An illustration of the author wearing a face mask and the text "Black Lives Matter" in a speech bubble

Toxic Fandom

If you spend any time on the internet, you will not be surprised to know that there are groups of toxic fans. These fans think that any critique of whatever they are fans of is heresy, and that anything that might be competition is terrible.

What these fans don’t realize is how important critiques are in getting better. We all should be more willing to critique the things we love and enjoy, because if those we cheer on just charge ahead blindly, they’re likely to stagnate and eventually fade into obscurity.

Competition helps push us to get better and reach farther, and often the greatest gains can be had by working collaboratively with your competition to build something even greater. By attacking others, we only lay the foundation and justification for others to attack us, and the likelihood of sustained success increases further.

And the lessons that toxic fans need to learn are the same lessons that we need to learn about our own organizations, businesses, and things we love.

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