followers buy

Recently, I was part of a conversation between my sisters and a person outside of our friend group. The subject of K-pop came up, and this person who was clearly not a fan looked at me and said “you must be patient zero”. I’ve heard this term used before, mainly in a derogatory way, with the meaning of “the first person to be exposed to K-pop, who then spreads becoming a fan as a disease among their friends and family”. At first, I was a little annoyed, but as I thought about it more and more, I realized that he was unknowingly paying me as well as the industry of K-pop a massive compliment.

The truth that has to be acknowledged to understand why, though, is the sometimes uncomfortable and avoided fact that K-pop is very much an industry, and groups are very much a product. Fans don’t like to discuss this much, but it’s a fact that cannot be denied. K-pop groups are products created by corporations to sell to consumers. Many antis will use this as a reason to not enjoy K-pop, saying for instance “it’s too fake and manufactured, where companies decide members of groups instead of letting them come together naturally”, however the reality is that much of American media is the same. K-pop is very self aware in being an industry, and will even present straight to the fans that they are consumers of a product. Idols will say that the company won’t let them say or do things that would pull fans away, such as dating bans or bans on using dialect. There are TV shows such as Fluttering India, a show where members of K-pop groups were sent to India to research the market for K-pop, essentially filming and packaging the research companies do in America for a new product as entertainment. There are even TV shows made into survival shows such as No Mercy or Pentagon Maker which show the making of the group product, choosing members who work well together and have the talent necessary, almost like a Shark Tank where the judges are the companies and the products are human lives. The K-pop industry is just that, and industry, and the companies will cater to the consumers through fan-service and fan events. Being aware of such a fact is important to understand, and it doesn’t make your enjoyment of the industry a bad thing. It means that you understand that even in American culture, actors and TV celebrities and singers are products who you support and spend money on, and you as a fan have abundant power in such matters.

This is important, though, because you now understand that K-pop is an industry and not a disease. And like any other industry, the strongest tool that is utilized is word of mouth. Humans have a natural crowd mentality, and sites such as Amazon or Yelp utilize this mentality, showing you ratings and reviews in order to convince you to buy products. Youtubers and Instagrammers will buy followers to convince followers to go with the crowd. When you take a survey for any reason, for a store or a restaurant alike, what two questions are always there? “How did you hear about us”, “Would you recommend us to a friend?”. You see, K-pop is an industry, and by saying that it is an industry that is known to be infectious like a disease, spread from person to person, you’re only saying that K-pop has achieved something most product distributers only dream of - a product with value and appeal enough for a successful complete spread of word of mouth through people from all languages, all cultures, all races, all backgrounds, and all walks of life. And by saying that I am patient zero you’re saying that I am a distributer to an entirely untapped friend group, family, an untouched market, and that I as a consumer am increasing the profits of an industry that I genuinely enjoy partaking in, that my support as a fan of a group that speaks a different language in a different part of the world than me is at the very root valuable and valued and sought after from companies and idols alike.

So let that be a reminder to fans who are tired of hearing “they will never know you exist” or “you don’t even speak the same language”. Not only is your enjoyment valid, it’s also necessary and important in making K-pop and your favorite bias group become a worldwide trend until the biggest argument the haters can put forth is that it appeals to too many people. 

2

guys help they keep announcing new funko pops that are highly relevant to my interests

Monochrome

Summary: Soulmate!AU, where a person sees color once they meet their soulmate. Y/N stumbles across Lin in a park.

Pairing: Lin x reader.

A/N: Wow, I’m really bad at summaries. Hopefully you guys enjoy it!


With your camera strapped around your neck, backpack slung over your shoulder, and layers of clothing to protect you from the icy chill of Chicago, you made your usual trek to the park near your apartment. It was a blessing that the temperature was in the double-digits since it was in the middle of December. You hoped that the creatures in the park were in the mood to come out and play – they were usually the main pieces in your photographs.

You pause at the crosswalk and scan the near-empty park. There were several people jogging, but other than that, it was peaceful. Every once and a while you saw a squirrel scamper across the field. You felt your hands tingle in anticipation of the photos you’d take today.

For someone who saw the world in monochrome, the idea of having a career as a photographer was bizarre.

But you were damn good at it. So good that some of your pieces were hung in the MOCA museum in Downtown Chicago.

You didn’t need to find the elusive soulmate that everyone spoke of. You didn’t need color in your life; you were perfectly comfortable with the black and white world that you’ve known since you were little.

You shake your head at your mental tirade and was thankful that the light to the crosswalk changed. You quickly walk over to the park and let out a sigh of contentment, the familiarity of the environment silencing your thoughts.

