Listen To This: How A Woman Makes Friends Through Fandoms

Offline connections made online

What it means to be social has shifted over time. More than ever, meaningful connections are now defined not by proximity or familiarity but through a unique bond, often shared online with strangers. We explore the fascinating world of getting real-life social in the virtual world.

Clozette Senior Features Writer Amanda has always been and probably always will be a fangirl. Her unofficial membership to several fandoms started when she was just a tween. “I was introduced to it by my aunt. She was very into J-dramas and J-pop at the time,” she said. Soon, her parents were also intrigued by what she’s listening to and watching and they also became fans. “They were sort of my first fandom family — my aunt, my cousin and my parents.”

(Photo from: Anthony DELANOIX via Unsplash)

But it wasn’t until 2015, when Amanda was already in her 20s, that she was introduced to the culture of online fandoms thanks to Tumblr. “I started looking for online communities that dedicate their time and effort to exploring the source material even more,” she said. At the time, she was very much into anything related to Sherlock Holmes — both Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s novels and the 2010 BBC series. This opened her up to other online communities like Potterheads or Harry Potter fans, and most recently, to the fandom of Tiaras who are supporters of the J-pop idol group King & Prince. In just a few years, Amanda has gained more than a few lasting friendships in these fandoms. She even got to meet some in person.

For the first episode of our podcast, The One Where We, Clozette Features Writer and mild fan girl Sheryl and Editor Becks, who doesn’t know a thing about fandoms, chatted with Amanda about all things fandom-related. They discuss the origin of the word “fandom”, how long-distance fandom friendships work, how these relationships compare to her “real-life” friendships and more.

Listen to our first podcast episode here or above to know more and subscribe for more.

Next, find out if parasocial relationships are good or bad for you.

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