About 79 percent of survey takers ranging between ages 18 and 34 in 13 countries agreed that being a fangirl or fanboy nowadays is different from the previous generation belonging their parents. Much of the terminology has also drastically changed from one generation to the next. One blogger explained current concepts, such as fandoms, OTPs and shipping, to her parents using Seinfeld (an ancient show to most of the current generation) as the means to get them to understand.
She wrote, “I was actually teaching my parents something. The tables have turned!”
The tables have turned, indeed. In fact, many agree that today’s generation of touch-screen users, selfie-takers, vloggers, and podcasters are more passionate and vocal about a variety of fandoms, especially since the geeky image is now more acceptable than ever before.
“Eighty percent agree that you can be a fan of not just sports and celebrities, like previous generations, but things like fashion, television, food – and brands,” wrote James Guerrier from Research & Insights in Viacom International Media Networks. “Young people classify themselves as passionate experts in an average of 5 categories, and the top categories are all about entertainment content – music, movies and TV. And four in five agree that being a fan now is different from their parents’ generation. They are more willing than ever to ‘own’ their Fandoms.”
Not all parents are fossils of the past, however.
Parents heavily steeped in fandom normally pass down that passion onto their children. Oftentimes, it’s a natural progression from parent to child, creating a common bridge with which to meet halfway and enjoy the thing(s) they love most. My mom and I are like that. She never forced anything on me, but I naturally gravitated towards whatever she was watching on television: Star Trek, X-Files, Stargate, etc. While she enjoyed what she watched, I took things to the next level by reading/writing fan fiction, creating my own websites, and compiling my own fan videos.
I embraced many fandoms over the years, most rooted in science fiction. Star Wars is the one thing, however, I talk about the most in my household, and since my mom was the person who exposed me to Star Wars at a young age, the fault is entirely on her! Although I’ve always been a Star Wars fan, Star Wars: The Clone Wars introduced me to blogging and podcasting, both fun and exciting ways to express the love for my fandom.
Johnamarie is the owner of TheWookieeGunner.com. She is a content contributor for Making Star Wars, Star Wars Report, and Fangirl Next Door. She is also a co-host on “Now, This Is Podcasting!” and “Rebels Chat”.