You take a few test shots, adjusting the settings to make sure that the lighting in your pictures were to your liking. You wander around the area, taking pictures of the landscape and the squirrels and ducks that were nice enough to stay still for you.

After a quick change of your camera lens, you begin to take random pictures of the people in the park.  The joggers didn’t seem to be happy about it, putting their head down or giving you a side-eye when they realized your camera was pointed at them. You took pictures of the couples that sat on benches, drinking their morning coffee and quietly chatting amongst themselves.

From the corner of your eye, you see a man dressed in a stylish long coat facing the fountain in the middle of the park. He had his phone next to his ear and a coffee cup in hand.

What was a city boy doing here?

You step back and bring your camera to your face, wanting to take a picture of the stark contrast of his frame against the rural environment.

The minute you take the picture he turns.

It all happened so fast.

Your world, once quiet and calm, was now loud.

You drop your camera, stunned.

The grass, littered with leaves were beautiful shades of green, brown, orange, and red. The sky, with the sun peeking over the horizon, filling the world with hues of pink and orange, was breathtaking. You didn’t even know you were shaking until you brought a hand up to brush away the tear that slipped down your cheek.

Rushed footsteps snap you out of your daze and you felt your heart drop to your stomach when you see the man come towards you.

Oh shit.

Panic shot up your spine, and without a second thought, you knelt down to pick up your camera from the ground. You spun on your heels and began to briskly walk away.

“H-hey what are you… You’re not supposed to be running away!” the man yells.

You closed your eyes, still blurry from your tears, and willed your legs to move faster.

You weren’t ready for this.

“Wait! You can’t expect me to give up, not when I,” the man trails off, voice raspy and thick with an emotion that you were all too accustomed to: longing.

…Not when you’ve been waiting for me all your life.

You sniff, the fight leaving your body.

During high school, you were like every other teenage girl. Your mind made up scenarios of the day where you would meet your soulmate. Whether it be where the two of you would meet in a crowded train or in one of the quiet corners of the library, it always ended up with you and him kissing each other and having a happily ever after.

But it didn’t happen.

You kept the hope all throughout your college years. But during your senior year, where one by one, every single one of your friends found their soulmate, your hope began to dwindle.

You’ve made your peace with the idea that you were not going to find your soulmate, but now with him standing right behind you, it’s more than you could take.

You stop walking.

He stops and after a moment of hesitation, maneuvers himself so he stands in front of you.

“My name is Lin.”

You stare at him, your soulmate! – your mind screams – and your hands began to tingle with the sudden need to take a picture of him. Large, twinkling brown eyes framed by impossibly long lashes, long hair pulled into a ponytail, a five o’clock shadow, and nose red from the winter chill…

He was perfect.

He shifts, “And you? What’s your name?”

“Y/N. My name is Y/N,” you reply.

“Y/N,” he repeats with a shaky voice, and your heart soars in response.

Lin shakes his head in amazement. “Who knew that I’d finally meet you once I decide to travel outside of New York City?”

Your perk up. “New York? You’re from New York?”

“If you mean the greatest place in the world, yes,” he grins.

You squint your eyes at him. “I think you’re mistaken. Chicago is the greatest place in the world.”

He throws his head back and laughs. “Touché,” he concedes, placing his hand on his heart.

A silence settles over the two of you.

You both laugh at the same time, both in amazement and wonder at how comfortable you were with each other.

You glance at his hands, phone tucked away and the coffee cup missing. He notices and sheepishly smiles.

“I accidentally dropped my cup when, you know, it happened,” he explains, gesturing to you.

You show him your camera, wincing when you finally took a chance to inspect it and saw a crack in the lens. “I dropped my camera,” you add, running a hand down the damage.

“So you’re artistic too,” he hums, making you feel tiny at his suddenly scrutinizing eyes.

“Too?”

Lin grins and brings out a worn notebook. “The main reason why I’m here is because of this,” he explains.

Your curiosity piques. “What is it?”

A gust of wind makes Lin shuffle. “Buy me coffee and I’ll tell you all about it,” he says.

“You owe me a camera lens.” You huff, crossing your arms across your chest.

He laughs merrily and you fight the impulse to smile.

“I know a coffee shop a couple blocks from here,” you say, “they make great lattes.”

He holds his hand out. “Well, shall we?”

You shyly slip your hand into his, your throat feeling tight. You share a look with him, relieved to see his eyes shining with unshed tears.

Years and years of waiting and feeling empty were now gone with his simple touch.

Lin gives your hand a soft squeeze.

You felt complete.

Your once monochrome world was no more and you were ready to experience it with Lin by your side.