Let's face it. We've seen the ruthless drags, we have seen fans go out of control to defend their faves, and we have watched internet trolls be obliterated by an army of people willing to die on a hill that they will never be noticed on.
Stan culture is extremely prevalent and increasingly toxic on so many levels. It creates an environment on social media that makes you want to tread lightly whenever you feel like giving your opinion on a famous person. You can go as far as being threatened because people fans admire their faves so much.
A "stan" refers to Eminem's 2000 song of the same name, detailing the dangerous and toxic parts of a crazed fan. We now allude to fans from any fanbase as this name, usually with a negative connotation. This subculture of fandom has led to extreme admiration and even obsessive behavior of one's favorite celebrity.
I've witnessed social media become divided into sectors due to the many factions of stans.
You have the Arianators for Ariana Grande stans, the Beyhive for Beyonce stans, Armies for BTS stans, and many, many more. They tend to be explicit in their responses and stave off any morality that was left in them.
To be very clear, I'm not saying I hate stans or what they're about. I myself am a part of stan culture, whether I'd like to admit it or not. The point I'm trying to make is that it is very unhealthy for a group of people to drive so much anger and hatred into strangers online for merely stating an opposing opinion. We're allowed to do that. It's the internet for crying out loud.
It's when being a fan becomes a one-sided relationship with that celebrity that stan culture can be dangerous for young people.
They will ride or die for someone who doesn't even know they exist. This becomes even more dangerous when a said celebrity calls out someone, their stans attack that person immediately and without hesitation. They send death threats, they find their place of employment, they even try to get your account suspended or deleted.
This is when being a stan becomes unhealthy and dangerous for the youth to partake in. This does more harm than good.
I am worried that stans have taken things way too far in regards to defending their fave. But at this point, how far is too far?