If you’re reading this article on this blog, you’re probably in a fandom. And if you’re in a fandom, you’ve most likely been obsessed with something. I can’t even remember how long I’ve been obsessing over things. I was obsessed with Harry Potter when I was 13-14, a certain singer when I was 15, A Series of Unfortunate Events when I was 18, a rock band when I was 20 and now Supernatural and some anime shows.
What does being obsessed mean in the fandom world? It means liking something… A LOT. It means that everything you like to think and talk about is the thing, every song you listen to relates to the thing, the last thing you think when you go to bed is the thing and you wish you had a friend to talk about the thing 24/7. Is it healthy? YES. Despite what skeptic adults might think, obsessions are OK as long as you know the limits and you’re not doing any harm to yourself or to others.
But how do you go from just liking something to being obsessed with it? Of course, every obsession is different for every person, but they all have some things in common.
The “Hey, I should check this out” stage
To get into something, first you have to know it exists (duh!). It’s likely that you’ve heard your friends talk about it, heard it on the news or saw it on Tumblr. Sometimes you have already known the thing for a long time but didn’t actually start consuming it until later. This is the step when you finally decide to give the thing a try.
The “I like the thing” stage
OK, you’re liking it. You think you could actually watch this regularly because the characters are likeable and you like the plot that has been presented to you. You think you could be a potential casual viewer.
The “one more episode” stage
Oh wow, you actually like this! You want to watch the whole thing and maybe you could even buy some merchandise after you’re done with it because you really like that character and you would like to see more. Maybe you start tracking the tag on Tumblr, but careful, no spoilers!
The “HOLY CRAP THIS IS ADDICTIVE” stage
This is it. You know it, you can’t deny it any longer. This shit is addictive and you’re considering pausing everything else: every book, every tv show and every other thing that you were planning on doing will have to wait because you REALLY want to know what happens to these characters like RIGHT NOW.
The “HELLO NEW FANDOM, GOODBYE REAL LIFE”
That’s it. You’ve watched the whole thing. You want some merch, you have an OTP, you want to see all the memes and watch all the crack and amv available. Oh yeah, and maybe you’ll go on AO3 or follow more blogs dedicated to it on Tumblr. Hello new fandom, I’m here to stay. Goodbye real life, I have one more hobby to dedicate my life to.
Of course, not everything you watch and enjoy ends up being an obsession. Sometimes you like the thing but it doesn’t motivate you as much so you end up dropping it. Sometimes you like it but you don’t feel the need to watch everything straight away. And, sometimes, you’re deep in it and looking like this before you can even say “help”:
The worse thing about obsessions is that they break into your life all of a sudden and erase any other things you were planning to do. In my case, I wanted to finish The Walking Dead and get into a lot of TV shows. I wanted to read two books and I wanted to work on some other articles this week. But OH NO, that anime show that I had been planning to see for so long has suddenly burst into my life and dragged me to their fantasy world. In this case, I’m talking about One Piece, which has over 600 episodes. Sorry Penny Dreadful, Hannibal and Arrow, you’ll have to wait. And maybe you will eventually become an obsession too!
What about you? What were the shows that broke into your life making you pause everything else?