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    When Being a “Fan” Becomes Unhealthy

    Everyone has heard about Twilight, The Hunger Games, even Star Trek and Star Wars. Fandom has been around for a very long time. A fandom is composed of fans who share the same interest in a particular subject, like Twilight, Star Wars, or Harry Potter. Fans can find niches to communicate and share artwork, fanfiction and all kinds of different media relating to their fandom. But what happens when one becomes too involved in fandom and forgets about reality, and even more important: God?

    I first discovered fanfiction when I was twelve or thirteen. Fanfiction are fan-written stories pertaining to a certain fandom like Twilight. I loved reading these stories so much and I read them even when I should have been doing other things. I found myself anxious for the next television show or book to come out and I was always thinking about the plot and characters. I would think about them in church, school, in the shower, everywhere–I just loved my little fandoms so much. I would read the stories for hours and search for news about my fandoms.

    It started to become a part of who I was. Now, may I ask you what is wrong with this picture? I was so into my fandom and lives of the characters on screen and in fanfiction. I put forth these things over family relationships, school and God. I stepped back for a moment and realized I wasn’t living for the Lord at all. I was making idols out of the books, television shows and movies along with the characters.

    I started to make changes in my life. I focused more on God and not on the fandoms. I gradually stopped reading fanfiction and checking the news for all of my favorite fandoms. I removed thousands of pictures and graphics from my computer that related to fan things. I finally realized Jesus Christ is the only one who deserves our constant attention and adoration.

    There is also something serious I want to point out. People write lots of different fanfiction. A large portion of it is sexually explicit and minors can very easily access it. This can be very damaging for a young person to read sexually explicit stories that involve sex acts.

    Some of the writers do know that underage people read their work, although sometimes they have no choice because of the platform on which they are posting their fanfiction. I highly recommend for anyone to stay away from pornographic fanfiction stories. They can become an addiction just like any other type of porn. Some fandoms can be very dark.

    Keep this in mind:

    Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things (Phililppians 4:8)

    All who fashion idols are nothing, and the things they delight in do not profit. Their witnesses neither see nor know, that they may be put to shame. Who fashions a god or casts an idol that is profitable for nothing? Behold, all his companions shall be put to shame, and the craftsmen are only human. Let them all assemble, let them stand forth. They shall be terrified; they shall be put to shame together. The ironsmith takes a cutting tool and works it over the coals. He fashions it with hammers and works it with his strong arm. He becomes hungry, and his strength fails; he drinks no water and is faint. The carpenter stretches a line; he marks it out with a pencil. He shapes it with planes and marks it with a compass. He shapes it into the figure of a man, with the beauty of a man, to dwell in a house (Isaiah 44:9-20).

    And they served idols, of which the Lord had said to them, ‘You shall not do this’ (2 Kings 17:12).

    Idols can be made out of anything that you put before God. I’m not saying reading and enjoying Twilight or another popular series is bad, just be mindful over how much time you spend on those things.

    Do you need to take a look at the amount of time you are spending on fandom and not on Jesus? Ponder these thoughts if being overly into something has a hold on your heart.

    1. My fandom takes away time from my family and friends and has started impacting our relationships.
    2. My fandom has taken away time spent with Jesus Christ.
    3. I have lost interest in going to church because I would rather spend time reading material from my fandom.
    4. I have thousands of photographs of actors from my fandom on my computer, walls, or binder.
    5. I have taken a drop in my work at school.
    6. I fantasize about the characters all the time.
    7. When I am unable to check my fandom for news, I get anxious.
    8. Last, consider this thought: What kind of hold does your fandom have on your heart? Does it have an unhealthy hold?

    If you say yes to any of these questions, ask God to reveal to you if you need to be convicted of these things. If you find that you truly are addicted to something, seek help from a parent or someone you trust.

    Written by PI Angel, AngelAlly

    PI Contributor
    We love to get your article submissions! Nicole reads every single one of them. Send your submissions here.

    45 COMMENTS

    1. Thanks for this article! Something else I wanted to add is music obsessions. When I was younger, it was Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus and the Jonas brothers, now it’s one direction and Justin bieber. Theirs nothing wrong with liking or supporting a band or artist, but obsessing over them and practically worshipping them is not 🙂 remember, celebrities are just normal people!

      • Yes, I totally agree! I absolutely love One Direction. But I always have to keep in mind that they’re just people! I like reading fanfics, but I usually limit myself with how much I read them.

    2. wow this is such a great article! 🙂 I think girls who are obsessed with popular people these days like Justin Bieber or One Direction really need to read this and take a look a their life and see how these things are affecting them. One of my close friends is obsessed with the very popular British boy band One Direction and she could probably answer yes to all those questions…which makes me sad because she never thinks about God anymore because she’s so focused on worldy things. We all should be careful about not turning people into idols because the bible clearly states that is WRONG.

