Based on my loose observation, there are a lot of Duranies who don’t go to any message board. From what I have seen, they don’t go because they don’t like the negativity that can be found on them. Is this a fair statement? Perhaps, so. I have seen much negativity on the various message boards. Heck, even the most positive, most pleasant of boards can have its share of problems. The very nature of message boards is discussion, right? When people discuss anything, they are not always going to agree. When there are disagreements, some people handle this well and just agree to disagree and others become more argumentative or negative and everyone in between. Yet, this very discussion is what a lot of people go to message boards for. They want to talk about their interest, their fandom. At least, I do. Of course, now, I can come here and talk about what I think for paragraphs and paragraphs. Yes, people can also respond to me and my ideas, too. They can do it here or on twitter or on facebook. They can even do it on message boards. I appreciate this discussion. So, do people who avoid message boards not want to have discussions about Duran? I don’t know. Perhaps, they, like me, have found other means of expressing themselves. Maybe social networking sites like facebook and twitter provide that. Maybe, they live with people who are Duranies or are friends with Duranies so they can have more personalized discussions. Of course, there is always the chance that they don’t want to talk about Duran. Their fandom doesn’t require the conversation or they don’t want to hear negative statements. Some fans, I think, want to just think happy thoughts about the object of their fandom. They want to think that everything their idol(s) does is great. For them, the focus is on fun rather than analysis. I can appreciate that to some extent, even if I can’t do that. Of course, maybe the negativity has nothing to really do with the band and maybe it has to do with the fans.
It seems to me that drama in fandom is common. There are always fans that seem to have problems with each other. I’m not sure why this exists. It could be that people feel so passionate about their fandom that this carries over to other fans. Thus, when there is friendship, it is all good, but when there is not, it is bad. It isn’t uncommon for people to go to message boards to find others like them and to make friends from this common interest. Perhaps, that common interest isn’t enough to make solid, long-lasting friendships as there needs to be more in common than that. I don’t know. It could just be that they see behaviors or attitudes that they just don’t like and instead of ignoring them, fans are open what they don’t like. I’m sure that the medium also helps this. People might say and do things because the communication is taking place online as opposed to doing face-to-face communication. People can post comments and then walk away. It is an easier medium to have confrontations. Based on this type of drama, I can understand why people would want to avoid online places where there is a lot of talking behind people’s backs or posting negative statements or arguing. The message boards then are no longer about making friends but avoiding making enemies. Maybe real life provides friendships, even ones surrounding fandom.
Then, if a fan gets friends elsewhere and gets Duran discussion elsewhere, how does a fan get the information found on a message board? Removing the infighting and the debates about the band, there is still information provided. For example, I couldn’t go on a message board today without seeing a news article about the band or a rumor about some upcoming event. Can you get this type of knowledge through social networking or real life connections? I don’t know. Again, maybe fans that avoid message boards, don’t feel it necessary to get news and rumors. Maybe the negatives of message boards still outweigh the positives for them.