How Technology Expands Fandoms and Brings Us Together
By: Jenifer Hettinger (@jennbear2128)
The technology boom has changed the way we NERD. Before you either read Science Fiction and/or Fantasy books, read actual comic books, or played games with your friends. You would gather together with your friends, and play superheroes, or games like Dungeons and Dragons, interacting in person at someone’s house or at the park. While people still get together to LARP, or play adventure games like Dungeons and Dragons, today, more people “log on” to their computers, or “live” console account and paly with others all around the world.
We no longer have to interact “face to face” to share our fandoms with others, now we can connect via the internet. Not only that, but there are so many genre’s to connect over. You can connect over books, movies, comics, video games, and television.
Thanks to movies, video games, and TV shows new legions of fans have emerged for preexisting fandoms such as superheroes (thank you Marvel and Disney), fairy tale characters (Once Upon A Time), vampires (The Vampire Diaries & Twilight), and zombies (The Walking Dead), not to mention so many more, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings to name a few. These new fans are also finding many ways to connect and share their love of these fandoms, from social media (Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube), to fanfiction sites, to Cons (which have begun popping up all over: San Diego, NYC, Texas, etc.), there so many from Comic Cons, to Wizard Cons.
I myself met one of my very best friends because I wrote some fanfiction about one of my favorite TV shows, Roswell. My friend lives in California and I never would have met her if not for that fandom, and my outlet of fanfiction. It was amazing to share something that I loved with others who loved it too. Connecting over this show and that fandom created a bond with her that has survived over 10 years.
Sometimes technology can be seen as a negative thing, as it has cut down on people interaction. I have seen it, and even been guilty of it, not calling instead sending a text, or constantly checking social media instead of talking to someone, and it has been stated it cuts down on imaginative play with children. But, think of how much our world has expanded, and yet shrunk at the same time. We have expanded our networks outside of our immediate locality and to having a global network. I mean, think of the people you never would have met or interacted with, if not for technology. Do I think we need to find a happy medium of technology and personal interaction? Yes, but I cannot deny all of the good that technology has done, not only for connecting us, but for fostering new generations of fans to a plethora of fandoms.