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02 July 2015 @ 11:16 am
July Question Meme: Day Two  
Asked by giallarhorn:

How do you feel regarding the generally increased scrutiny that accompanies a lot of shows and how it impacts your ability to enjoy shows?

I think critical thinking is important, of course, and I do enjoy reading and joining in the discussion that further examines the media that we consume.

However, some people tend to take it too far from actual critical thinking to just being plain negative. Fandom can become quite a toxic environment when such negativity about tearing down something someone loves, going so far as saying someone is the problem for enjoying a show they deem problematic, or always scrutinizing every little detail and pointing out what was wrong and why. Some people end up judging far too quickly, already making up their minds on something (especially if it doesn't fit into their little box of perfection) before it even has a chance on proving (and improving) itself. It's not just unfair, but the behavior and attitude that comes from such negative thinking is kind of immature, imho. It's one thing to have honest critique, it's another to get so hung up on and completely immerse oneself in negativity and thereby ruining the enjoyment for everyone involved.

As for me, while being within fandom can be difficult to get away from such scrutiny, it hasn't hindered my enjoyment for the things I like watching in the slightest. I'll listen to the arguments and discussions that I feel offer something to think about, and ignore the negative side of things that are just there to be loud noise.
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author_by_night: Folks by ozqueen (quoted from To Kill aauthor_by_night on July 2nd, 2015 06:47 pm (UTC)
The problem is, I think, that people sometimes measure quality by what they want. I haven't been that involved with a fandom in... years, and it's changed so much in that time, but from what I remember, people would often project their own interests. Even Twilight - I don't like the books, I agree that Edward Cullen's a creep and Bella Swan's a wet dishrag, but one complaint (albeit within the hatedom, not the fandom) was that Twilight wasn't Buffy or Harry Potter. Very true, but the thing of it is, SMeyer wasn't... going for the hard struggle between good and evil, and the family we find within our friends, and all that good stuff. She was writing a book series about a hot sparkly vampire. Or even Harry Potter and Buffy - I had a friend who was in the Harry Potter fandom, but felt it wasn't enough like Buffy. But while the stories are similar in the ways I mentioned (and others), Joss Whedon and JKR are two different writers with two different visions. (And that's about as recent as I can get here. Sorry.)

But it isn't even just comparison between fandoms. One thing I look for, and don't find enough, is strong female friendships. At the same time, I accept that some shows and books just aren't going for that, whether they don't really have room or whether that's just not the writer's style. So I'm not going to slam the writers for not writing something I'd rather watch or read. I may mention that I'd like it, but I think that's different from slamming.

Renée: Pretty Little Liars. Spencer Hastings.rogueslayer452 on July 3rd, 2015 05:37 am (UTC)
The problem is, I think, that people sometimes measure quality by what they want. I haven't been that involved with a fandom in... years, and it's changed so much in that time, but from what I remember, people would often project their own interests.

I think so many have certain expectations about something, and when that particular thing doesn't meet those qualifications it turns into placing everything underneath a microscope and criticizing pretty much everything that was wrong with the thing. It's become more and more common now with social issues, which isn't a bad thing to address because it's worth having an open discussion about especially when social issues are brought up in media. But some people tend to go overboard with scrutinizing everything when something isn't being done the way they want it. And it can be exhausting to deal with in fandom spaces.

Like you, I do voice what I want more of in fiction and media in general, but unless there is a blatant disregard for those things I don't immediately bash something for not including it. I may say it's something that they could improve on, but that's basically it. Not everything can make everyone happy, even the most progressive of things in fiction can be missing certain elements that might not please someone out there.
author_by_nightauthor_by_night on July 3rd, 2015 11:59 am (UTC)
. It's become more and more common now with social issues, which isn't a bad thing to address because it's worth having an open discussion about especially when social issues are brought up in media. But some people tend to go overboard with scrutinizing everything when something isn't being done the way they want it. And it can be exhausting to deal with in fandom spaces.

