

It's no secret that some fandoms have a lot of toxicity in them.  Sometimes you'll run into people who disagree with how you choose to enjoy your fandoms.  Maybe it's not even you who is experiencing the drama directly, but you still find yourself surrounded by it within your fandom.  

Finding yourself in the middle of ship wars or general disagreements over AU's (Alternate Universe) or character design or personalities tends to be unpleasant, so how do we avoid these situations?  
At the end of the day you probably can't fully avoid these situations, however you can do some things to prevent them from taking some of the enjoyment out of your fandoms.  

It's okay to disagree

Disagreements are a basic part of life and human interaction.  I think we all know that people don't always agree with us, or us with them.  How we react during such disagreements can make a huge difference in our overall experience though.  Most fandom drama tends to stem from basic disagreements. Knowing how to not let it escalate can help keep the drama minimal.  

If you find yourself disagreeing with someone in your fandom the best thing you can do is to respect that it's their right to have a different opinion.  You don't have to agree with it, nor do you have to actively support it, but simple acceptance that others may share different opinions can go a long way.  

What to do if you experience drama in your fandoms community?

Stop, drop, and roll!  

Well, I guess you'd only need to do that if you're on fire.  If you're experiencing drama in your fandoms community the best thing you can do is turn away.  Don't become part of the drama, don't add to it.  Step away and find a corner that is drama free.  

What can you do if you can't find a positive corner within your fandoms community?

Look for like-minded people within your fandom.  Ideally people who are drama free and share your views or are open to your views on how to appreciate the fandom.  

Making positive friendships with people who share your love and appreciation for a fandom can be a great thing and you'll always have something to talk about which you enjoy together.

© 2018 - 2021 Astralseed
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Shayla-Estate's avatar
"If you find yourself disagreeing with someone in your fandom the best thing you can do is to respect that it's their right to have a different opinion.  You don't have to agree with it, nor do you have to actively support it, but simple acceptance that others may share different opinions can go a long way. "

This is so true, and something I try to live by in my fandom. I am not part of a particularly popular ship, and on (thankfully very few) occasions have been disrespected for it. In fact, just had this encounter last Friday as another fan and I were chatting and eating our meal. She asked me about the ship, I simply answered "No I don't", and her response was basically "I hate you, we can't be friends." Now this was mostly said in a jovial manner, and I did not take it personally. I did not lash out. I responded with "I just don't and that's okay. You and my sister would have a lot to talk about." Had I been someone else, they might have responded differently and gotten into a fight in the middle of IHOP. To put things in perspective, this gal, whom I've only known for a short amount of time, is 18, and I'm not saying age has everything to do with it. But versus my almost 33 years of age I tried to show more maturity and acceptance. I know and accept that I'm probably "not in the norm" by not shipping this couple, but I don't. And I don't have to just to fit in. 

I had a similar response from my sister when she discovered I didn't agree with the ship, and yes that really soured my day. And occasionally sours the fandom for me. But I keep quiet, I enjoy what I enjoy, I accept that others enjoy different things. All I ask is for the same respect in return. Sorry this got rather lengthy. I don't feel like I have many places to express my frustration when it comes to this particular thing. So thank you.
Astralseed's avatar
Yeah, I've seen a fair bit of nonsense when it comes to someone shipping a certain pair or not supporting a popular ship.  It's all so unnecessary too because there's nothing wrong with people having different opinions.  
Shayla-Estate's avatar
Exactly! And now, even with other shows, I feel like I can't really talk about my ships with my sister now without getting slightly harassed. And that's silly.
xDonnervogelx's avatar
It's funny; we have a project this semester in one class where our group focuses on fandom toxicity. This is just on point xD
I hope it's okay if we use some of the content for our project (=
Astralseed's avatar
Sure, feel free :hug:
Daphne-Brown's avatar
I love the Trump and Hilary gifs
lu--24's avatar
Good advice. I agree on finding your corner. In some cases I found it is best for me to ignore the international fandom and stick to the one from my country which is much more down to earth...
Giganotosaur314's avatar
This is such a well written guide, it's informative, not too long, and it keeps a positive feel. I think everyone whom are in a fandom, should read this, especially newcomers. Thank you for sharing this, I loved reading it.
Astralseed's avatar
When I first proposed writing it I thought it would be much longer than this.. but as I started writing I was like oh man this is so much shorter than I expected D: 
At the end of the day just avoiding the drama and finding a happy place for one's self is where it's at.  
Giganotosaur314's avatar
Well I am actually glad it's not too long, because sometimes people are busy or tired, so they don't want to read a mountain of text; this journal, however, avoided this, which I'm glad for, so more people can fully read this informative and thoughtful entry.
EMO-ART-13's avatar
... I'm sharing this with my watchers!
EMO-ART-13's avatar
Shared! You're Welcome!
sevese's avatar
I wish more people would stick to that simple rules.
Drama is never an option when wanting to enjoy something, no matter what.
Thanks for sharing. :)
Astralseed's avatar
I think for a lot of people they just don't know how to react in certain situations.  Often a lot of drama comes from people who end up acting like a caged animal lashing out because they probably don't realize that they can retreat.  Otherwise learning when to stand tall or when to bow out also can take a fair bit of maturity so the younger folks may not have gotten to a point yet where they can easily decide which way to lean.  
sevese's avatar
True - and in general that might be the case. 'nods'
But to be fair I have to say that I witnessed grown ups being 30 years or older acting like that. I don't blame teenagers for being over-defensive or too rude due to their lack of ability to discuss without causing drama. They are sort of excused. For adults ... I can't force myself to be as patient as I am with kids. ^.^
RiEile's avatar
Very sound advice, but... is DA populated by misbehaving 10-year-olds? I guess I just think too good of people...
Astralseed's avatar
:giggle: there are a lot of younger kids on DA, but you'll also find a lot of adults.  I haven't seen as much fandom drama here as I have on other sites, but it does still exist.  
TylerFreeFlight's avatar
This is so... right on the money!
I love my fandom and the good friends I have there.
I avoid the darker side and realize all fandom's have one.
Great advice! You deserve that heart after you name. :)
Astralseed's avatar
Lugia20711's avatar
This is going in my faves.
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