    3. Thanks AngelAlly! This is an awesome article! I had never heard about fandom, and now that you explained it, it made me realize how I used to partake in some of this stuff before I was saved. I wasn’t extreme about it, but I did used to always save a bunch of pictures of pretty/handsome actors/actresses on my computer because I liked them and idolized them. I’m not like that anymore, and you made me realize how I’ve changed. I’ve replaced all the pictures of actors/actresses with Christian bands, pretty pictures, and lots of Christian messages and Bible verses to help encourage me and inspire me. Thanks so much for the article and helping me think about my own life! God Bless!

    4. Cool article. I think I might be on the way to getting addicted to fandoms (Doctor Who and Buffy the Vampire Slayer) but I’m keeping an eye on it, so it’ll be under control. But this article did remind me. Thanks 🙂

    5. Well, honestly I think it’s just like anything, really. We have to be careful not to let the things of this world get more important than God… still, I think of this post rather like I think of the one on Technology getting in the way of God. Why make a conflict where there isn’t one?

    6. This is very true. Idols can be made out of all sorts of things. For me, I think I have been putting my boyfriend first in my life. Jesus Christ should be number one in our lives, girls!

    7. I’m surprised and also happy that someone actually addressed this problem because I know there are a lot of people who have fandoms. This is my biggest problem that is affecting my faith. It’s become a part of my life that is really hard to give up. I do admit, I was really mad when I first read it, but through God’s convictions I was able to accept that this is a problem that I do need to fix in my life. I have a lot of questions regarding this and I may also need to ask for advice.

      Regarding the 8th question, is there such thing as having a fandom that is positive?

      Do you have any advice or some ways that can help those who are addicted to their fandoms get out of it?

    8. Oh I needed this! Let me tell you! And I only said ‘yes’ to one of the questions! God has been putting this on my heart a lot recently. Just this morning, I read in my ‘Jesus Calling’ devotional that NOTHING should be put before God, and that if there is something, take to Him in humbleness and repenting, and worship only Him.

    9. Thank you so much for writing this, Ally! I used to have an unhealthy obsession with fandom as well when I was 12. I got exposed to a lot of the sexual fandom junk you were talking about and I think that girls reading fandom should be more aware of just how much there is. For all of you who do read fandom, try to find a site that narrows search results by ratings and stick to the stories that won’t have trash in it. Also, if the story starts to go south, you should probably just stop reading it. My biggest mistake was that I made excuses to myself that I could just “skip that bad parts” and read on with the story. Thanks again for writing this article 🙂 It really helps to be reminded of these things!

      • Liliandil486, and Ally, I used to struggle through those sexual things too. I wasn’t a fan of the fandoms but I became exposed to the sex stories, I’ve been trying to find a word and now I can explain it better. I’m years over it now, God is my only obsession, but it’s so good to hear I’m not alone, never was.

    10. Thank you for this. I’m a huge book reader, especially fantasy fiction. A lot of times, I’m just like you and start thinking about the book or the movie everywhere I go. I’d talk about it to everyone and do all sorts of things any obsessed fan would do. It happens a lot, so thanks for this. I will remember this the next time I’m obsess again. God is always more important and worthy of attention. This was great.

    11. This is good. When I saw this, I thought at first that I would be unhealthy with some of the fandoms I like. Luckily, I don’t think it’s unhealthy. I really enjoy it, but it’s not raking over my life. Thanks for this article!! 🙂

    12. Love this article, really convicted me. Many people, including myself look to fandoms for an identity something to make us, us. But not many people realize that this can become dangerous because when that is gone we start to fall apart. But there not all bad, I still consider myself a fan of many books, tv shows, and moves, but it’s all about controlling it and not letting it control your life.

      • Really? I didn’t know! Will minors have no access to the M rated stories on there? I just went there and still found explicit stories. And they can be accessed by anyone you don’t have to have an account. If they are going to host explicit stories I think that they should only be accessed by over eighteens. Otherwise it is so easy for younger fans to stumble upon the porn. There are lots of younger readers of fanfiction. In high school I was a computer lab assistant for a middle school’s computer lab hour. They could use it for whatever they wanted as long as they didn’t go on myspace which was blocked along with adult sites. The students ranged from 10-14 in that period and I do remember many of them would read fanfiction on various sites. It troubles me that they could have very easily been exposed to pornography. At that age it is very damaging. Kind of like how younger girls read cosmopolitan.

    13. I agree completely idle worship can come from anything not just other Gods, as believers we need to be careful on who and what we support but especially how intense the support really is.

    14. I’m so glad that you girls found this helpful. I had felt like writing this for a couple of months. I think God was putting this on my heart to tell. So I thank Him for helping me to write it!

