1. Stage 1: Discovering A New Obsession
Whether it be a new television show, book, movie, etc., it sparks your interest, making you want to know everything about it. You research reviews and wikipedia information about the actors and the characters. Your adoration is growing fast and you aspire to know everything about this new fandom.
2. Stage 2: Venturing Into Social Media
You check out Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Reddit to see if anyone is talking about your new favorite thing. They are. You decide to create your own social media pages so you can join the conversation too.
3. Stage 3: Interacting With The Fandom
It begins like an awkward first date. What do you say to these strangers of the internet? Will they like you? They have to like you! You both love the same thing, so you obviously already have so much in common! After a while people start responding to your posts and tweets, and you feel like these new strangers really understand you.
4. Stage 4: Pure Unadulterated Fangirl/Fanboy Bliss
The fandom has accepted you and you’re in the club! You write about your “feels” via tweets and blog posts, generate conversation amongst other fans, and everything is perfect! Your entire life now revolves around this fandom, but that’s perfectly okay. Who needs sleep anymore, right?
5. Stage 5: The Honeymoon Phase Ends
After a while, some fighting ensues via the internet over different “ships”, theories, and actors, among a plethora of other topics. Your opinion is the only one that matters and you are so passionate about it that you refuse to listen to others. In fact, you start to play devil’s advocate, just to rile up your “friends” and the fandom.
6. Stage 6: The Rage Phase
You’re done. You’re so riled up by everyone and everything having to do with the fandom. You’re tired of people hating on each other because of a character, an actor, a chapter, or a season, and want it all to stop. You hate all of it and find all of it to be immature and petty, and find yourself calling others out on the ridiculousness of their behavior. You can’t even talk about it with people “outside” of the fandom because your irritation is through the roof.
7. Stage 7: Self-Actualization
At some point, you come to a grand moment of realization and decide the fandom does not matter. There is no reason for you to be stressing over something so unimportant in the grand scheme of things. You have your own life and your own friends, a job, and other things to occupy your time aside from the Negative Nancys on the internet. You stop caring what these people think and you pull away.