Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Life and Fandom


It’s time for another KPop concert in my life. Wednesday’s journey takes me back to Chicago but this time to the Rosemont Theatre to see Monsta X.

I’m not going to go on ad nauseam this time around about the personalities, rhythms, voices and choreography that are so enjoyable to get into as I did with BTS (but feel free to check out my blog posts here and here). If you want to be driven on a treadmill or weights session, check out Monsta X’s 2015 song Trespass or this year’s Beautiful to get an idea of what the night will be like.

What I’d like to dive into a bit is the idea of bringing younger interests and ways into our lives. Alyssa, over at Mrs. Geology, has a fantastic blog post from 2016 on this general subject called 12 Ways to Approach Your Classroom Like a Fandom. She bases her arguments around an author fandom, however this concept can be applied to any interest that brings people together. Whether you’re a teacher, parent or just have some teens or tweens in your general vicinity, you can apply some of these tricks in your life to bring you a better understanding of and connections with today’s younger crowds.

Trust me, it’s worth doing. They are some pretty amazing people with impressive skills.
I’m not going to go through all her points from a KPop perspective, but I know it’s a doable concept. My time prepping for the BTS concert included lots from her 12 points. I learned how (and participated in!) fan-created polls, fan art, huge fan projects like purchasing & designing Snapchat filters, rainbow oceans and signs to give out to an arena of over 10,000 fans. Fans create pages and group chats on a variety of social media. Fandoms pool information, funds and even lodging and transportation. They create amazing art and crafts to sell or simply share. All of this on top of learning more and more about the actual artists.

Not to be a party-pooper, but I think one of Mrs. Geology’s last points is very important and the least fun to get across:

11. Set clear boundaries.

Whether it’s from books, movies, TV shows, music, videogames or something else, we all need to step out of our fandoms regularly. We all need and deserve time in Real Life (RL) to connect with the Real World and the people and places that physically surround us. There are problems to solve and greatness to appreciate out there. It behooves us to be there and do.

Fandoms can augment, not replace, our lives.

I’m not saying that our fandom relationships can’t continue into RL. In fact, I’m a firm believer they can become valuable relationships in RL. I’d also like to challenge adults to share their own fandom interests to peers as well as youth. Don’t be scared to do it! Making sure we all go to RL can bring even more people together as we introduce all of ourselves to those around us. At the very least, it can give others the confidence to present their own full selves to those around them. Perhaps more will be fixed and enjoyed because of all that effort.

For KPop concert goers, the dreaded letdown from weak boundaries is called post-concert depression (PCD). I hope all the Monsta X fans (Monbebes) enjoy the night and wake up Thursday somewhat ready to jump back into their lives. I also hope we all have RL lives we can enjoy.

And not just until that next special fandom event.

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