Honestly, you're truly right. The phandom has calmed down so much in the past year? When I got into the phandom in early 2015, I remember people were trying to claim phan is real because of the moment in fnaf 3 where dan scared Phil when really someone just photoshopped a photo. And people thinking that they were gonna come out when really it was the 7SC app. Now everyone is wayy more chill and just takes things as is.
i think that as whole it’s been really interesting to see the phandom (as well as dan and phil) develop over the years. i’ve been a casual viewer since 2011/12 and became more invested around late 2014. dan and phil have matured loads. but so has their audience. it will suffice to say i was the 12 year old watching them when i first started. so llamas and lions were the best thing ever and i wouldn’t stop watching amazingdan or pinof 2 (idk i had some weird obsession with it). but dan and phil have grown so much? it’s startling to watch some of their older videos nowadays because they are the same people but with more developed opinions and ideas about the world.
and the phandom has grown so much too. it’s weird. even back in early 2015 we relied on shoddy edits of them for “phan proof” and just general fondness between the two. when phil trash #1 happened it was sort of mind blowing how crazy everyone was about it. no one stopped talking about it for weeks. now dan and phil can just go post a video where they call each other daddy the whole time and the next day we sort of forget about it. before content was purely neutral and vague to their personal lives but now they are slowly inviting us into their personal lives and the phandom has matured enough for this to happen without much fanfare. it’s quite gratifying.
i’ve sat back and watched the phandom for quite a while now (i didn’t participate in it for like a year on tumblr after becoming an aesthetic blog but i still followed loads of phan blogs). there has been a constant flow of people in and out of this community which always provides new content. but as dan and phil’s content matures, as does the phandom.
i can’t put into words how much has changed but there has been a huge shift. dan and phil have so gradually slipped these things in that we haven’t even noticed until we’re just accepting of announcements of dan going with phil up north for his birthday or seaside walks. for the first time in how long dan and phil have casually mentioned the term ‘phan’ without negative connotation. it’s really nice. organic.
i’m so glad we aren’t screaming and banging our fists when anything mildly interesting happens. it’s more like a nod of approval from us as dan and phil live their lives. it’s a much healthier relationship between us and them now and it might be hard to see that but the phandom’s just a lot better an environment now. it’s good.