My son is in the financial industry and this Christmas, he put together a portfolio for his dear ole Mom n Dad’s retirement, with short-term and long-term goals.
It was a sweet thing to do and it got me thinking about the fandom. I know…I have a problem. Everything in my peabrain circles back around to Outlander somehow – I am pretty sure there is a pill for that some doctor will recommend. I will google it later.
Going back to the first season and right up till now, we can categorize the fandom pretty accurately, in no particular order and without judgement.
Long-term planners- These are the fans that are safe players, they accept things as they come and don’t really have a lot of expectations. Of course, they have opinions. However, they often come to the conclusion that their opinions are better off sitting in their account collecting interest as opposed to risking sharing it with others.
Our planners do this so they can enjoy without worry. They go down this road so they don’t have to sweat the small things. They are personally invested in the show as a whole, long-term.
What I am really saying is…watch out. The last day Outlander airs…
You may have heard our planners misidentified in the wild as suck-ups or sheeple because they tend to rise up in defence of the show, cast, crew and/or production when they perceive an attack taking place. Since they choose not to air grievances, this is a great way for them to express themselves.
This is not to say some long termers will not hop into a personal investment along the way when they’ve connected with a particular character. It has been known to happen. Exhibit A: Long time fan Cathy AKA @CatsandKilts – a decades-long Outlander fan who slipped into a personal investment with Roger.
Personal Investments– I think the fandom has far more of these fans than any of us had originally thought. These fans are invested in certain characters or storylines more than the show as a whole. This, I find fascinating. In seasons 1 and 2, I thought it was a story thing but it turns out it was completely a character thing. Jamie, Claire or them as a couple have legit groups of personally invested fans. They want to see their vision of the characters alive and in colour all of the time. Which of course, is difficult, given there are hundreds of thousands with different visions of what that is.
As we move along through seasons, other characters appear in and people become connected. See Exhibit A. Lord John, Young Ian, Roger and Brianna also have dedicated and passionate fanbases. Where many were sitting in the long-term role in the first few seasons, some jumped into the personal investment because they now have that connection to the story and all the moving pieces.
It becomes easy to see how those personal investments start playing against one another. If one person is invested in something, of course, they want to see it do well. They expect that investment to double, they want profits. That is how success is rated. When the other person’s investment gets a windfall, they know theirs isn’t doing as well. It is all very ‘in the moment’ and ‘instant gratification’ when we are in the personal investment. It can be exhausting.
When we really think about it, it makes so much sense to see that passion. When we put our own money into something- we are going to pay a helluva lot more attention to it than someone that has zero pennies in the coffers.
Those with a personal investment help those with long-term plans see the stories within the stories. ONLY if they are willing to see. They may get shut down because some long-termers are happy in their bubble of safety and don’t want to take the chance of anything popping it. I identify as a long-termer, however, I like to hear the excitement of those who are personally invested. It gives the story an added depth. I don’t believe it means those who are invested are dramatic or expecting too much. IMO it means they have invested something and they enjoy discussing their desired return on that investment.
Those who are personally invested do know that sometimes, the market doesn’t always work out for them. They won’t end up with a winner every time. Their investment is a gamble because they aren’t in control of it. There are a lot of fingers in those pots but the positive is, they are in good company. They are surrounded by an equal amount of investors just like them. They aren’t alone and that is definitely worth something.
High-Risk Doubling down– These are our high-risk players. They bet on every episode, hot outta the gate. Each episode stands alone. Against the one before it. Against the books. Against what they wanted. Against what they expected. They put all their money on it and they will rage or praise as they see fit. They don’t care who they take down in order to pay for the next bet and they don’t care whose mother they bet against. It is their right to bet and it will be their right to bet again. It’s a ‘me me me’ game and anyone else be damned. They usually despise everything the show does and also, in turn, don’t have great things to say about the fans either.
The truth in this kind of fan is, they are still a fan. They watch, they engage and they speak their mind. I don’t personally get it, but is it my job to get it? Probably not. There are risk takers that are funny, there are some that are toxic. Ultimately, we choose who we engage with. That’s the beauty of the interwebs and all fandoms.
It is so simple really. It comes down to us being a group of people, the way we fan is like anything else, it is about personality, perception and processing. All are very individual – and none of them are wrong. As long as the intentions are unicorns n rainbows- it’s all good. Mostly.
Maybe we need to pay closer attention to how we express ourselves. On the most part, if it is done with open dialogue, in a fun and you know, respectfulish way – that will make it better for everyone.
We know once Droughtlander’19 hits it is gonna be a doozy – let’s prepare ourselves and not get too tangled into knots before it hits.
Sher (ABOotlander Founder)