In my Christian Nerd Advice column about contentment, I mentioned that being a fan of fiction makes it easier to handle fallible real-world humans being fallible humans. Considering I’m terrified of going on social media right now because of what’s going on in the real world, this seems relevant.
Real-world people seem kind of off-brand for us. Although I do think sports count as fandoms, I’m not a sports fan. And I only wrote about Vi Hart that one time because a) she’s a brilliant and entertaining fellow nerd and b) I was running out of ideas at the time and needed to turn something in for my social media class.
I hesitate to write about YouTubers other than Vi Hart, even though there are various examples of fandom communities on YouTube. Tumblr has plenty of evidence for the case that many YouTubers are fandom icons.
Still, some YouTube fan communities I wouldn’t even call fandoms. The fans of the Vlogbrothers are called Nerdfighters, and they’re a community that does stuff together in ways that make them different from other fandoms in some indescribable way.
Similarly, Charlie “issocoollike” McDonnell started a minor Internet phenomenon by being honest about his inconsistent uploading habits and the fears and anxieties behind them. People like him for his honesty. But in an effort to be genuine, he is careful not to give his fans a pet name – you know, like Whovians, Browncoats, or Beardlovers.
Charlie routinely makes videos about science, and he’s firmly rooted in secular, atheistic science. As a result, even if I enjoy watching him explain his thought processes, I ultimately disagree with a lot of his philosophy and advice. It makes me sad more than anything. He’s said that he fears death because he believes his fate will be nothingness. If I’m right, it will actually be much worse, and that’s a shame.
Faith makes being a fan of real people difficult sometimes. Just another reason to prefer fictional characters.
Nevertheless, I think I might start writing blog posts about real-world people more often. No sports. Definitely no politics. But if it’s something I nerd out about, I’d say it counts.