For an international K-pop fan with liminal access to concerts and merchandize, fangirling can get frustrating if you are the only one shrieking mindlessly while spouting incoherent gibberish celebrating a group’s comeback. I don’t mind being asinine but it’s more fun and more comforting when you have like-minded people participating in your antics. And for this reason solely am I highly indebted to social networking sites. But often times, there crop up these categories of fans that may or may not irritate you explicitly but somehow manage to affect your K-pop experience. Unfortunately, my online socializing is restricted to the ancient coffee house called Facebook with occasional venturing into Twitter and Tumblr, and therefore, the following list of fans have been chosen from a restricted population.
1. The Flailer
Best known for: Getting their voices heard despite the online cacophony.
As the name suggests, these fans spend precious time and effort to master the art of getting excited over anything and everything. Whether an idol sits, stands, yells, cries, laughs, scratches, stares, glares, makes faces, or even breathes (or does not), you can bet on these fans to be excessively happy about it, littering their happiness all over the internet with exclamation marks and caps lock abuse.
In all honesty, they are not that annoying. It’s rather nice to see that their happiness demands nothing except for the existence of drool worthy idols but what is annoying is their entitlement to the caps rage. It’s one thing to flail; it’s a whole different thing when you compel me to go through your inane exclamations just because your capital alphabets dominate attention in the comment space. It is an assault on my eyes and my ears because I SWEAR THIS HURTS!!!!!!!
Advice: Keep it low key.
2. The OTP maker
Best known for: Making couples for no reason.
“Omg! Taemin and Onew looked at each other! OnTae <3”
“Baekhyun and Chen TOTALLY turned left at the same time! BaekChen FTW!”
“Did you notice that Taeyeon was wearing the same shirt as Tiffany? Taeny :’)”
Sitting in their online marriage bureaus, these compulsive matchmakers have kicked Cupid out of business with their random shooting of amorous arrows. Most of us in the K-pop fandom are guilty, to some extent, of making OTPs but usually they are based on some evidence like emotional bonding, touchy-feely meter, and made-for-each-other vibe. But OTP makers are a step ahead of all of us as they look for the most obscure reasons to pair two unsuspecting members into a romantic relationship, sighing over how perfect they are for each other.
Maybe they can’t bear singlehood (of others) or maybe they are huge endorsers of hipster OTPs, either way they manage to leave a lot of passing viewers speechless by their inimitable logical reasoning. For them, it is a truth universally acknowledged that a single person cannot be single; not when they are alive and actively pairing up idols based on common attributes like having two eyes, two ears, one nose, etc., I am not aware of other countries but in India at least, they would be considered the rudimentary version of the over eager aunties meddling with the love life of youngsters of a marriageable age, making couples left, right and centre.
Advice: Nope, liking doesn’t entail putting a ring on it. Keep it real.
3. The Information Centre
Best known for: Access to questionable confidential information
Networking within the K-pop fandom is one of its crowning glories. Quick dissemination of information all around through various means in a flash of a second leaves one baffled, fascinated and satisfied as no juicy gossip goes amiss. But sometimes the information gets a little too intimate for comfort. And what is more uncomfortable is that only a few have access to that information which they then pass around. This could be unheard stories of first kiss, trips to never land, drug consumption and sometimes, even believable accounts of past sex encounters of idols.
They are not sasaengs as is evident from the manner of their cataloguing which is devoid of vitriol or gossip-y undercurrents. In fact, their accounts are usually dated and invariably have links to some even more suspicious tumblr source. These information centres – usually admins of pages – actually spice up everyday fangirling but the discomfort lies in wondering whether we are getting hyped over a lie or getting hyped over accidentally contrived confidential information. Sometimes, they even post a grainy picture supporting their ‘factual’ account making it difficult to question the veracity of the report. How is it that despite spending an irrational amount of time on the internet, I never get access to such information and it is always through these kinds of fans that I get to know of the stories and rumours making the rounds of the K-pop fandom?
I want to believe you guys, honestly, but my biggest fear is to be a source of entertainment for you as I animatedly discuss the reason for Kai’s injury for which he was caught getting treated by a doctor while accompanied by an injured Suho, when in reality none of this happened in the first place.
Advice: Keep it a little unreal.
4. The Wifey
Best known for: Clandestine marriage with her bias
Nobody came to know, not even the groom himself but in the dark of one gloomy night, this particular type of fan was wedded to her bias, and has since lived happily ever after. Or so she would like to think.
These fans are convinced that since they love their bias to the point of obsession, they can rightly claim them as their husbands and also make sure that no one, absolutely no one, so much as dares to eye him. And if you do end up committing the sin of flirting with a married man by complimenting his hairstyle, then be ready to face the wrath of angered wives as they claim, “He is mine. Not yours.”
When I come across these claims, I am conflicted between laughing out loud and suffering second hand embarrassment because man, that’s some level of delusion! They are usually the ones who don’t think twice before slandering their ‘husband’s’ rumoured girlfriend, before slandering rumoured ‘boyfriends’ or before shouting “Get away from my ‘oppa’!”
Me, my, and mine – best friends of all time really destroy the K-pop experience by injecting it with their aggressive assertion of their marital status and the celebration of their envy. To take them seriously or not, that is the question.
Advice: Wake up because MYFCON does not conduct legal marriages. Honestly.
5. The Freudian Offspring
Best known for: Sex and the sexy.
With their minds perpetually in the gutter, these fans make my day with unfailing consistency. However, they can be quite the irritant to people who do not enjoy a sexual innuendo on every K-pop related post. Perverted, with a secure hold on sexual knowledge, they can either make you go “Because you naughty, naughty” or “God…these lechers.”
If KBS were the resident moral police online, then a sullen silence would have pervaded social networking sites with these fans being banned in large numbers. Sexual puns, sexual jokes, sexual references – everything is related to sexual activities for these guys and they won’t keep it in their head. They feel the pressing need to show their talent to the whole world irrespective of the age of their audience, and will willingly deconstruct their sexual jokes to the younger, clueless breed of fans.
These are also the ones who are too focused waist down during any performance and are also the ones to come up with insightful critiques such as “That butt,” “That crotch thrust.” Always on a sexual heat, they notice stuff a causal viewer would never notice such as the case of Sehun in the dance practice video of “History.” I won’t get down to the details of it because ignorance is absolute bliss but the most unneeded piece of information was shared by Freudian offsprings, and from that observation onward, the whole video came to be centred only around that observation. People watched it to contribute to the raging debate around an underage Sehun. Needless to say, they destroyed that video for me.
Advice: Your mouth needs a filter. Install one.
These are only a handful of fans, mostly female, making the online community. They can be quite harmless and entertaining but sometimes, they cross moral limits and spoil the fun for other fans.
Since I used to be a massive flailer, I am keen on knowing whether you guys identify with any of these categories? What are the other types of online fans that pop a vein in your head?