Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Road to Fandom

It all started with a click. A friend showed me a YouTube video of a boy band which has thirteen members at the time I thought having seven members for a band was way too much. One link led to another and the next thing I know, I found myself immersed and living in the wonderful, crazy, sparkling world of K-POP.

The internet has pretty much fed my fascination with K-pop. It began with YouTube, from watching music videos, followed by the variety shows. I thought, hey these guys are talented and pretty funny. Their good looks also didn’t hurt. So I searched the web of what I could about them. Thirteen members way too much for a group? After a few months, I have already memorized their full names (real and stage names), dates of birth, hobbies, pets, what they like in a girl, blood types. Yes, blood types.

I joined Twitter because my bias (read: the love of my life, the light of my world, the one I cannot live without; in other words, the person I stalk the most) created a Twitter account. Of course following him is never enough so I followed his band mates as well. The cycle of clicking and linking again happened and suddenly, half of my following list is composed of people I do not know, speaking in another language. Google translate solved this roadblock but it does not exactly give out the best translations, so I had to search and follow fan clubs which translate the tweets down to a tee. But to be able to access the full tweets, I also had to register and post at their fan forums. I have registered at so many fan forums I do not even remember half of my usernames and passwords. Next up was LiveJournal, just because I cannot not have the latest updates. Then I finally logged in at Tumblr, the treasure trove of k-pop goodies for every fangirl, but otherwise known as the black hole and great waster of time for students. With my virtual arsenal, I came to know everything there is to know about my idol group. The rest is flailing and spazzing history.

The internet has become a way for me to connect, to be closer to my idols. It doesn’t matter if I can’t watch their performance at a certain place, Livestream is there anyway. It doesn’t matter if their blog entries and tweets are in Hangeul, Google Translate and subbing communities make them understandable for me. Everything that a fangirl needs, from the latest pictures, music and videos, is put within reach. This is probably why my curiosity has grown into this (sometimes scary) obsession. The internet fuels the addiction. It would be safe to say that if I were to be deprived of internet access, my thing with k-pop would probably end. It is a GREAT distraction (indeed, a bane to my law school existence, haha!), but is also a source of many a fangirl “squee” of happiness.

Krystel Jehan M. Bautista, entry no. 1

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