We are all pop culture fans and lovers. And whether it’s books, films, tv or games that take up the biggest part of your heart, it’s good being part of them. Some of us are full-time fanboys/fangirls, some of us play a huge part in a certain fandom and others just plain love seeing/reading/playing something they enjoy. And we should also appreciate that others like the same things. We pop culture fans, we gotta stick together! So that’s why, dear fans, please stop doing these things. And I’m no saint myself. I’m guilty of doing (some of) these as well at some point… and that’s why it’s my intention to stop doing them. You should too. Help other fans out, and spread the positivity!
“I know. I read the book”
Don’t get me wrong: there is NOTHING wrong with reading a book. Duh. I myself am one of those people that actually buys a book when a movie adaptation is announced. I love reading books and I love reading books that’ll get an adaptation. The problem with this fan-thing is: we book-lovers like to point out that we read the book to non book-lovers. And while in itself that’s fine, it can come off as pretentious.
But what I dislike the most about this, is when you are discussing a film/episode afterwards. As a reader, you know what will happen. The other person doesn’t. So yes, they are genuinely surprised when Ned Stark’s head get’s chopped off. What you could say after they share their shock is something along the lines of ‘I know right? Such a huge plot twist! Damn! Did you see it coming?’ What you shouldn’t say: ‘I know right? I already read it in the book so I knew it would happen. You totally didn’t right? Ha.’ Or, even worse: ‘let me explain what happens in the book because that’s totally different and the book is better’.
So while it’s fine to mention that you’ve read the book/comic, don’t make yourself superior to others just because of this. Not all people read and not all people read this particular book. Just enjoy that you saw and liked (or disliked, which are also fun conversations) the same film and discuss it together. If they ask you about what’s different in the book, that’s fine. Otherwise, just wait to discuss those stupid changes with another reader. That’s also what the internet is for.
“I saw it in the theater”
Conversations about this thing mostly go like this:
+ Hey, I saw Some Older Film on Netflix/TV yesterday
– Ah yes, I saw that in the theater
I don’t really get why people have to mention this so much. Just pay attention to this from now on and see how many times this happens. Spoiler: it’s a lot. Yes, awesome that you saw it in the theater but I just wanted to discuss the film/mention that I saw something.
Not everybody has the time/money/needs to see films in the cinema. Cool for you if you did see it, because seeing films in the theater is the best. But if somebody mentions an older film, does it really matter where you saw it? If somebody says they saw Some Older Film, do you go and say ‘ah yes, I saw that on my grandma’s couch’ or ‘ah yes, I saw that on my phone in the train?’ Nope. You should just say ‘ah yes, I saw that too, what did you think?’ Go and talk about the film, not about when or where you saw it.
Exceptions to this rule:
- You went to the (world) premiere, which is a Very Cool Story bro, please tell me more
- You saw it in a extremely unique cinema, or under some weird circumstances. ‘Ah yes, I saw that in the underwater cinema during a shark attack’
- The other person actually asks ‘you saw that in the cinema right?’
- You saw it with somebody that makes for an interesting story (the spouse of the other person, or a celebrity, etc)
“I read that when it first came out”
This is basically the book version of the ‘I saw it in the theater’. Cool for you, you read the book when it came out and now somebody also read it. Go and discuss this book! Nobody really cares when you read something. Same as for the cinema: not everybody has the money for a hardcover, and not everybody has the time to read everything that comes our straight away (I wish).
The one and only exception to this: please tell me if you’ve read the first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone because damn, you rock. I only started the books when Prisoner of Azkaban came out so I salute you, early adopter. Please give me your wisdom about what book to read next.
“I hate that thing you love”
Opinions are like assholes: everybody’s got one. And it’s absolutely fine if you dislike or even hate something that another loves. I hate Twilight, and I hated a lot of other books. See, if I’m writing a piece like this, it’s fine to say I hate something. Because this piece is obviously my own opinion, and you can agree or disagree with me. Blogs and articles are a good way to give your view on something.
No, for this, I’m talking about face to face contact. If you tell somebody about a show/game/film you absolutely love and the other person just says ‘Oh I really hate that’, it’s basically the end of the discussion and it’s also just mean. If somebody tells you they have a new kitten, you don’t go ‘ah I hate kittens so much.’ Somebody just told you about something they really love and care about, and it’s really unfriendly if you just plainly say you hate it, and leave it at that.
Don’t use the word hate in these situations. You don’t have to lie, but you can say ‘I really didn’t like that’ and give the same message. Also, please use arguments. Tell them why you don’t like it. This makes for a nice and fair discussion.
“You’re not a real fan because of reasons”
You’re not a real MCU fan because you didn’t read the comics. You didn’t read Every Single Novel by your favorite author so you’re obviously a fake fan. Don’t go to conventions? Nah, you’re fake. You didn’t buy the extra special edition deluxe case? Fake fan! Why don’t you have any fandom merchandise or matching clothing? You’re such a fake fan.
Let. Each. Fan. Be. The. Best. Fan. They. Can. Be. Everybody is different, everybody expresses their fan-love in a different way. Don’t hate on another fan for stupid reasons you don’t even know the answer to. Maybe they did read the comics and you just don’t know. Maybe they don’t have the money or resources for merchandise, conventions or special editions. And maybe they just don’t like some books by their favorite author. You know what real fans do? They don’t hate on other fans. So spread the word, dear fans, and stop doing these things.