Being a part of a generation constantly surrounded by the internet and the influence of having thousands of people and conversations and ideas at your fingertips, I've noticed a quickly growing trend.
When people don't like something, or they simply disagree with some aspect of something, they lose it. Rather than leaving a "fandom," walking away from a group of toxic individuals, stopping watching a show, throwing out books, etc., people lose it in the worst ways possible. They complain online, they trash talk, they call out others who support it — some even go so far as to threaten the wellbeing of the people behind whatever it is they so openly hate.
Now, don't get me wrong. I believe correcting political incorrectness and educating others on harmful tropes, stereotypes, language, and ideas is great. But there is a wide line between trying to educate someone on why something is harmful and threatening to hurt someone because you don't like what they do.
Two wrongs don't make a right, fellas.
This undeserved entitlement of the younger generation is something quickly taking over social media, and the influence is absolutely terrifying. It has become an embarrassment to support certain books and shows online, simply because of the disgusting backlash some "fans" have had over choices made with whatever media piece is in question.
While representation is important in media and encouraging things to be as inclusive and open as can be, it is also important to check your self-entitlement before going on a Twitter rage-fest about how outraged you are with the production team of your favorite (or not-so-favorite-anymore) show.
It is even more important to realize sending death threats is NEVER okay.
Common sense, my dudes. Common. Sense.
In the last few years, I have seen the call-out culture on social media platforms only grow. While the internet will possibly always serve as a breeding place for angry individuals to spout their messages through the anonymity of the world wide web, it does not mean it is okay or without consequence.
All-too-often I see people obscenely criticizing a work online. The worst part is, this often comes from a place of well-meaning. Someone feels a show baited fans with the unspoken promise of representation. Someone thinks an artist shouldn't support another artist who "ships" a certain fictitious couple. Someone else can't believe their favorite actor tweeted something politically incorrect seven years ago.
Just because you like something does not mean you have any right to where it goes next. Sure, a creator should care about their demographics and their fanbase and their influence, but they really don't owe you.
Yes, people need to be educated and representation matters. Take it from someone in the LGBTQ+ community — I am dying for more quality representation in popular media. However, there is a right and a wrong way to go about this all. And in no circumstance is threatening others the way to go.
Support media that represents the things you care about. Encourage your friends to do the same. If something you enjoy starts treading dangerous waters, it is always okay to simply leave. There are hundreds of movies/books/shows/people out there who believe in the things you do; sometimes you've just got to look past the mainstream scene.