Megan over at A Geeky Gal blog created this challenge for fellow geeks to share all about what makes them nerdy. You can see her completed challenge post here.
The geek community is a very passionate community. Our passion is what drives the creativity that I wrote about on Day 23 as my favorite thing about us.
But there is a potential downside to the passion, which is that it can turn into toxicity.
While it’s true that some of the most supportive people I have ever met come from the geek community, I have also come across my fair share of trolls and bullies.
The majority of this toxicity seems to mainly exist online, where otherwise seemingly decent individuals can hide behind a screen and spew hateful bullshit without consequence.
I’ve seen everything from passive-aggressive comments criticizing people for what they love, to outright violent threats and vulgar rants.
This type of behavior is particularly prevalent in the Star Wars fandom right now, as tensions rise over the direction the new trilogy has gone.
It’s honestly really bums me out how fractured Star Wars fans have become. I love what Disney has done with the franchise. I know the new movies aren’t perfect, and valid criticisms are okay.
But honestly, things have gotten out of hand.
Look at literally any article written about Star Wars and you will find someone who thinks anyone who likes the new movies is an idiot.
Look at any Star Wars related Twitter thread and you will find someone crying about how Star Wars has become SJW propaganda.
And for the love of god, don’t even go on Reddit.
It’s been going on even since before Disney took over. And it’s not just fan-on-fan bullying. The actors have been on the receiving end of it too.
Jake Lloyd, who played a young Anakin in Star Wars: The Phanton Menace, quit his acting career because of bullying that stemmed from the role.
Jar Jar Binks actor Ahmed Best contemplated suicide after the backlash his character received in The Phantom Menace.
Kelly Marie Tran and Daisy Ridley deleted their Instagram accounts after having to deal with violent, threatening, and hate-filled comments about their roles in the new trilogy.
This behavior is so unhealthy and ridiculous and it makes me sad that apparently some of the most bigoted, unstable, and cruel people have latched onto Star Wars as an excuse to spew their nonsense.
Even among those who do enjoy the new movies, you can find intense disagreements about characters. The issue of Reylo (the potential romantic relationship between Rey and Kylo Ren) has garnered a lot of lovers and haters alike who will argue endlessly about it in Facebook groups.
While I’ve noticed this toxic behavior the most in Star Wars, I am sure it exists in other fandoms too.
My point is, the geek community can sometimes get a little too intense, setting aside civility and humanity in the name of the fandoms they love.
I think everyone could use the occasional reminder that we are talking about fiction – world’s and places and people that don’t exist. It’s not worth hurting someone over.
Have you ever experienced bullying because of your love for a fandom, character, ship, etc.? Tell me about your experiences in the comments.