I’ll be the first person to tell you that the shit that people say really bothers me. I don’t want it to, because after all – I don’t know any of you and you don’t know me. I know, I know – I should have thick skin. After all, I make the choice to write on this website.
Somehow that doesn’t seem to phase me though when I am in the midst of taking something that someone has to tweet/email/comment.
When I first fell down the fandom hole seven years ago, I never expected things to be the way that they turned out to be. I was a girl who just wanted someone to understand my love of fandoms with me. My friends had all experienced a love of boy bands with me, but I wanted to talk about my love of books, movies and at the time Robsten (which will forever remain unbroken to me).
But as of late – the past year – fandoming has not been fun. I haven’t wanted to talk to anyone about things – because every time I do – or anyone really does and it’s something that people don’t agree with, people have used that as a platform for hate. But I wonder when exactly it was that people’s opinions made it okay for the constant harassment, belittling, and quite frankly – fandom bullying (I don’t say that lightly).
But all that being said – I have learned a lot from writing on a fandom website. The good outweighs the bad. Here’s what I have learned –
You can’t take things personally.
This is hard. It’s hard because you know that you are just telling people what is going on and offering an opinion. I tell every writer on this site that I will stand behind them, because I believe that their opinion is valuable. Am I aware that some people may not agree with them – sure. But as in any situation there are two sides and someone out there is seeing things their way too. I have seen the hate that is out there. I have heard the rumors. But at the end of the day – you can’ take what people say seriously. Hate unfortunately is louder that love sometimes, but you have to just know – you are allowed your opinion and even when someone tweets/Facebooks/Instagram’s something mean – let it go. Mute. Block. Whatever. The button is there for a reason. Use it.
Fandoming is hard work – Fansiting is a lot of work.
Fandom is family. Fandom is a lot of love. But the thing is that when you start a website – you don’t realize just how much work it is. If you don’t love it – you shouldn’t be doing it. We spend hundreds of hours a week on Fangirlish and there are times where you just want to throw in the towel. But here’s the thing – I am proud of what we do. I love putting my own spin on things.
I work 6 hours a day on Fangirlish on slow day. But sometimes it’s a lot more than that.
Appreciate the differences in people.
Everyone is different. Some people will drive you crazy, some will make you happy, some will make you bang your head into a wall. But it’s the different in people that make everything great. Don’t ever be discouraged that people don’t have the same opinions as you. Don’t ever be discouraged over that. It’s the differences in people that make everything great. It makes it fun.
Let the ship choose you and stand by it.
I remember the day that I said that I was Team Gale. People were pissed. They wanted to know how I could want Katniss to be with someone who loved her second best. I didn’t see it that way. I saw it as her being with someone who loved her unconditionally – just like Peeta. But Gale spoke to be more than Peeta did. I wanted to retract what I said, but at the same time I asked myself, WHY. Why did I care? Why wasn’t I allowed to ship something other than the norm. So I didn’t retract it – I kept on with my ship. Other people agreed with me – they shipped it too. Point is – stand by your ship. You are not alone.
Don’t respond to the haters.
The truth is – there is always someone out there that is going to have something to say. One person in particular likes to tweet some of the cruelest things out there to us almost daily. I muted. She’s entitled to her opinion. I may not agree with what she has to say, but I deal with it. She doesn’t know me and I don’t know her. But I learned quick – don’t engage. You engage, every person out there will have something to say. Just let it go. Have thick skin. Let them talk.
Don’t search yourself on Twitter.
Searching is easy. Put something in and you can find whatever you want. IF YOU LOOK HARD ENOUGH. I see all the stuff that people say – even when they aren’t @ me. Things I don’t want to see. Sometimes I wanna punch the wall. But what I learned quick – don’t search yourself. Whatever people are saying or doing – well, this too shall pass.
The live and breathe just like you.
But the ultimate lesson that I have learned – it’s not life or death, it’s social media. Somehow that was the greatest lesson of all.