Recent events have led me to mull over something potentially sinister on the horizon in the word of creative arts; and I wish to hear the community's opinion on it to see if this theory is me being overly pessimistic or unusually keen in the foresight department.
To the point: The disproportionate retribution 'fans' are inflicting about the mediums and artists that they 'care for' is escalating to the point where it will kill new works before they even begin.The Mass Effect 3 Ending FiascoFan Uproars before TNMT movie details are even released outside of one sentence.Impatient and entitled fans chasing off Alvin (in addition to IRL factors) from his SMBZ Flash series and proceeding to spout bile and abhorrent remarks right to the artist's 'face'
There's no denying it; fandom, as an entity, is becoming a hateful creature that spits corrosive venom at anything displeasing before it's 'all encompassing majesty'. In the past it took years of consistent disappointment to produce reactions of this scale towards any one particular source; now it takes as little as 48 hours to amass more hate mail than any one individual should have to read in a lifetime. As a fledgling author in the process of attempting to turn my desire to write into a career I find myself having to admit a truth I never would of considered even last week- I don't think I want any 'fans', ever. I'll be quite happy to pass through history as a footnote so long as the bills are paid and my work is enjoyed. But the moment even a hint of spotlight comes my direction I'm going to be three shades of nervous wondering out of which patch of tall grass a snake is going to take a lunge from.
Now while this might not sound all that detrimental at first; let me put some context behind that remark. I am a very jaded individual when it comes to receiving hatred. In my Junior High years I made some extremely poor choices in how to react to my surroundings and circumstances; the 'reward' I reaped, and I exaggerate not, was earning the ire of nearly every adult and child in that small Kansas town. Quite literally to the point where it wouldn't be a typical day if some adult (yes, adult) didn't shout ill-wishes and a desire for my erased existence on the way home from school. As an end point; it takes a lot more than the typical individual for me to react negatively towards unfounded rage and disdain.
And yet even with that level of conditioning, as presenting my creative works does open a point of lesser invulnerability, the very thought of what fandom entails these days makes me feel unwanting of any such following.
With that in mind; I take this a step forward as the central point of my theory: What about your average writer, singer, game designer, ect? What about the people who've led normal, or even privileged lives and haven't grown the thicker skin I had to in order to adapt?
Presenting your works to the world at large when all you have to worry about is 'Will they like it or not?" is a nerve-wracking experience and one that already chases some people away at the bar of entry. Now imagine how much greater that problem is going to be with the way 'fandom' has mutated over the past decade alone. 'Fans' have proven themselves more than willing not only to throw hordes of deconstructive, misleading criticisms just because things aren't catered to their specific tastes; but they take their attacks beyond simply ripping someone's hard work to shreds (which can be traumatizing enough). These days it is a virtual guarantee that once you draw hatred from a 'fanbase' the attacks will become personal, sometimes even to stalkerish levels; and often unrelenting if the mob is whipped into a frothing enough frenzy.
Faced with the situation as it currently exists, and with the high possibility that 'fandom' as a whole is only going to entrench itself in it's behavior and become more radical and intense in its reaction is trends continue; is it not beyond the realm of possibility that the next 'great author' or 'great actor' (or 'great -anything-' will pick up the tools of their trade, look out into the sea of unforgiving masses waiting to devour them, and simply turn away without trying?
In summation: By creating an environment where the expected outcome of any submission into the creative fields will result in abusive attacks, completely out of line for the situation, against one's work and oneself; many creative potentials will simply 'stop' before they even begin. As I dub it, the 'lethal backlash'.
Final Note: This is more me getting my thoughts off my mind and wanting to see what other people think rather than trying to present the opinion above as any form of absolute outcome for the future; or even an 'educated' one by modern standards. If anything I'm hoping to be proven wrong. XP