The following is my own opinion and does not necessarily reflect those of the other Selective Hearing Staff or the site’s affiliates and partners.
If you have been involved in the idol fandom for any significant amount of time you are probably growing weary of the entire thing and are losing interest. That is understandable as it is hard to keep the flame alive, especially with the current boom and the influx of less than desirables that comes with an increase in popularity of a particular genre.
We all know that being part of the idol fan community comes with a few stigmas attached to them. Loli lover, borderline pedobear and weaboo come to mind immediately. Perhaps you who are tired of being in the fandom are sick of being associated with this small percentage of creeps, weirdos and uber-serious, stick in the mud Japanophiles who exist within the culture. Sadly that is a cross we all must bear together, so don’t be sad, as you are not alone.
I believe there are two more sensible reasons that one would quit the idol fandom:
- Real life commitments take priority (i.e. significant other, work, birth/death, etc.)
- The mentality and ideals of the fandom do not agree with your own line of thinking
Let’s look at the first reason. Obviously real life should always take priority over your idol hobby. If you plan on skipping out on a life-changing event like the birth of your child or your own wedding so you can see a bunch of Japanese idols prance around on stage; you have a rather unhealthy obsession and need to get your priorities straight.
If you are one who can manage the commitment it takes to dedicate yourself to the idol(s) of your choosing and still maintain some sort of grounding in the reality you live in outside the fandom, then good for you. You have epic multi-tasking skills. But there are some who do not, so do not ridicule those who decide to leave for the greener pastures of normalcy.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to live a life without being burdened by your fandom. Loving idols should be a complimentary part of your life, not the sole reason you were put on this planet.
Should you be lucky enough to find a real life idol of your own (i.e. a girlfriend or boyfriend or a Tenga) they may not be so into the whole idol thing as you. If your significant other is the rare breed who is as (or more) compulsive as you? Congratulations. I hope you have many hours of wonderful sex pretending the other is your oshi. Just don’t be screaming out your oshi’s name while you’re getting your “O FACE” on.
But, if you’re not that blessed, well you may have to give up the life depending on the tolerance of the one you are involved with. If that person truly loves you they can put up with idols. Remember, in a relationship its give and take so you’ll probably have to be dragged to something you may not be so into as well. (i.e. cat lovers conventions or cockfighting) But sacrifice for your idols must be made.
Perhaps you are considering quitting the fandom because your work/life balance is being affected. Those of us who work regular 9-5 jobs know that it is impossible to stay up on a weekday to watch a live stream of a concert or event without paying for it the next day. (Yet most of us still do it) Being up for close to 20 hours or more isn’t exactly the best for your health. If you’re a shift worker this may not affect you as badly, but there are probably some similar difficulties due to your odd hours of work.
Gainful employment funds your idol fix. Instead of outright giving up your fandom, maybe instead change your lifestyle to a more reasonable one that keeps you employed. Sure you might not be the first to see a bunch of stuff or be in on breaking news but what is more important to you? Is it a bunch of idols or a (hopefully) well-paying job that assists in providing the necessities of daily life? If you can’t decide it’s better to walk away and keep a roof over your head and food on the table.
Should you be part of the deceased you’re probably not reading this and are finally at peace.
Now that we have your possible life issues out of the way, let us look at the second reason for quitting the fandom. The actual fans themselves. The idol fan community as a whole is full of various individuals, and most people are level-headed and easy to get along with. Just as how it should be right?
Then there’s the other side of the coin who make up the small but very vocal minority. The ones whose actions make idol fandom look like some sort of insane asylum instead of a healthy community of like-minded individuals trying to enjoy idols and congregating in a friendly, civil manner.
I’m pretty sure you have run into these more “dedicated” of fans some time during your involvement in whatever circles you decide to jerk in. It’s inevitable that you will encounter these people and unfortunately there’s no way to completely avoid them.
Some of you out there probably don’t have the time or patience to put up with the EXTREME amount of bullshit that idol fandom generates on an almost daily basis. It takes a strong will and determination to not break your neck shaking your head at the stupidity.
How you handle these nut jobs and their “unique” ways of thinking about idols will determine whether you rage quit or gracefully deflect their self-involved, Kool-Aid induced ways and accept that this is a part of the fan culture.
For some of you who are strictly dedicated to one group of idols, organization or label it may mean you will need to exile yourself due to the shifting attitudes of the general fan population. It’s better to walk away instead of arguing on the Internet or rid yourself of those who are unable to have a discussion that isn’t blinded by rose-colored glasses.
In some cases this may include abandoning forums, chat rooms and other social media you once called home for the sake of your sanity and to retain some semblance of what once made you part of the community.
I think many of us who have been in the game for a while have considered quitting and finding something less stressful to be a part of like Fight Club or volunteering to be a police dog training dummy or becoming a test lab patient. If you haven’t considered it at least once or twice you’re most likely lying to yourself or are in denial of what you are involved in.
Whatever reason you consider for quitting you don’t have to leave forever. We all need a break from the hobbies we love once they become more of a grind than a pleasure. You can always come back if you feel the itch or something else stimulates the loins of your idol passion.
But if you decide to take your ball, go home and retire from the fandom completely, more power to you. I hope you at least make one trip Japan and see some idols in their native habitat before you hang up the gloves.