HAPPINESS IS SUCH a broad concept to discuss. It may be in the form of a person, memory, event, object, or anything under the sun. But are you one of those people who found happiness through a person and a thing? Clue: The object is merchandise containing a photo of that person, If you are one of them, this may be for you.
Believe me when I tell you that I am one of them. I am a person who finds happiness just by watching her favorite member play a video game for hours in a live video streaming application. I am a person who enjoys watching their new content as this is her form of rest after an enervating class. I am a person who sometimes buys merchandise as a hobby even though later on, she kept complaining about how ‘capitalist’ these companies are. But most of all, I am a fan who repeatedly listens to her favorite group’s songs as a form of motivation and saves money just to attend their concert. If you ask me how much happiness these acts do, it means much. But, of course, there are occurrences that I need to limit myself from buying.
They say that a relationship is a form of being connected to a person. This is also seen in the fan culture but quite different from what people may think. Nothing is quite like a fan’s connection with their favorite K-pop idol. As time passes, fans get immersed in the events of their favorite group because they feel too near for comfort or support. Idols inspire and reassure their fans through live streams, words, music, and distinct personalities, helping them find motivation and solace.
Besides Twitter, live streaming applications have been rampant in today’s time as a way to keep fans updated on their idols and by watching their lives. Fans constantly watch their favorite group live for 30 minutes or an hour. As a fan, seeing their face on screen can make their day even better.
With too much engrossed in this culture, it might turn into a downhill. A lot of idols have also spoken on the idea of parasocial relationships. This is a typical behavior that might be observed by some fans nowadays. A parasocial relationship is a one-sided relationship where a person spends much time, energy, and money on someone they don’t know exists. Even when they do not actively engage through the media, the emotional bond between fans and their idols causes the fans to feel like they are in a special relationship. Furthermore, this has become a widespread term in social media where other people would say ‘touch some grass’ if they’re being too obsessive.
“Home” is where we find ease amid darkness. Home reminds us of our favorite groups that we stan because of how they’ve been such a help to us through music. They always have the words that save us at our lowest. On the other hand, I often have to balance being a diligent college student and a fangirl who occasionally finds inspiration from her favorite groups. Additionally, I would constantly tell myself not to rely too much on them but to make them a guide for me to be stronger every day. As a fan, there is nothing wrong with getting support from them. Buy their merchandise if you want, you deserve it! Attend a concert if you wish to because you saved all your money! But let us keep in mind to establish boundaries as fans. They share the same desires as humans to form healthy connections with other individuals.
This is a phase we must leave behind as we go on to a different life. Looking back, we will remember this happiness as an integral part of our lives but will no longer prioritize it. A phase we knew significantly impacted our lives by having new connections and experiences. Let this be a reminder from myself, a fangirl just like you.
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