” A fan has a right to be treated with respect and establish boundaries.
Especially if the artist and fan are engaging in activities that are outside the
relationship dynamic. Artist and fan relationships are typically unbalanced,due to the fact that the fan is the one really interested in the other person. Fans have the right to ask for behavior to stop without being bullied. “-Mia Valente, 2019
With social media we are interacting with others world wide including people we are fans of. This could be an artist, actor, writer, motivational speaker, politician etc. So what are the boundaries? Is there a position really fair for both parties? Remember these are power imbalance relationships in real life and online. Though online though we loose that personal connection and we think behaviour online does not go without consequences and legally it does not. However, slowly it is becoming illegal to act in cruel ways online. So, in this day and age of social media how do we establish fair boundaries- between individuals in the public eye and fans?
While in my opinion the boundaries should be the same as in real life, minimal contact and if the dynamics change then the fan and artist have rights to establish fair boundaries for themselves.
I learned a hard but amazing lesson if you read ” A personal post of self worth. http://sexyfearlessfierce.com/2019/04/07/a-personal-post-of-self-worth/ ” learn exactly what happened and how I was cyber bullied by a public figure for saying no and by establishing fair boundaries for myself by asking him not to return my writing and to follow through on a professional obligation and for him to stop calling me “Hey babe”in which he made me out to be obsessive fan and while confronting the behaviour I found out I was being deliberately mislead about him supporting me too, even though he told me he did. The entire time this influencer artist who again I was a fan of lied to keep me engaging with him because I was improving his brand on social media.
Imagine a 13 year old dealing with their parents this or a 19 year old with suicidal tendencies dealing with this and they end their lives. The entire experience really was stressful and I actually went to seek professional help to process it all. I made the wrong choice in entrusting an online persona I did not know really so easily, not establishing clear boundaries and exceptions at the beginning with him and by engaging in an unfamiliar world, for just wanting to be heard.
My friends and family asked me: So Mia, what are you gonna do about it ? I said turn it into a positive, empowering message. Again it is not about the artist (him) and I do not hate him at all. I have a lot compassion for him as how do we both navigate parasocial relationships and there other things. It is much bigger. This is a new trend how influencers (aspiring artists, actors etc are seeking fame) are being told by industry professionals that having a large social media following is an absolute to getting roles or job opportunities. The way to get a following is by engaging with fans on social media as if they were friends, comrades this helps establish a brand. I did a google search and there are tons of articles there many articles on how to engage with your fans on social media, to increase your Instagram followers, to increase your brand. It is legit a big game and it is fucking scary. Authenticity gone and integrity gone – I respect celebrities like Beyonce etc who do no sell to their follows, engage with fans except in concerts etc and give back. Fans are not friends and public figures should not be engaging or participating in any activities outside that dynamic like working on an article together, adding each other on facebook. If they are engaging in activities outside that dynamic then the public figure has no right to bully their fans and treat them in a disrespectful manner and vice versa. It becomes a balanced relationship.
Here are some of the articles I found in my google searches:
With this new age of social media, boundaries must be established between a fan and public figure (any type) or do not engage with your followers beyond the fan- public figure dynamic and fans think twice before interacting. It is good to brand yourself, but you cannot use the people support you.
As a fan, I have changed my boundaries.
I am sure it hard for influencers, celebrities too as some fans are really unreasonable. I have only compassion it is hard to navigate parasocial relationships.
My end thoughts:
Was it worth it for him, the artist to lie to me to keep an imagine on social media and for me not believing in me fully and seeking to be heard from strangers instead of my love ones? In the end, he lost all my respect and my support regardless and for me it almost cost me my inner peace.
We need clear legal and social boundaries in place on social media for both fans and individuals in the public eye or else parties can really be damaged and there could be devastating consequences.
Be social media smart people.