I speak only from my experience with stan Twitter. I have recently written an article that summarizes what I think is the problem with stan Twitter.
Stan Twitter is one of the, if not the most, toxic places you can be in.
Say what you want about your idols or your favs, but stan Twitter is preferably not the place to do it. I understand that it is the place to meet others who have interests that align with yours, but unfortunately, stan Twitter’s community is not the best place to be in if you wish to keep your mental health intact.
One of the biggest issues I have with stan Twitter is the fact that the community is extremely aggressive and doesn’t take kindly to any form of criticism, may it be constructive or otherwise. If you have anything bad to say, anything at all, they will pick out every single word and expand upon it and make a scene.
Everyone will converge and start “calling you out” or “pull receipts.” There will also be those who would “sip tea” and just soak in the drama, which is an issue in of itself. People will often side with their own idols and gang up with attacking you. This, however, isn’t compared to the fights stans have between themselves.
Usually, the “drama” begins if one stan doesn’t like a person in a group or their circle of friends. In either case, stans who support their idols utterly and completely would begin to attack you for disliking their fav or any of their friends. This escalates to them hating you personally as you had an opinion. They would pick apart everything that you said, even if they’re not inherently negative, and expand upon it. They will mark it as the worst thing in the world and that you’re insensitive and wrong for saying it. They will label you as problematic.
- Everything you do is problematic.
Once you’re labeled as ‘problematic,’ oftentimes people would begin to blame you if anything bad happens, or completely ignore your opinion if you have any. They will never take on your side of the story and would never invite you to those big, special group chats that everyone makes but never stays in.
People would gossip about you in said group chats and censor your name whenever they ‘subtweet’ you. However, you do become really famous. Everyone in the fandom knows who you are and what you’ve done. They would become obsessed with you, wondering if you’re doing something problematic again, waiting for you to slip up so they can stir up more drama. They would not be able to stop talking about you.
If you are blamed for something, everyone jumps on it. People would give the event so much attention. If it’s something major, people would even report you. In fact, they would encourage their own followers to report you because you’re so clearly the enemy of the situation, as they’ve very obviously done a lot of research and knows every single detail of and before the event.
When it comes out that you’re not guilty at all and was framed, no one apologizes. What? You were problematic, to begin with. You deserved all that hate.
If you say anything bad about anyone, they would make you regret it because you hurt their and their idol’s feelings. Attacking you is the way to go, as you do not have feelings are “no longer relevant.”
2. You can’t have an opinion that’s different to everyone else’s.
Other than you disliking someone else’s fav, you can also just have another opinion that everyone would attack you for. If you hate your idol’s new look, you’re better off keeping it to yourself because no one likes anyone with an opinion on stan Twitter. Everyone on stan Twitter is just a blind, blind sheep that would praise their idol for whatever it is that they do.
If you aren’t part of that stampede, then you’re not a ‘true stan.’ If you don’t like to talk about your idol every two seconds and post sappy messages saying how they saved your life, then you’re not a ‘true stan.’
No one likes you if you don’t talk about your idols obsessively like a broken record. No one likes you if you don’t compliment every single thing that your idol does. No one likes you if you don’t share the same five photos of your idols. No one likes you if you don’t post the same Snapchat video of your idol again and again.
No one, and I mean no one, likes it if you have anything bad to say about the idols. Don’t like the fact that your idol has a mustache now? Shut it. No one wants to hear it. Don’t like what your idol wore for their red carpet? Jar it. No one wants to know that you have a taste in fashion. Don’t like the people that your idol hangs out with? You can keep quiet unless that person is highly controversial themselves, then you can bitch about them with the rest of the stans as much as you like.
If you somehow manage to slip up and speak your mind because chances are, you live in a country where free speech is a right and this is your Twitter account where it is literally for your insights and opinions, then you’re in hot water. People would quote you, saying condescending things. People would reply a thread to it, saying how it’s “not that deep” and it’s “nothing to get upset over.”
If you ask your mutual friends to tell them to stop and it was just your opinion, maybe because you have anxiety with replying to people who are so clearly attacking you passive-aggressively, they will continue the thread (or start a new one) claiming that you’re “starting shit” for not facing the problem and that you need to “take a step back.”
At this point, you’re probably annoyed and you begin to take a stand because, as you know, it’s very important not to get angry over the Internet. You reply to them and then… silence.
They don’t like people who have an opinion and also a logical voice.
