According to UrbanDictionary, the term fandom is described as ‘the community that surrounds a tv show/movie/book etc. Fanfiction writers, artists, poets, and cosplayers are all members of that fandom. Fandoms often consist of message boards, livejournal communities, and people’. Now, in the modern times of the internet, connecting with people over shared interests is so much easier. Fandoms are mostly mentioned on Tumblr, a blogging website. If you like any form of entertainment, there will usually be a fandom that comes with it. Fandoms can be seen in a bad light sometimes, occasionally bashing on other fandoms, characters, or ships. Let’s call that ‘the dark side’, you should try to stay in the friendly part of fandom where people discuss recent episodes, write fanfiction, draw beautiful art, and create beautiful work inspired by their choice of show, movie, or book.
One Fandom, Two Fandom, Red Fandom, Blue Fandom…
Joining a fandom is not like marriage, you do not need death to do you part. Feel free to venture into other fandoms you find yourself interested in, big or small, the community of dedicated individuals is really what makes a fandom shine. It’s a chance to meet new people and friends, so why not look around? See what you like what interests you, and join as many as you like. They may range from a variety of media, from the Hunger Games trilogy to Disney movies.
On Tumblr, if you’re confused about something a certain fandom does, feel free to ask around. This is a great chance to meet friends who like the same books, shows, or movies you watch. It’s especially nice when all your real life friends don’t bother watching that latest episode of ‘Supernatural’ or only on season one of ‘How I Met Your Mother’. It’s truly a fun community once you get into it. All the art, the writing, the memes, and people make it an exciting place to be.
No I Don’t Meant a Boat
Ships. One of the integral part of every fandom. Ships meaning a pairing (or multiple) or characters matched up together. The word is derived from (relation)ship, but don’t be fooled. This doesn’t limit it to only romantic pairings. There can be ships for friendship purposes. There really aren’t boundaries for ships, and even the oddest matches can be found if you look deep enough.
‘Shipping Wars’ do happen, where the fandom argues often whether one couple is better than another or if a ship is platonic or not. These can get ugly sometimes. Stay friendly, respect each other, and enjoy or maybe just speculate from afar. No ship is actually better than another, it’s just a matter of your personal opinion.
OTPs are a big part of ships. It stands for ‘One True Pairing’ despite there usually being many, it is the match of characters you adore the most. It’s not what everyone else in the fandom loves, it’s who you love together and think deserves the title of being your ‘OTP’.
Sometimes within a fandom, groups of people will meet up in person due to their interest in the same show, for example. These can be a cool way to meet those new friends you’ve made, but still keep in mind these people are strangers. Make sure these meet ups are held in public places, bring a friend or two, and don’t go off with anyone alone.
Fandom is not some exclusive club only special VIP members can join. It’s for everyone. It’s hard to find people to connect to at times, this just may be the thing for you. If you’re shy about talking about your interests with your actual friends, online fandom can be a wonderful place for you to explore.