No H8 – How To Be A Good Fan

If you have read my recent post The Secret Life of A Wannabe Writer, you’ll know I don’t like criticisms in general, especially the negative ones.  For those of you who have been following me here or on Twitter for a while, you will know that I am generally not shy about sharing my opinions – the phrase “no filter” is often associated with my name.  For the most part, I believe my tweets and opinions are a source of amusement to my friends.  In Twitterverse I am well-known for saying some seemingly random things, a perfect example of this is my discussion on Thursday night about the use of BlackBerrys on White Collar. By chance my OCD-induced picspamming of the use of BlackBerrys on the show caught the eye of the show’s creator Jeff Eastin (ever the night owl and insomniac) and led to a hilarious half hour of insanity that included me declaring chopsticks are a greater invention than sliced bread! 😀 For the record, before you haul me off to the insane asylum, Jeff said our tweets made him laugh 🙂

Example of my random craziness on Twitter

I have heard many people say they see the difference between how they use Facebook and Twitter is that Facebook is for their “real life” friends and Twitter is for their “virtual” friends.  This, in part, is true for me as well, although I have made some friends on Twitter that I would happily and proudly call my “real friends”.  This differentiation is due, in large part, to the fact that unless you choose specifically to protect your Twitter account, whatever you say on Twitter (apart from Direct Messages which can only be viewed by the recipient of those messages) can be seen by anyone who wishes to, regardless of whether they have a Twitter account or not.  Whilst I have nothing against people’s right to free speech, what annoys me is when people feel the need to use that right to become abusive to others by calling them names or using curse words.

Over the past 12 months, I have fallen in love with Twitter and the speed with which I can get a message across.  And this is none more apparent than when I want to ask my favourite writers of White Collar a question or to send them compliments and feedback about their work.  However, whilst I see it as akin to being on speed dial with my writing idols, I have seen others treat their speed dials as a direct line to abuse.  All the writers have personal Twitter accounts that they use to communicate with their friends and to their fans and are not obligated to respond to questions directed there (there are official accounts for the show and the network monitored by other staff).  So when “fans” feel the need to swear at the writers then get angry when they get blocked, it makes me want to give the writers a big group hug.

The word “fan” is short for “fanatic” so I can appreciate there are people who feel strongly enough about their views that they become emotional.  After all, we only ever bother to complain or praise because we care.  However, when the fanaticism becomes personal, then it bothers me A LOT!  My friends and I have been the victim of Twitter abuse in recent times.  Believe me, the “Block User” button comes in very handy on such occasions.  It is unfortunate that people feel that because they are in effect anonymous on Twitter they can be rude and abusive and say things to strangers that they would never dare say in person. The old adage of “if you’ve got nothing nice to say, then say nothing at all” should apply equally in cyberspace as it does face-to-face.

So let us try to keep this in mind. NO HATE! Constructive feedback only!

Much love and big hugs to my favourite writers xox

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4 thoughts on “No H8 – How To Be A Good Fan

  1. Christine Antonios

    omg. I TRIED to follow the thread of that conversation but was unsuccessful HAHAHAHA. But that is really funny and Jeff plays along nicely. I have not talked to you in a bit, but I hope you have not been seeing a lot of negative/annoying tweets at you or someone else recently. You’ll have to fill me in because I have (fortunately) not come across any.

    And for the record, my Twitter friends are definitely my real friends. I like most of you guys more than I like people I actually know. HAHAHA jk

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    1. Valerie Leung Post author

      It’s a good thing if you have not experienced twitter-bullying. Both Carol and I have been abused by a particular woman who has cursed at other WC fans as well. We’ve all blocked her. She’s normally pretty “normal” when she tweets the writers so they have not blocked her. However, in light of the S3 storylines around the stolen art, there have been many rude tweets sent to Jeff and Jim’s personal accts and some to the writers’ acct. It’s sad when people turn a happy fandom into a nasty, mean, bullying environment 😦 There has also been another guy who tweeted a few of us from various accts regarding Matt’s personal life. We’ve blocked all his accts too.

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  2. CrimsonRegret

    Ok when I saw the topic title I immediately thought of the NOH8 campaign. Reading it I found out otherwise. Cyber-bullying is definitely not something anyone can take lightly. Abusing people online is a law blow and a cowards way out. I have unfortunately experienced said bullying (by people in a different fandom) and yes the block button is a wonderful thing! I read the convo between you guys re the phones and thought it was funny. I have not come across any negativity in the WhiteCollar fandom – but then again I only follow a few (awesome) people. Regarding Matt’s private life – it should be just that.. Private. Whoever he loves is his business and he shouldn’t have to receive such negativity because of it. We love him regardless! (me even moreso) lol.

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  3. Claire

    I don’t know how I missed this post but I’m glad I found it now! That convo with Jeff was hilarious, I hadn’t laughed like that in ages 😀 and I concede, chopsticks are pretty freaking mint.

    I always saw the White Collar fandom as a big ol’ happy family, but as you well know, certain recent events have made me realise that might not have been entirely true. But for me personally, in the end, being a part of a fandom should be all about the love for the show/actors/writers etc., and not about hating. As I saw a friend on Twitter say recently, “it’s pathetic that hate is the only way people seem to know how to express their love for something else.”

    Sure, sometimes there’ll be things that don’t quite sit right with everyone, but at the risk of sounding clichéd, the fact that we all have different tastes and like different things is what makes us who we are. And I am prepared to look past things I don’t like so much, and people who don’t like things I do, because all those differences of opinion don’t change the most important fact – that the show I love is still as amazing as ever, and its writers still as talented and awesome.

    Kudos to the lot of them, haters be damned!!

    xoxo, Claire
    @i_heart_nando

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