      • amanda, I used to be obsessed with the Eragon series and a band called Family Force 5. I can honestly tell you that i was unhealthily obsessed with them. (they were at seperate times.) I realized that they were all I thought and talked about. When you think or talk about something other than God more than you think about Him, it becomes an idol, and we all know what God thinks about those. I realized how much my life revolved around those two things, and it scared me. I totally cut myself off from them and whenever I started to think about them, I thought wbout something else. my life is so much better now. I really like the hunger games, but I refuse to say i love them (because I also say I love God and my family, and the hunger games are nowhere NEAR as important to me as they are) and I refuse to become obsessed. Please, try this: go one week without looking at anything HG, thinking about HG, or reading HG. Spend time with God, and realize how much better HE is. blessings, violinist4Him

    15. I’m a potterhead (a person who loves Harry potter) and I write fan fiction. But, ive been able to take control of the situation. I’m also a panemaniac (hunger games) and it doesn’t control my life :3 My thoughts are always wandering away from my fan fictions, so I can focus on God 🙂 But, I also think about my other fan fictions (and there are a lot) but mostly God :]

      • Yes. Besides the obvious themes of death and demonism in twilight, vampirism in general has very strong sexual undertones. It may seem strange, but trust me; a lot of vampire behavior is linked to sexuality. If you are into vampire fiction, read books/movies that talk about destroying vampires as opposed to dating them (bram stokers dracula is a good start)

    16. I have person experience with this. I never wrote fandoms or read them but I was totally obsessed with the Jonas Brothers at one time for about a year. It totally messed me up and I didn’t really think or care about anything else. God was basically kicked out of my life. Right now girls are going One Direction crazy. Please be careful girls! The Directioners are getting pretty digusting too. Not all of them. Just some. Please be careful.

    17. i’m not allowed to watch Twilight or Harry Potter solely on it has no Christian values. i don’t complain about it,though,2 years ago i did when people were labeling me as uncool. i love Star Wars though! i know it’s probably not a great movie for Christian,but my parents let me watch it,and i like it. but,i’m not crazy obsessed with it. i don’t think celebrities are to be worship,they’re just people,who sometimes forget what “Keeping it real” means. great article though!!! 🙂

    18. OmGOSH DO I RELATE TO THIS! I read fanfiction all the time, but I try not to let it get to my head. Like the other day I was reading it and I realized that this one story wasn’t worth my time. It was this sexual fandom story and the story was addictive, but just far-fetch and innapropriate, so I just exed out of screen and went and did something else. I realized I was letting these fanfics take over and they shouldn’t, God’s always first.

      So I am also in love with this one boy singer (I am not even going to start with the whole explanation…lol) and on Twitter his fans are really nice. But at times when I look on Twitter, their is just girls IDOLIZING him like he is a god and it irritates me. I know when to stop fangirling at a point unlike those girls on Twitter, and I just pray they realize that that one person is NOT their whole life. It’s ok to be part of a fanbase, as long as you know your boundaries.

    19. Love this!!! My mom is/was constantly reminding me to not make idols of people or things. I remember when I was younger my mom wouldn’t allow me to put up posters on my wall unless it was Biblical in some way. It made me pretty mad at times because all my friends we’re doing it, but now that i’m older i’m glad she set that rule. Many of my friends are belibers, and I honestly have no desire to be one anymore. I’m not saying i’m better than my friends, but because of it I spend my time reading my Bible,praying, and finding ways to defund planned parenthood. I’m not saying having your favorite band,celeberty,etc is bad either, but even something as small as a poster can add obsession, and take away time you should be spending with the Lord.

    20. I’m a part of the Messenger fandom (Colton Dixon fans) and i write fan fiction and everything. but my fan fiction is very God centered. and the only fandoms I get into are christian fandoms. also, through being a fangirl on twitter, i’ve met several strong christian girls my age who i exchange emails with and they have been such a wonderful source of encouragement and fellowship. being a Messenger has helped me strengthen my relationship with God a lot. and I would never have met those girls if i hadn’t been in this fandom. they don’t even life in the same country as me 🙂 even so, there is definitely a balance. and know i’m pushing the limits of how much time i should be devoting to it.

      • Same situation with me, JesusFreak46256, I love Colton Dixon, and he is such an encouragement to me, but has made me reaize that i think about him way too much, and I need to stop that, even though its going to be hard.

    21. I don’t do fanfiction, but im pretty much obsessed with this one awesome christian male singer. He has encouraged me so much in pursuing God, but sometimes i feel like i have made the said male singer a too large part of my life. I’m going to try to let go a bit. 🙂

    22. I dont know if i struggle with this or not, i do have a favorite author & read/save all her books, but i know when 2 stop & read my Bible & pray when i feel the need(aka, every night^^) what do tou think girls?

    23. I love Harry Potter, Doctor Who and certain animes. They’re like, the theme of my life. I make friends through my fandoms and we bond through them. Do they take me away from Jesus? No. As painful as it would be, I would give up every fandom at the command of God. The only time a fandom goes to far is when it takes someone away from Christ, or at least when they get… well… weabo-ish. I constantly see parallels with Scritpture in my favorite book fandoms and they sometimes actually bring me closer to God.

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