One can certainly tell that things are quiet out in Duranland. How so?? Within two minutes of checking my Twitter timeline – it was clear that drama had once again taken its rightful place in the community. I have to say, we’re nothing if not predictable…and 90% female. (Apologies to the guys out there, who are always very quick to steer me into a good conversation about Duran’s music or other news. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that sort of diversion!!) Come now, you all knew I’d have to write a little about the drama. It’s part of what makes our community tick, and to be really blunt, it’s one of the things that fascinates me most. It’s not the drama itself that entertains me, although there are moments. It’s the mechanics of it all that make me stop and stare. I understand the competitive nature of women. I understand what it means to be territorial, even if that feeling is completely misguided. I know it is downright exciting to receive a retweet, be followed, or even get a post from a band member. What I don’t understand is why it’s worth ruining both your own reputation as well as others by saying horrible things about the recipient of said attention…regardless of whether said things are truthful, slight exaggerations, or downright lies. What you say online is out there permanently. Yes, this is the internet, and I would love to be able to say much of it is done based on the safety of being behind a somewhat anonymous screen – but I’ve seen a lot of you live and in person. It happens no matter where we are, what we’re doing, or whom we’re with. We can certainly be a vicious people. I know it is hard to be excited for someone else when they’ve gotten attention that you’ve been desiring for so long – but is it really that other persons fault? Does it really help to lessen the reputation of that other person?? I am as guilty as anybody else of wondering why “so and so” has been able to find the band so many times, or why that girl always gets a reply back from someone, etc. etc. What I’ve come to realize though is that sometimes, it’s my own doing! I’m not the type of person who is just going to barge on up to the front of a line, beg for a pick, insist on a hug, or even run up to the front of a stage….thinking back to Glasgow where for one frightening second too long Amanda and I actually considered staying in our SEATS because we didn’t think it was fair to run to the front of the stage. We missed our chance for a front row spot as a result. Stupid, I know. I’m not much of a risk taker I suppose. I didn’t even ask for a drumstick or a pick when I had the chance. Why? Good question, and aside from not wanting to be turned down, I don’t have an answer. My point though is that sometimes, even when given the chance to have that all-important interaction or attention, I’ll literally run in the other direction! While there are times when I do catch myself feeling just a little jealous, especially when I feel like some of what I think is the worst behavior possible is rewarded, I remind myself of all the moments I could have had but didn’t take. Then there are the times that I feel are golden: when someone I know who has had very few opportunities to see the band, have interactions with the band or otherwise has their moment. They might get a retweet from John, be followed by Simon, get a post from Dom or Roger…or get a picture with any and all them. How on earth can I be mad about that? I can’t! I get as excited for them as I would for myself, and oddly enough, it is in those moments when I am happiest about being a fan.
Let me tell a brief story here. When I first really got involved in the community, well before I ever became a blogger, I had my own fits of jealousy when someone else would have their moment(s). I think it got to the point where I would take the time to even consider if that person was deserving, and yes – I’d judge them! It was disgusting of me, and embarrassing to admit here. It wasn’t as though I felt like I owned the band and didn’t want to share as much as it was just that I was jealous. The more it would happen to people I knew and maybe didn’t like so much, the worse it got; and honestly – the worse I would feel at the end of a weekend, a show or even after being online sometimes. I know it got to the point where I worried more about finding the band after a show, or who (fans) would be at the show or who would post the next picture with a band member, than I thought about having fun, and that’s when I realized it was time to change things; specifically – change my own outlook. I will say it loudly, clearly and brutally honest right here: at first, it was REALLY, REALLY hard to just be happy for other people. I was so jealous of reading how someone got another photo, or another picture. I kept forcing myself to simply be happy for someone else, regardless of how well I knew them. Then in time, it got easier and easier. Amazingly enough, I am so much happier now than I ever was before. I don’t spend a lot of time scowling at shows, or after shows, when I hear about someone finding the band. I don’t get as upset if I don’t see them myself. I genuinely and honestly am happy to hear good news from other people. I know a lot of people who say that they just don’t care when someone gets a retweet or whatever. Well, I *do* care. I’m thrilled for them. I like reading that sort of thing, and on top of that – I love being that kind of person, that kind of fan, and that kind of friend these days. It’s much easier to just be happy than it is to be mad or wonder why it didn’t happen to me…because sometimes….it *does* happen to me, and I can see when friends spend time wondering why it didn’t happen to them. I don’t have that answer, but I can honestly say that its a lot more attractive and fun to be happy than it is to be angry.