Lately I've been truly unhappy in fandom and I'm not sure what to do about it. Twitter is slowly driving me towards a nervous breakdown. On one hand, I love having conversations with people on there, and I've gotten to know some wonderful people, but twitter is a bit like throwing a bunch of different, emotional, obsessive people into a cramped room and waiting for them to eat each other. There's no escape, no LJ-cuts, no twitter savior, no tags, no way of filtering out the stuff you don't want to see.
I love Catherine and I ship Steve/Catherine, and I definitely feel like I'm in the minority among the people I follow on twitter, most of whom are Steve/Danny shippers. Listening to people talk about how much they hate her/them has a cumulative effect. One tweet here, one tweet there, like drops of water in a bucket, and soon the bucket is full and it feels like I am drowning in a sea of negativity and I can't resurface.
The obvious answer is to not go on twitter, or to remove everyone who says things that upset me. But man, I like twitter. I like having conversations. I'm friends with people who dislike Catherine. Am I supposed to give up all of the great conversations, or remove people I genuinely like? If I did that, I'd have like 10 people on my feed.
Basically, what it comes down to is...I'm tired of fandom. I am tired of reading every single person's reaction to every single moment of the show, every single week. I'm tired of seeing every single person who hates Catherine or Steve/Catherine list the same reasons, over and over and over and over and OVER, about why they hate her or why they hated the episode/scene. Every tweet, every comment, has been slowly eating away at my love for this show and the joy I experience from interacting with people in fandom.
I've been told by more than one person that they get annoyed when I gush over Catherine. This crushes me because this is something I love about the show and I want to talk about it. I want to talk about things that make me happy. I want to discuss fic ideas and ships, and have constructively critical conversations about characters that I love. Getting annoyed by someone else's happiness in a fandom that no longer makes you happy has an incredibly toxic effect on the people around you. When people are afraid to so much as mention things they love for fear of annoying you or getting a negative comment in return...THERE'S YOUR SIGN.
I keep seeing people talk about how they're just not excited about the show anymore, that they don't rush to download it or write fic for it, and that's "telling." To be honest, I'm not sure what deeper meaning people are finding in it. I think the only thing it says is that those people aren't as excited about the show anymore because they've found something they enjoy more, or because the story went in a direction that doesn't appeal to them. WHICH IS FINE. But it says absolutely nothing about the bigger picture, about the quality of the show, or the show's future. Personally, I think this season has been great! I still rush to download each new episode, and I know loads of other people do too.
What makes me angry and sad and tired is that I see people talking less about things they liked and more about how Peter Lenkov is ruining the show, how it's not the same as S1, how they're not excited about the upcoming episode, how they're going to stop watching the show if [X] happens, how CBS is shoving Steve's heterosexuality down our throats. Dramatic sighs about how the show could have been awesome and now it sucks, mostly because CBS is homophobic and won't let Steve and Danny make out and get married and have babies. As if we are all entitled to a version of the show that suits our tastes and needs, and if we don't get it then we have a right to complain bitterly and demand that the show's creators give us what we want.
I don't understand why people complain more than they squee. This isn't rhetorical; someone explain it to me. Why people get more satisfaction talking over and over about things they hate, and never about things that make them happy. Explain to me why people continue to stay in a fandom that brings them no pleasure, informing anyone who will listen that they don't know why they watch the show anymore, that they don't really care enough to read/write fic for it anymore, that [other fandom] is so much better in every single way. SOMEONE PLEASE EXPLAIN THIS TO ME.
I recognize that everyone has a right to their opinions. I have them too. There are things that bug me about the show, plot twists that make me cringe or sigh or roll my eyes, moments when I want to throw rotten tomatoes at my TV screen. But there's so much about this show that I love, and I'm in fandom to share my enjoyment with other people. And I'm deeply upset about the fact that H50 fandom is now a place where people sit around glaring at Plenkov and being bitter about characters or ships they don't like, so much that it annoys them when other people don't hate the show as much as they do. So much that when someone says they're excited about an episode, other people go out of their way to tell them how unexcited they are. This is rude, unnecessary behavior, and the people who do it deserve to be called out for it.
I don't know what to do about it. I can't and won't tell people to leave or anything rude and ridiculous like that, because I have no right to demand anything of anyone, but I can make a request that this fandom be more considerate of each other, and respect the fact that this is supposed to be a place where everyone feels welcome, where everyone can enjoy fandom without having to put more effort into blocking people or "just ignoring" them than they do into creating fan works and having interesting conversations.
If anyone has any thoughts or suggestions, I'm listening. If you're just going to tell me that I should take a break from fandom or leave, please don't waste your time. I'm not interested in leaving or taking a break. I'm interested in engaging in H50 fandom and enjoying my time here. This is not an impossible dream. And I can tell you with absolute certainty that I am not alone in my feelings, that there are many others who are unhappy and want things to change for the better.
ETA: I also just want to make clear that I love Steve/Danny and a million other ships. This is not about people who ship certain things or like certain characters. I couldn't care less if people like or dislike Catherine. This is about the toxic cloud of negativity and the toll it's taking on me personally. YMMV.
ETA II: This was written somewhat quickly and was basically an uncensored feelings dump. I will probably rework this later and repost to tumblr, so feedback is welcome. I know it's a loaded issue without any easy solutions. I just want H50 fandom to be a happy place for everyone, and it's totally not right now. :/