Yeah, I've tried following stuff on representation and it makes my head spin. Not because I don't 100% agree that representation is important - I do, and seriously, I think movies and shows and so forth should get with the times. It's uncomfortable when the only black character acts like a stereotypical black character from a 1970's TV series. It's not the 1970's anymore, did they not get the memo? But I feel like fans almost have checklists anymore, and that's... kind of exhausting, and to me, not really the point of fandom. I honestly think the fan in "fandom" has been lost a bit.

Renéerogueslayer452 on July 3rd, 2015 10:49 pm (UTC)
But I feel like fans almost have checklists anymore, and that's... kind of exhausting, and to me, not really the point of fandom. I honestly think the fan in "fandom" has been lost a bit.

I do feel like genuine fan discussion and participation has lessened in the community. Perhaps it's the different venues that fandom has migrated to where it's less likely to engage in such activity, idk. But it does seem like there's a more cynical approach to things more through litmus testing than there are positive ones, at least from my own observations.

(Tumblr has a lot of this, which while I like some of the meta that appears there, it can be very hard to engage with and sometimes it's just rather polarizing to the point where it feels very isolating as a fan, you know?)
verdande_miverdande_mi on July 2nd, 2015 08:05 pm (UTC)
This echoes my own thoughts very well! I believe much critical thinking, sadly, gets lost in the whirlwind of toxint Everything is not for everyone, and we all judge and see all media differently.

There have been cases where negativity have lessened my love and influenced my interest, which I really do not like and is why I try hard to avoid such thing in my fandom-circle.
Renée: Elementary. Joan Watson.rogueslayer452 on July 3rd, 2015 02:23 am (UTC)
Yeah, it's unfortunate that actual discussion can be lost in the mass of everything else, especially on such sites like Tumblr where it's so easy to state an opinion and pass it off as fact, or declare that anyone who doesn't agree with said opinion is automatically wrong (leading for much wank bait). I mean, there are amazing pieces of meta that circulate, but nine times out of ten due to its formatting there's little way of actual engage in a discussion over there.

Fandom can sometimes discourage enjoyment from something, that's why I basically disconnect myself from said fandom. There have been a few instances where the two coincide with each other that I just nope out, though usually that's because I was already having problems with one and it just bled into the other. It's sad, honestly, when that happens, but I've learned that you can enjoy something without really being involved with fandom.
Julie: Original ★ fanfictionragnarok_08 on July 2nd, 2015 08:54 pm (UTC)
However, some people tend to take it too far from actual critical thinking to just being plain negative. Fandom can become quite a toxic environment when such negativity about tearing down something someone loves, going so far as saying someone is the problem for enjoying a show they deem problematic, or always scrutinizing every little detail and pointing out what was wrong and why.

I agree with you so much.
R.: known in that first minute we metpenderies on July 3rd, 2015 02:01 am (UTC)
I agree!
Naomi: Clara By daxcat79frelling_tralk on July 3rd, 2015 11:48 am (UTC)
Yeah I agree, I think that fandom can swing too much the other way when it comes to picking apart everything about a show and campaigning for it to be cancelled, some reactions can get really etreme
Renée: Defiance. Irisa Nyria.rogueslayer452 on July 3rd, 2015 09:31 pm (UTC)
I've seen people campaigning for others to boycott certain things in protest of something or other, and the whole notion behind that is utterly ridiculous. Fandom does take things to the extreme, which unfortunately becomes quite intolerable for anyone to actually enjoy watching or being involved in said fandom.

But this is where you separate watching something and its particular fandom. I've learned from my own experiences that you don't have to participate in fandom if you don't feel comfortable or simply just don't want to. There are many a few instances where fandom turned me away from something, which it's an unfortunate situation because you're basically just listening to the really loud negative parts of fandom and as much as we would like to say we're not affected, there is a certain impact it has on others by proxy. But I've since just decided to live and let live. Fandom may have good points to offer in an argument about something, which I enjoy reading different variations of opinions on certain matters, but it all gets drowned out by the loud obnoxious side. Sometimes, it's just best ignore it and do your own thing.

But at the same time, I feel like fandom needs to bring back the constructive conversation into the community instead of just spewing out random opinions and passing them off as facts, plus having a platform that allows such discussion to be open to anyone in response and not just some random Tumblr post.