Fandom is a term used to describe a group of enthusiasts who share a common interest in a particular object, topic, or media franchise, such as a book, film, TV series, video game, or celebrity. Fandom can take many forms, including fanfiction, fanart, fan videos, cosplay, and fan events. Fans in a fandom community usually communicate with each other through social media, forums, chat rooms, and other online platforms. They often form subgroups within the larger fandom based on shared interests, shipping preferences, or other factors.
Fandom culture is characterized by a sense of community and belonging, as well as a strong emotional attachment to the object of interest. Fans in a fandom often feel a deep connection to the characters, stories, and themes of their chosen media franchise, and may express this through creative works or social activism. Some fandoms have a significant impact on popular culture, influencing the development of media franchises or even the wider culture.
In the context of online communities, fandom is often associated with fan forums, social media groups, and other digital spaces where fans can connect and share their enthusiasm. Fandom communities online can be both supportive and toxic, with passionate discussions and debates often taking place around contentious issues such as canon vs. fanon, representation, and creative ownership. Online fandom culture can also be characterized by its use of memes, insider language, and shared jokes, which create a sense of belonging and identity for members. The anonymity and distance of online interactions can also make it easier for fans to engage in extreme or inappropriate behavior, such as cyberbullying or harassment, which can have real-world consequences. Nonetheless, fandom communities can be a powerful source of support, creativity, and community for fans around the world.