Before I get into the nitty gritty of my blog for this week, I need to tell you all how my morning began.
It began with my 3-year-old, fully grown kitten desperately trying to stick her head inside an empty wine cask. Several times. Without success. All the while making little kitten noises of frustration and disappointment as she slowly came to the conclusion that her dedicated plan of action was not going to work.
Oh, I would have happily captured it all on camera for you, dear reader… except one was so busy laughing her ass off at her fur baby and her exploits she all but forgot. Sorry.
If I’m being perfectly honest, it’s going to cover (I hope in a little more detail) one of the topics I covered in last weeks blog. Which, if you haven’t read -you can do so here: https://ranpotjam.com/2019/06/09/the-tale-of-the-catch-up-the-carry-on-the-nerdy-celebrations-and-the-tiring-twitter-stramach/
Note how I have made reference to social media (Notably twitter) and the carry on that ensued because a few bad apples were able to upset the apple cart. This got me thinking. This got me thinking a lot. In fact, I spent most of yesterday afternoon and this morning thinking about this – which gives you some idea just how much time I’ve spent thinking about it. (If you take into account everything else, I’ve done such as eat, sleep, watch Netflix, etc … I didn’t really spend that much time at all – but whatever)
I want to take a look at how the Outlander fandom operates across the social media landscape. Specifically, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram. I know there are dozens and dozens of other different social media platforms – but the aforementioned ones are the ones I frequent the most and are therefore the chosen subject matter for today’s blog.
Yes, I know. Do I even dare? Especially for someone who has only been part of it for a little over two years. *Braces self for the onslaught*
However, I’m feeling a little ‘standing on the precipice and staring deep into the abyss’ this afternoon – so I figured I’d have me a wee bit of a crack at it- Because why the hell not!
I just want to add, before I continue, that this isn’t a serious blog. I’m not here, with my Claire on, inspecting this fandom like “germs” under a microscope, OK? It’s just for fun and please keep in mind that this is solely based on how I view things. No outside influence whatsoever.
Right. I think I’ve covered that well enough. And if it’s not disclaimer-y enough for you then tough titties, I’m afraid. You’re not getting any more than that.
To make this easier for everyone I’m going to write about one platform at a time. To write about all four at once would cause my fingers to drop off out of sheer exhaustion and that would be somewhat problematic, I should think. I mean, how in God’s name would I pick my nose if my fingers fell off!
First up… Facebook.
First off, I’m going to assume that the majority of the OL fandom who reside here are between the ages of 35 – 80
Secondly, I am also going to assume that there are fans who fall either side of that age bracket.
Thirdly, I just need to point out that every OL newbie starts their journey here. Depending on your point of view – it either gets better or worse from here. You’re free to make that choice.
Things You Need to Know
- Every FB group you join will tell you that their group is the best group out there and it’s mainly due to the people that are in it that makes it this way. They’ll CAPS LOCK that shit all the way to the grave and you better believe them. Because no one and I mean no one runs a FB group better than the Admins of the group that you’re in. Side note : Every FB group has more or less the same 3 stock standard questions you need to answer before you get approved. You’ll also be asked to observe the group rules. These are also variations on a theme. Mostly be nice, be kind, no hawkers etc etc …
- Be wary of the Book Purists. These people will try and shit on your love of the TV show every chance they get. They’ll dissect it from every angle, come at it from every direction and preach it from their little shit-seat-on-high. They love trashing the TV adaptation and can’t wait to tell you why they hate it so much. Mind you, these are also the very same people who only read the Jamie and Claire parts of the book because everything else is boring and Bree is a spoilt brat.
- TV evangelists will also suck the joy out of everything- much like their Book Purist cousins – except, when they do, they are quite similar to Gollum in that the TV show “Is their preciouses” and they won’t go near the books because “They ruins it”
- Spoiler Alerts are pointless. Completely and utterly pointless. The only reason *Spoiler Alerts* exist on Facebook (and ONLY Facebook) is to give someone who is an Admin of a FB group a power trip. Telling folks that their post MUST CONTAIN A SPOILER ALERT is dumb because the books have been out since 1992 and the cast and crew share stuff re the TV show publicly anyway and let’s not forget to mention ye olde Daily Lines- The ones DG writes herself. You know…. THOSE!? – so why bother? Oh, and if you’re going to come at me with you -“Oh, we’re doing it for the 000000000000000.01% of people who may not have read/seen it yet” – argument please don’t. You want to know why? BECAUSE SPOILERS DON’T WORK!! That’s why! Everyone reads the bloody things! They don’t prevent a goddamn thing! Stop it! Just stop! You look like a prize-winning numpty and it’s certainly not doing you any favours! It’s a power grab. So, sit the eff down before you trip your power tripping Facebook Admin ass up and hurt yourself! No one wants a Spoiler Alert. GTFO with that shit! (A/N… Wow… I may have gotten a little more serious with that point than I intended. I mean, I don’t want to give the impression it shits me to tears or anything… but yeah. Anyway, back to the fun!)
