This is something I strive to achieve. Because I am human and flawed I often fall short, but this is my goal, not just as a fan but as a person.
I put this meme out periodically on Twitter. I do it as a way to hold myself publicly accountable – and as something others might see and want to embrace for themselves. I’ll add it here for reference.
I had to wait this week or so after the Outlander Season 4 Finale to cool off enough to write without attacking specific people. That isn’t how I like to roll. I may attack specific actions or practices (like RL shipping, personal attacks, bashing rather than giving honest critique/expressing frustration or disappointment). I’ll point out my concerns/irritations with actions and figure if the shoe fits, people will know without me pointing fingers at specific people. I usually work to point out practices or actions that I find disturbing and figure people can make their own determinations.
I sometimes long to go back to the early days of the fandom. I vividly remember the early voting when the sites had comments; how the Outlander fans were appalled with the attitudes and comments from other fandoms. The infighting over different ‘stars’ on the same show. We simply couldn’t understand how, if someone was a fan of a specific show, these ‘fans’ could speak in such an ugly fashion about it or the people involved with it. How many of us Outlander fans were completely turned off to another show due to the toxicity of the fans? I’ll never watch Dr. Who because of how nasty the fans were – and I/we quit watching The 100. The show was fine, but the vile, nasty, threatening social media spewing of the fandom totally ruined the show for me as a whole. I couldn’t enjoy the show (which I liked) because of how invasive the fandoms nastiness was. It seems a bunch of the Outlander fans have joined that club.
As I have said, I have no problem at all with disappointment, frustration or even anger with the show. It’s valid. Some people are feeling those things and that is ok. Now, just so we are all on the same page – here are MY definitions for you going forward in this post and any future posts I may do.
Personal attacks: Any name calling or denigration of a person. i.e. calling someone an idiot, maligning their acting skills (this is your personal opinion – please phrase it that way) anything making fun of or being nasty about their looks/physical appearance. Trying to get someone fired – etc. Instead of saying “x is a HORRIBLE actor/actress– she/he should never have been hired! What the f*ck were they thinking?!” Try “that actress/actor just doesn’t appeal to me in this role or they just aren’t making it believable for ME”. (Because I promise other people have no problems with that persons acting).
Bashing: “So glad this utter joke of a season is over! Horrible”
“The writers are total idiots that have no clue what they are doing. They have totally RUINED this perfect story.”
“I GET that it’s an adaptation, but these stupid people have destroyed what should be an easy thing to film! It’s all right there, all they have to do is USE it!”
BIG BIG BIG difference between explaining, with grown up words and language, WHY you are disappointed/frustrated/angry than just bashing the show.
Bitching/whining: “Why won’t these EXPLETIVE people EXPETIVE listen to us?! WE are the fans! We EXPLETIVE make this EXPLETIVE show happen! If not for us, there would BE no EXPLETIVE show! These EXPLETIVE morons better start paying attention or they will be sorry!”
Here is a blog that does everything right. The writer is sad, frustrated, disappointed and angry. She expresses herself well and really explains, without attacks, bashing, whining or bad language WHY she is feeling all those negative things. All the comments I read were equally articulate and respectful – while still making it plain these were NOT happy people. This was one of the few times I really got a good handle on where these people are coming from because I wasn’t rolling my eyes every ten seconds. This was a wonderful post and, while I’m sorry so many are frustrated, I applaud them for really making me think through what they were saying.
Please read this! While people reading this will see a lot of negative (anger/frustration/disappointment) it is all stated in ways that clearly show these are personal opinions only and others can and do LIKE the show just fine. It wouldn’t instantly turn someone off that may have just been looking to check the show out and maybe give it a chance.
I saw these two tweets right after the finale – but didn’t answer them there. I was angry at the attitude and it would have only intensified any exchange. I don’t want to fight with people, I (and many others) are just fed up with the personal attacks, bashing/bitching and whining.
YES! Please stop watching – or at least stop with the nastiness. If you want to actually make some progress towards being heard, there is an old adage: You catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Being nasty and vulgar just shuts people off – they won’t hear you. So YES…stop watching if all you can do is bitch. Watch or not, but stop bitching. Losing people with this mentality as viewers won’t be any worse than the possible viewers that may actually like/enjoy the show being run off by the nasty/toxic spewing.
Here is how I see it.
The show is what it is and it is not going to change. The writers/producers have their path and it is not likely to suddenly shift directions just because some whiny brats want it to. This leaves fans with a few choices:
Stop watching. Simple, easy, save money, don’t waste time/energy on something that so clearly bothers you. Also means you stop commenting. Outlander isn’t a show for you so move on to something else and let the people that like it – enjoy it in peace.
Watch – understanding this is what the show is. If you choose to keep watching with this understanding – that it is not/never will be YOUR vision of it – stop bitching about it. Discuss it, EXPLAIN why you are angry/frustrated/disappointed, but PLEASE stop attacking/bashing/bitching/whining. Many fans DO enjoy the show, love the actors and are interested in the differences between the books the series and I’ve seen comments from many of them that the nastiness is turning them off the fandom.
There are a few people I really like/respect on Twitter & Facebook that are engaging in this just nasty commentary – which I find very sad and out of character. ALL fans opinions are valid – but if you are THAT unhappy with the show, why keep watching?
Sometimes it seems these people watch so they HAVE something they can bitch about, which is annoying to other fans and turns off potential viewers.
I encourage all to be a “FAN OF WORTH” – be it for Outlander or anything else.