It’s not a phase, it's a lifestyle mom! Lol, okay, so it’s a fan group but in today's culture fandoms can mean so much more. With depression and anxiety in young people at an all-time high, having a safe space where you can express yourself to the fullest extent is needed. This is where fandoms come in.
Fandoms give adolescents a sense of community. As we get older, we’ll often hear that friends are the family you pick, which could not be truer. Friends are the people we lean on when we feel like we can’t turn to our biological family, but not everyone finds their friends in traditional settings. Some kids really struggle to connect with their peers at school and may not be interested in the extracurricular activities available outside of class. Fandoms have given these teens another place to interact with like-minded individuals around their same age.
What really makes fandoms special is that they start with an individual's interest. If you are really into groups like One Direction, the Jonas Brothers, Selena Gomez, or so many others, there is a fandom out there for you. The only prerequisite these groups require is that you genuinely love these artists as much as they do! Being a part of these groups can help an adolescent create their family or chosen community, instill confidence, and help them feel loved and seen.
Julia Michaels talks a lot about creating a "safe space" at her shows for her fans who suffer from anxiety and depression. One time, she told a story to Glamour about Benny Blanco, one of her producers, helping her through a panic attack. She saw this moment as the beginning of her starting to overcome her battles with anxiety and depression, saying “all it takes is one person to listen. To care. To make you feel like you’re not crazy.” This is exactly what fandoms give to their fans. For so many young fans these collectives are their Benny Blanco.
As with most fandoms their ‘game day’ is when they get to see their favorite act in
person. With The Band understands this need to connect and sees the power concerts can have. Music is already known to be healing. With The Band wanted to create a way to heal and connect its members by creating fan meetups as well as fan projects, because we truly know the amazing benefits of being in a fan community. But don’t just take out word for it! Dr. Laurel Steinberg, a psychotherapist, and professor of psychology at Columbia University spoke to Teen Vogue and said, "belonging to a fandom group helps adolescents connect to other like-minded youths on social media throughout the year, as well as at concert events. Feeling like you are part of a group can help one define his/her identity and give a sense of purpose to what might be an otherwise routine lifestyle."
Without fandoms, we would see even more adolescents tackling the constraining feelings of anxiety and depression. However, with finding your people, weight can begin to feel like it is lifting from your shoulders. Everyone needs a community where they feel loved and accepted for who they are but most importantly they feel acknowledged.
If you want to be a part of a fan project or get connected through fan meetups, download our app “With The Band” on the Apple app store!