Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - Brunch
Toxic fandom gets real!
A 21-year-old Youtuber with 12 million followers grapples with his newfound fame in small-town India
Someone recently paid $450,000 to become Snoop Dogg’s neighbour in the metaverse. In India, fans build temples of their favourite celebrities and buy their personal belongings at auction. You may call this ‘crazy fan culture’. But these things are wacky, and harmless. Some fan interactions, however, are toxic; they can even be dangerous. I believe it is time for fans to learn discipline, understand consent, and behave better with their favourite personalities.
Gen instant gratification
As a generation, we seek instant gratification and in the age of Instagram, a fan not capturing digital evidence of their encounter with an idol is unimaginable. Sadly, when an idol turns down a request, they are insulted.
Do not trespass, please
I regularly see groups of fans in my residential complex. I receive notices from the residential authorities for the misbehaviour of my fans every alternate day. Once, a subscriber broke into our house when we were away. What level have we stooped down to?
“IT’S TIME FOR FANS TO LEARN DISCIPLINE, UNDERSTAND CONSENT, AND BEHAVE BETTER” —SOURAV JOSHI, VLOGGER
Let our close ones live!
Once, a mob of fans wanted to click selfies with me. I was with my 11-year-old brother and they pulled him aside, manhandling him. I was devastated, angry, and anxious. Since then, I avoid crowded places and sometimes, even going out with my brother.
This wasn’t what I signed up for when I started my journey as a Youtuber.
There was an incident when a creator and his manager didn’t respond to a fan query, and the fan started pestering people on the manager’s social media profile. And it’s not just the creators, but even friends and families of the close ones who are being dragged into the toxic environment of wild fan culture.