Top tip: if you’re being attacked through tweets on stan Twitter, keep a level head and hold your composure. Read their tweet and pick apart every single word that they used as they did to yours. If you find issues, point them out and ask them to clarify, and try not to jump to conclusions. Asking for clarification and then making them come to the realization that they’ve made a mistake would often shut them up.
3. People on there have no personality, posting the most boring and meaningless things and just does what’s popular.
It’s probably better to have mindless zombies filling your timeline than these stans. Their tweets are not original, they are never original. They’re either the hottest new memes that involve you liking it and them answering a few questions or just some aesthetic photo of your idols with no caption.
They’re more like robots to a certain point. They would tweet regularly the same tweets, either a sweet “goodnight” or an 11:11 wish of them getting an idol’s notice. You might even hit the jackpot and get yourself a timeline filled with “hey, idol, please follow me!” and that person tweets that every 3 seconds.
You can’t do anything about those tweets. You can’t like or retweet because that would be weird. You can’t reply something appropriate because they don’t like that. You just have useless tweets clogging up your timeline because this one person really wants a follow.
There are also those who would just quote this one tweet that they made a couple of months ago and begging for their idol to notice it. They usually aren’t even good enough to be noticed.
People have their idols’ notifications on — which is a normal stan thing to do — and would be one of the first to reply. They’re either just generic comments like “king/queen of thing that they’re doing!” or “love you” or “you’re the best” which is mostly tolerable, but then you have those who are desperate for attention. They would usually beg in their replies for them to follow them or reply with a quoted tweet saying for them to check it out.
This isn’t even the worst of it.
Most people jump on so many bandwagons, it’s disgusting. One of the worst things I’ve seen one do is come out prematurely as a transgender boy. They, of course, retracted the statement in less than a week.
The worst is that everyone in the comments is so supportive and immediately accepts this new change. This applies to the initial change and the later retraction. If it’s nothing negative against their idols, they would accept it immediately and praise it no matter what it is.
Speaking of praising things no matter what it is, many stans put their idols up on a pedestal and pretend that they cannot do anything wrong. They seem to forget that their idols are still human and can, in many cases, make mistakes. They just refuse to believe it! If anyone points it out, they’re the villain. They are obviously jealous of their idol’s success and needs a good subtweet to set them right.
4. Everything is just so mentally exhausting.
While stan Twitter is a great way to make friends (I am still talking to a few of them and I am good friends with those who left the fandom with me), it’s also really exhausting trying to keep up with everything.
If you do not have notifications on for your idol, then you will miss out on everything. If you miss out on everything, you will be thrown out of the loop and have no idea what everyone is talking, thus unable to connect with and maintain your Twitter friends.
At some point, the notification you get when your idol posts would become something you dread to see. If you are serious about stan Twitter, then there’s a certain pressure to like and respond as quickly as you can, as you also desire a notice from your idol. That’s where it just becomes increasingly stressful. Everything’s just a battle for attention that you know you will never receive.
Seeing someone else get the attention will also fill you with this unwarranted hatred. Jealousy is a terrible thing to feel and you will begin to feel resentment against those who got noticed. If time passes long enough and the way it did to me, then your resentment would begin to shift to the idol themself. I felt as though my ex-idol had been choosing who to notice, as they wanted to appear extremely LGBTQ+ friendly. Hence, they only noticed those who constantly tweet about how they are part of the LGBTQ+ community.
As I never announce it, since I see it as something I shouldn’t be waving around, they never chose to notice me.
Eventually, this turned into me coming to dislike the band. I stopped caring about what they do and turned off their notifications. I’ve come to notice every little thing that they did wrong. What I thought was the most amazing thing about my idol became their most annoying trait.
In the end, it’s just a whole ball of pressure and stress that you feel like is going to drown you if you don’t fight to stay afloat. You always want to be relevant, to keep your friends and your image and increase your chance of being noticed. If you slip, if you become inactive, you will fall and nothing you do can get you back because the edge has become so slippery that you just can’t keep up anymore.
And when you finally decide to leave, you’ll notice just how relevant you were.
No one will even miss you or notice that you’re gone.
All those ‘you made my 2016 better!’ lists? Lies. Lies and deceit. You didn’t matter at all. They never miss you. They’re only obsessed with getting notices and once you’re out of the picture, it’s less competition for them.
So, good fucking luck if you’re out there, still on stan Twitter. Gods know I’ve felt so much better after leaving.