Ever since I have been introduced to British television, my life has changed. Before my life might have been described by others as simply normal. For instance, I had a tumblr but I only used it for pictures I thought were cool. Then last summer all that changed. I was sleeping over at my best friend’s house and she wanted to show me this show called “Sherlock”. Because I liked detective stories and the Sherlock Holmes movies with Robert Downey Jr., I decided to watch it.
I was hooked after the very first episode. I had never seen anything like it before. We pretty much stayed up all night watching both seasons of the series. Then she showed me a blog on tumblr purely dedicated to the show. And that was my first experience with the fandom. I began to find other blogs about the show and soon enough I felt like I was a part of this worldwide community of people I have never met.
After becoming part of the Sherlock fandom, I began to wonder if I should watch the show Doctor Who. I’ve heard many good things about it, but I was also lazy to watch it because there were six seasons on Netflix that I had to catch up with. But I decided to give it a go and the next thing you know I was becoming a part of the Doctor Who fandom. Soon enough I found myself wasting countless hours on the Internet soaking in every single picture and joke both of these fandoms presented me.
Quickly I learned that if you were going to join a fandom (especially on tumblr), you would have to learn what certain words and phrases mean. For example, “shipping” means imagining two characters in a romantic relationship whether or not they are actually a couple in the show. The nice thing about shipping is that you can ship characters as many times as you like. There’s no rule saying that you can only ship characters once. That would be more of an OTP which stands for One True Pairing. It’s basically your favorite couple (or ship) of a show. The rule of having an OTP is that you can only have one per show. If you had multiple OTPs for a show it wouldn’t be an OTP because then you’d have to change the name from One True Pairing. Of course there are other words but there are just too many words to explain.
The great thing about being a part of a fandom is that it is a community. Once you meet someone who is in the fandom, you feel like you know everything about them even though you’ve never met them before in your entire life. You instantly have this connection with them and more importantly, you have something to fill the awkward silence with. It seems that in today’s day and age, people are struggling to find real community. Facebook and other technology can become a medium for community. In my case, technology has facilitated me meeting and interacting with people of a common interest. It has expanded my circle of interaction and enriched my experience. Now I can learn what others are thinking and saying in China, France and India as well. Without technology I would only have access to a small circle of people.
Being a part of a fandom is amazing. It’s become very hard for me to remember what my life was like before I was introduced to all this. It has become a regular part of my life that it seems strange to think of living without it. Technology has impacted my life and will continue to do so. In reality, technology will have increasingly greater impact on my life. The question to be wrestled with is will I be the master of technology or will I let technology become the master of me.