Fans have always been a part of pop-culture, however, the rise of social media has allowed fans to interact with each other in an instant, creating both positive experiences and some experiences that are not so positive.
Fandoms use social media for a variety of things, they’re not just using social media to reach out to their favourite celebrities in hope that they’ll reply to them, they’re using it to connect with each other and express their creativity.
I myself used social media when working on this assignment to connect with fans and find out what they think about social media and fandoms.
Through social media, fans from around the world have found a way to connect with each other and become much more than just fans to each other they’ve become friends. Blake Nichol who says he is a part of multiple fandoms has met many of his “closest friends,” through fandoms on social media. He says using social media to be in a fandom is like being in a “big family.”
Similarly, Little Mix fan Chloe Hayden has also met some good friends through using social media. What started as a practical Twitter group DM turned into a group of new friends for her.
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It's crazy that the love of a band can bring so many unlikely friends together, in the most beautiful and bizarre way possible. A couple of weeks ago, a group of Melbourne Mixers started a group on Twitter, simply to discuss the venue and the Get Weird Tour. This group some how turned from something very practical, to the craziest and most insane bunch of girls in the world, who I've grown insanely fond of. From a girl who couldn't even stutter out a 'hi, I'm chloé' in school, to being able to scream, cry, pour my heart out and fangirl like crazy with a bunch of complete and utter strangers-turned-new-friends, because of nothing other than a group of four British girls that brought us together. I'm seriously so happy that I got to meet all of you, I love you all endlessly. #LittleMixDolphinSquad
However, not all fan interactions are friendly. Some fans use social media to attack other fandoms and cause arguments. Although it is inevitable that not everyone is going to like the same people, some fans go out of their way to try and start drama through using social media. Often people who troll others on social media, seem to use fan accounts to attack other fans and celebrities because they think that they can get away with their comments from behind a screen.
However, one of the perks of being in a fandom on social media is that your friends will often defend you and your idols against trolls. According to Blake Nichol, this is one of his favourite things about being in a fandom due to the “sense of belonging“, he feels having people there to always defend him.
Fans are also using social media to keep other fans in their particular fandom up to date with the latest information, particularly on Twitter and Instagram. Fans use these social networks to make update accounts and often team up with fans from around the world to run these accounts. These update accounts, in turn, can generate hundreds of thousands of followers, creating fans of their own.
Many celebrities use social media to promote themselves, however, their fans are also doing a lot of the promotional work now for them. Fans are becoming promoters for their favourite celebrities by constantly posting and telling other people to share news about their faves, often using hashtags to achieve this.
Fans are also using social media to come up with creative ways to express their interests and promote their favourite celebrities.
A Little Mix fan below has decided to make a documentary about the group and is using social media to get more people involved and will then be uploading it to YoutTube once it’s complete. The same two images below were posted to a Facebook group for Little Mix fans and also to Twitter to help promote her favourite group.
Other fans are using social media to put their creative spin on their favourite musicians work such as this One Direction fan below who made a mash-up of One Direction’s Drag Me Down and Justin Bieber’s As Long As You Love Me:
Fans are using social media to connect with each other and make new friends as well as to promote their favourite celebrities and keep up to date with them. Unfortunately, some fans use social media to try and upset other fans, however, the positives seem to outweigh the negatives with the majority of fans using social media and fandoms to express their creativity and chat to new people.