Saturday, November 30, 2013

Interfandom hate - why exotics are the most 'annoying'

Every person who spends quite some time on the internet is quite familiar with the modern concept of Fandoms. Where in the past fans of a certain group or series would mainly only interact with each other at concerts or events, there is now a platform for all of them to get together and talk about their fandom 24/7 if they would prefer to do so. And as many other things on the internet, this soon caused the concept of fandom to take a completely new proportion with many new aspects, and one of those aspects might be the hate towards other fandoms.
Now, I certainly believe that even before the internet people already complained about the fans of certain groups. I can already imagine a flannel shirted young man in 1996 complain about how those few Backstreet Boy fan girls he knew were out of their mind. And I can already hear those belly-shirted girls complaining about how 'N Sync didn't come even close to Backstreet Boy's greatness. But I don't think any of those stereotypes were as strong as they are nowadays.


"Most annoying fandoms?" That is a thread I come across as I casually browse through the internet. It's been posted on allkpop.com so I am not surprised to see that all fandoms that are mentioned are Kpop related. What might be more surprising, however, is that the most general answer seems to be the Exotics. Now, I have picked up on the general dislike for EXO's fan in the past, but I never gave it much though. But this time I wondered what it was about that specific fangroup that made them so hateable. Luckily the OP was very willing to provide a handful of reasons:
- Whenever I go to live streams the comments are constantly (not even exaggerating) filled with exotics asking "where is exo", "have exo performed yet", "I only came to watch exo" etc. to the point that I can't see any non exo related comments. When exo performs they go on and on about how exo are the best group there, and then as soon as exo has finished they all leave. How can you say exo is the better than everyone else when the only one you watched was them.- Some exotics cannot handle any sort of criticism to exo, I find they are over the top defensive compared to other fandoms.- Some exotics even treat exo like crap, look at the Beijing Airport incident, they are so crazy that they don't even care if they hurt/upset what they are fans of.- When exotics think that exo are better than everyone else and that everyone tries to copy exo. Just today I saw some exotics saying Infinite copied Exo because they has super powers in their mv which exo did first. I'm sorry but only delulus would think exo were the first and only artist to use a superhero concept. Need proof? Go watch TVXQ - Keep Your Head Down. Stop thinking everyone wants to be like exo, exo are still nugu in korea.- Finally, the fan war with BAP and Exo, it annoys me so much when I see exotics saying BAP sucks because Exo managed to win on their 2nd comeback and BAP still haven't. I might be wrong but I don't see as many Babys bashing compared to Exotics, I mainly see Baby's defending themselves.
Now, the way (s)he stated these points, I think I could easily hate the Exotics too. That is, if I were an uninformed passer by who hadn't been around in Kpop world for more than a few days. I, however, am proud to say that I might be aware of a bit more background knowledge that said informed passer by.
Now, let's start at the very beginning shall we? The first issue they seem to have is how the exo related comments are the most present whenever there is a livestream. That certainly is quite annoying, especially if you came there for another group or just to enjoy the whole experience. But is it truly just because EXO fans are annoying? Well, here is a nice little graph that might alter your perspective:

So, what do we see here? It's a ranking of the sizes of boy group fan clubs in the year 2013, and believe it or not, EXO completely defeats all other groups. Now my point isn't that EXO is better, no my dear friend. What I'm showing you is that their fan group is absolutely massive, and therefore it might not be because of the personality of the fans, but because of their sheer amount that they are so omnipresent in the comment box.
In my eyes this fact also has a large impact on the arguments that follow the first, since I'm quite sure that each fandom has that percentage of people that can't handle criticism, treat the idols poorly and make a habit of commenting negatively on other group's video's. It's just that because the fandom is quite a bit bigger there is a larger number of people within that percentage.
I don't think that the number of the fans is all though, I am quite sure that there is one other element that comes to play when one wonders what it is that makes Exotics so 'annoying'. Those who have clicked on the link that I provided below the graph might have taken notice of the girl group version. The graph seems to be quite similar, or to be real, while EXO might be a giant to the other boy bands, comparing Girl's Generation to the other girl groups is like comparing a Giant to a pixie. It's completely out of proportion. But then, why aren't Sones as renown as Exotics? Well, I think that the answer might lie in the history of the respective groups.
Girl's Generation debuted in the year 2007, at the time Kpop was only at the very beginnings of gaining popularity outside of Korea, people weren't very familiar with it yet and therefore it was quite hard for them to gain fans. But time went on and slowly but steadily they made their way into our hearts. By now they have managed to gain a large fanbase, a large portion of which has grown older along with the lovely group of girls. 5 years later, in the year 2012, EXO decided to make it's debut. It was a flashy, expensive video clip that showed up during a peak of the hallyu wave, easily gaining popularity as it was from the same company as some of the most popular established Kpop groups. It turned out to be a formula of success and the fandom grew explosively, quickly taking a prominent place in Kpop.
So, what is exactly my point? Well, I actually made a few. First of all EXO is still a very young group, and therefor has a very young fan base. The teens aren't yet balanced out by the young adults which causes the fans to have a very teenage way of dealing with things. They are more likely to show the tricks we are used to in the average middle schooler. It can only be expected that they are more likely in general to point at another Kpop group and call him a geek. Secondly, this fandom group up in a completely different era. The attitude towards Kpop is completely different nowadays than it was 5-6 years ago when Girl's Generation started making her first baby steps. The concept 'troll' and 'hater' are much more common by now. And lastly, the rate at which the amount of Sones grew is much smaller than the rate at which the amount of Exotics grew. And just like anything that grows very quickly, the EXO fandom is probably suffering from some growth pains. The increase in fans might be more than it can handle and it might be a while before it can settle down properly.
These points combined are what my response is to the final point that the OP made about the war between BAP and EXO. It's not surprising to see that EXO's main rival is another young group that debuted at the same time. It's a typical case of high school rivalry.
My main point of this article is that there probably isn't such a thing as worse or better fandoms. I think that at the end of the day they are all pretty damn equal. The Exotics aren't worse that another fandom, they are just new and in large numbers, which clearly causes some trouble. This is just another case of forming stereotypes and finger pointing. What I ask of my readers is to just let the other fandoms be, in the end we are all just people that enjoy listening to music and by getting yourself worked up about others you aren't going to make them change. All you can do is just wait until the others grow up. But don't worry, you probably wont ever be without a fandom to complain about, because even if the Exotics will one day be released from the title of most annoying fandom, there will certainly be another fandom waiting to fill it's place.

2 comments:

  1. Woah, this is a super serious post.

    I like it ^^ It's not often that Idol Blogs force my brain into actual thinking.

    I hate the dislike among different fandoms. But it happens so frequently, and the internet does help people push their unfiltered opinions very easily.

    I would write out a better comment but it's 1:24 in the morning, I'm tired ><

    I look forward to more posts =D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. *Sobs incoherently*
      Thank you~
      I'd reply better too... but it's 4:20 am and I'm going on 4 hours of sleep xD

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