In one way or the other, each of us will always be a fan of something… or someone. As fans altogether we do what we can to show our love and support for this something (or someone), such as buying the actual products, spreading the word regarding how great this something (or someone) really is, and even attend events that involve that something (or someone). Although this is a good thing for both the consumer and the producer (or presenter), there would always be a time where one or the other is just way too much to handle or to bear. This usually appears in the case of a fan of someone. There should be a limit as to what defines as being too much.
If you happen to be a fan of someone, whether if it’s a celebrity, an athlete, or a particular public figure, there seems to be different levels in terms of measuring a particular fan. That would be any one of the following:
- a general fan
- a collector fan
- an obsessive/possessive/rabid fan
General Fans happen to be what they are— just a general fan. They don’t particularly go to every single movie event or a concert event that has their favorite idol or person in them, but they do get to watch them on TV newscasts and such at home. If that person happens to be a singer they would purchase that particular new single or album. Some general fans are hidden collector fans, others just stay as general as they can. They don’t particularly scream and fawn over that someone whenever they have a chance to see him/her in person. They don’t particularly freeze up and faint when that someone they admire come up to them and offer a handshake and a hello. Many general fans also do other things other than purchasing items or attending appearances. With the latest technology today, they can build fan sites dedicated to their favorite person, open commentary blogs strictly about their favorite person, open fan forums, join forums and communities, present fan artwork or digital artwork, write fan fiction about their favorite person, and other things similar. If general fans are dedicated enough, they also gain knowledge about their favorite person and even impart that knowledge to fellow fans, especially new fans.
Collector Fans are more of the middle of the road between a general fan and an obsessive/possessive/rabid fan. Collector fans are more of towards official item collecting. Other than that person’s singles and albums, they also collect other things, such as official photos, stationery items, photo books, any videos that star their favorite person, t-shirts and many more. They even purchase items that are not “official fan items”, like the same outfits that their favorite person loves to wear, the general items sponsored by their favorite person (you’ll see them on TV commercials or even on the radio), and so on. Some collector fans would just simply collect them just for the heck of it, while some others frolic around and show off to other fans or claim that it’s a coincidence that he/she and their favorite idol person have the “same tastes.” Collector fans can also be categorized as a real fan or a “poser”.
Obsessive/Possessive/Rabid Fans are very close, if not already spot-on, to the equivalent of a stalker or simply someone who had lost track on fantasy and reality. Other than combining many characteristics of the previous two categories, the fans in this particular category do a lot more than just buying all their favorite someone’s official items, watch their TV shows and movies, or go to concerts. These are the types where they earn as much money as they can from their various (part-time) jobs, not because they are saving up to buy a new house or a new car, but because so they can purchase as many plane tickets as they can to travel to the place where their favorite someone resides. These are the types of fans where they give up their everyday lives to become “fan bums”, camping out their “new lives” across the street from the house or structure of their favorite someone. These are the types of fans who trail and follow their favorite someone (if not for that someone, the family members of that someone too) from home to school to the show’s sets and stage theaters and so on and so forth. They are very well-equipped with the latest micro-eavesdrop technology and decryption devices where they can find and crack the encryption code to find their most used cellphone number, landline number, email address, so on and so forth. These types of fans may even be considered less-ranked in the Public Figure Respect Rankings chart, maybe even lower-ranked than that of the Paparazzi. While all the Paparazzi does is take photos of any public figure no matter what they do and where they were, the fans in this category do more than just take photos. They build fansites dedicated to their favorite someone (in a more non-factual/informational way) and personal blogs where they discuss their endless dreams of being with their favorite someone or even becoming like that favorite someone like there’s no tomorrow. These are also the types of fans who see every other fan as competition and would do anything they can to get their favorite someone’s attention, versus those who simply wanted to meet that same someone just to say hello, shake hands, and praise them for all their hard work that made the public smile and inspired. Fellow fans, beware of the fans under this category.
Last but not least, we’ve got the posers. Posers are simply non-fans, but they pretend to be anyway because it’s the latest trend. It’s like Twilight (Lord knows how this particular book series became such a huge phenomenon… I actually liked the Harry Potter series better), where some kids suddenly become fans just because they’ve seen the movie versus the fans who already were fans since the first release of the series’ first volume. These posers come around other fans and brag about their so-called “encyclopedic knowledge” to actual new fans who were still fresh and new to the phenom. To make things short, posers are simply non-fans who pretend to be fans because it’s the latest mainstream trend. Once the trend dies down, so will these posers.
So, folks, this is where we determine to see which one of these are considered real fans to that favorite someone. If you think about it, we’re all different. Many of us may not agree with the categorizing of fans in general as some may be in between, which means that those determined to be real fans may even be the ones who are not as hardcore as the other. In fact, some may even think that there is a difference between a real fan and an obsessive psychopatic fanatic.
As for me, fans are immeasurable. How they show their devotion to that favorite someone are not always the same as the other, but how they show their devotion should not be a factor in terms of level measurement in fandom. A fan is a fan, if you think about it. Regardless of how general or how obsessive you can be, you’re still a fan. Regardless if you have been to the most concert venues and the most official items than the other, you’re still a fan. Even if you happen to become a new public figure (ie. new idol, pop model, etc.) yourself and still look up to your favorite someone, you are still a fan. Yes, folks, even popular public figures are fans of something too.
Here is a short commentary from a long-time fan. These are all based on observations and opinions, by the way. You do not have to take my word for it.