- Facebook is full of folk who can’t handle it when Sam Heughan says FUCK anywhere that’s not on the Outlander Blooper Reel. True Story. The End.
- The Facebook fandom is full of people who proudly tell everyone how long they have been a fan. Especially the ones that have been there since DG first put pen to paper. It’s almost like Mark Zuckerberg blessed them with a megaphone himself and gave them permission to use it – ALL. THE.DAMN. TIME! Now, to be fair, there are some that use their megaphone for good and whenever a newbie comes along, they endeavour to take that person under their wing (or megaphone in this case) and help them on their journey into the wonderment that is the Outlander- verse. But there’s always one… in every group there’s one. One who truly does believe they are the Oracle of the OL fandom. Their post is always more about THEM than about the subject matter at hand and are normally the first ones to complain to anyone and everyone if they feel they’re not being the centre of attention.
- TEAM FRANK / I FEEL SORRY FOR GENEVA live here. As does POOR ROGER and the I HATE BREE club. Not to mention the SAM IS NOT MY JAMIE/ CAIT WILL NEVER BE CLAIRE IN MY EYES Society. And that lot over there? Brooding in the dark corner? That’s the lot that want to bring the subject of RAPE into the equation. Enter into conversations with these people at your own risk. You may feel your brain fall out of your ear and end up a whimpering, crying puddle of its former self on the ground, begging you to make it stop. Or worse, you could end up in an all-in verbal brawl with them – and you get the comments turned off by a member of the Admin. In which case – I bow to thee oh great and mighty keyboard warrior. Crusher of keys! Slammer of fist on desk and colourful obscenities! Destroyer of all arguments presented and locker of comment threads for all time. I salute you! Oh, and should you find yourself stuck with the weird mob brooding in the corner? My advice? DO NOT ENGAGE!
- In the deepest, darkest corners of the Book of Face you will find these horrendous, deformed little “knob-goblins’ known as trolls. They are everywhere and only seeming to want to come out to play whenever there is positivity to be had. They sit hunched over their keyboards waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike. Usually during a moment when the fandom is agreeing on something nice like how much we all wish for Sam’s long, lush curly locks to return or the Red Dress from Paris or that Jamie’s knees are truly something that need to be studied in depth .. for science. That’s when the trolls come out. Faceless and with 100% made up fucking names – they crawl out from under their rock and drop a comment like “You guys are all so lame – LOL! This show is lame! Y’all need to take a good, hard long look at what you’re doing” and it starts a shit fight like no other. Honestly? Stop. Just stop. Thinking you’ll get a semblance of sense from a troll – is exhausting and not worth the time. NEXT! Seriously, FUCKING NEXT!!!
- Facebook Outlander Mums. Facebook OL Mums are unique to this fandom. Mostly harmless and they stay in their own lane. Still, they deserve a mention because gosh darn it they are cute. They say things like “Sam is old enough to be my Son” or “ He reminds me so much of my Son” or “ If Sam was my Son” also, they are the biggest culprits when it comes to *worrying* about our leading man “ Oh, he’s so thin!” “He looks tired. Are those bags under his eyes?” “Is he eating enough?” “Does he take vitamins?” “Someone should tell him he needs *Insert magical unicorn blessed miracle drink/pill/injection/Self-help suggestion here* ASAP!” “He needs some sun. He’s so pale!” …. You get the point. I mean, they mean well and as I said, they’re cute but c’mon people… He’s a grown man of almost 40 and trust me when I tell you -he’s quite capable of taking care of himself. He knows what he’s doing. He’s surrounded by people who make sure of that every day.
- I didn’t think I’d make it this far and yet … here we are. Look, I know I’ve said a lot and I’ve mostly focused on what can only be described as the negative side of the FB OL fandom and maybe it is … but as I said at the beginning, this is not a serious blog and it was meant to be taken in jest. That said, over all, the FB side of things is a pretty positive place. Folks be kind, mindful and charitable for the most part and aside the things I’ve talked about here – drama is pretty low key in FB land and that’s a good thing.
So, there you have it. OL Facebook in a nutshell as I see it.
Do you agree? Disagree? Feel I’ve missed something? Let me know! Would love to know your thoughts!
Just think… I have to do this with Twitter next week. Metaphorically speaking – I may very well be dead and blogging from the grave!
Thanks for reading,