The Psychology of Fandoms

Potterheads, Lovatics, Beliebers, Directioners, Smilers, Sheerios, you name it, almost everyone is in some fandom or the other. While it can become obsessive and consume a huge chunk of time in a teenagers day, what most of us forget is that there are more positives to it than we think.

So why do we like being in fandoms? Is it just looks and media exposure? Take a look:

Para-social relationships can be good for you

Essentially the relationship between fans and their idol is one-sided and these are called para-social relationships and they can often boost self-esteem of teens, especially for those with low self esteem. For children, it helps in the formation of identification. They can also drive away feelings of loneliness and rejection.

Extended family-like social interaction 

When you’re in a fandom, you have a family-like group world wide to interact with via social media which is good for confidence and promotes a feeling of belongingness which is one of the essential human needs according to Maslow, a humanistic pyschologist. Although there are chances of facing cyber-bullying, let’s face it, as social beings, we all strive to belong and feel connected. Fans really make the fandom more than anyone else.

Promotion of fantasy and day dreaming

There seems to be such a negative connotation to fantasising but studies show that so long as it is within reasonable limits and doesn’t interfere with your life, it is in fact healthy. I mean, we’ve all got our fantasies about becoming a rock star or meeting our favourite rock star and it can certainly be a good way to pass the time and give your imagination a run for its money.

Getting the creative juices flowing

In each fandom, there are those creative fans who draw, edit images, make gifs and videos, run blogs dedicated to their fandom which makes it all the better. Inspired fan fiction is written and it can open young people to a whole new world in terms of their own talent.

So it’s really not all bad, is it? I don’t think so.

 

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