There’s been something on my mind for a while now and today, a tweet fully pushed me to the limit. I have to get this out, and now. Throughout this post, I will be using examples from people I’ve seen on twitter, keeping names anonymous. If you recognize any of these tweets or people, please don’t point them out. It’s for everyone’s safety.
As you guys know, there is the idea of being an official fan of a certain kpop group. For example, “Official Insprit,” or “Official Baby.” This past year, Infinite opened up registration for fans to become official 4th generation Inspirits. Now, Infinite being my bias group, I obviously had the wish to become one. You get a special ID Card with your name, a special ID number, special photocards and goods, and a lightstick. While the lightstick is not something exclusively for official fans, the rest of the goods are, including the Official 4th Generation Inspirit website.
A while ago, the website officially opened up, ready to enter and explore for anyone who had an ID number. Fandoms being fandoms, the major fanbases entered and immediately started sharing the content with the rest of the fans who didn’t have membership. A few minutes later, after everyone had become thoroughly excited at the fact that new pictures and messages were out, the fanbases realized there were a set of rules that came with the website. One of the most important ones being, do not share content. Much like the official fancafe, where you have to level up to a certain level to see all content, none of the content is permitted to be shared anywhere else, other than the fancafe or website.
The fanbases realized the rules of the website, and followed them, deleting the content they had posted, and also requesting fans to delete anything they themselves might have posted. After all, rules were rules. If we didn’t follow them, the whole fandom might be affected. Thus everything was deleted and taken down, with respect given where it was due. Well, by most. After this happened I noticed a few fans, who had paid into becoming official Inspirits getting a bit…irritated about the content being shared. I can understand that, but the way they went about tweeting about it made me a little jittery as well. As it was over a month ago that this happened, I cannot find the tweets, so it is up to my own memory to relay the information. I don’t remember exactly what was said, but none of it was nice. It was along the lines of ‘I paid into it so my content should not be shared,’ ‘Is not my problem if you can’t pay into it,’ ‘its not my problem lol maybe save up for next year.’
There is a difference between claiming what’s rightfully yours and acting privileged. You paid into it, you pulled money together from somewhere, somehow, to pay for it. I understand that. But that does NOT mean you are any more important than the rest of the fans who have the same desires you do: supporting the group. Not everyone has the same life you do. Some of them can’t afford to spend $80 all at once, some people don’t have enough at the end of the month to start saving up, some don’t have the approval of their parents, whatever the reason may be. But that does not make them any less loyal to the group.
I feel sad every time I come across someone with that attitude. I feel like apologizing to them for not being able to pay for certain benefits. I’m sorry I can’t pay into it. I’m sorry my parents work hard to feed and clothe me instead of buy albums and merchandise. I’m sorry you’re so insecure that you feel the need to boast about official membership, and look down upon those who don’t. I’m sorry you feel the need to pay to have a sense of the security of superiority. Because I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to spend $80 to bring something over to the US, whose benefits can only be fully reaped in South Korea. I wasn’t raised so recklessly.
There is also another thing I’d like to address. Music Bank was held in Mexico City recently, and I follow some of the people who decided to go. I was excited for them at first, because so many great artists were attending, like Infinite, Bangtan Boys, Beast, Exo-K, Ailee, BAP, and Girl’s Day, just to name a few. I was excited for them, just the way any kpop fan is for another when they have the opportunity to see their favorite groups in person. This enthusiasm was curbed however, by some of the tweets I saw. It’s true that not everyone likes every group ever created. It’s not meant to be that way. But that doesn’t give you permission to be disrespectful to them.
I saw a twitter conversation take place during the opening act of the show, while Bangtan was performing. Someone I follow on twitter was there, in the middle of the crowd right near the stage. They were the only Insprit. All of the other people in the crowd were enjoying Bangtan’s performance I assume, while they were the only Insprit in the crowd. They claimed “I’m like the only one who doesn’t care,” only to be replied with, “u go girl you show them how it’s done.”
This conversation made my blood boil. Not only was this disrespectful to the fans and the fandoms, but also the artist. You may not be a fan of them, but that doesn’t mean no one else is. To each their own. It doesn’t mean they didn’t work as hard as your favorite group. It doesn’t mean that by you acting this way towards them will keep them from being successful, from possibly being more famous than your bias group. I’m pretty sure that if you saw someone acting that way towards your precious oppas, you’d get hurt and angry. It doesn’t hurt to show a little respect towards the artists that have likely gone through hell to be where they are right now. If you probably wouldn’t be able to last a day, a couple of hours in their shoes, I don’t believe you have the right to be openly disrespectful.
If you’ve read this far, thank you. I appreciate your loyalty. Hopefully after reading this, you’ll change yourself, or open someone else’s eyes. I sincerely mean no disrespect with this post, just some things I noticed, and hope will change.
Again, if you recognize any of these people or tweets, please do not point them out. I do not want to be a victim, nor do I want anyone to be a victim. I just want the kpop fandom to be a better place.