K-pop has truly taken the world by storm, their hashtags trending hard on Twitter at any given time, and the legions of fans ready to support their biases whenever they take the stage. People share their love on social media, imitating dances, making song covers, and supporting one another with their shared enjoyment of the media. This is the pure, wholesome side of k-pop that I agree with, even if I’m not into it myself. They’re just having fun and liking what they like. It’s cool. Everyone has something they enjoy.
But what gets scary is when you anger the K-pop fans.
As soon as you make a mean-spirited comment about someone’s bias, the rage comes in waves. People with k-pop profile pictures and hangul usernames begin to flood you with anger, taking the comment personally–as if it were directed at them instead. Their dedication and love for their idols are almost synonymous with their own love of self that the intensity with which they fight back is almost awe-inspiring if not for how scary it is. They can flip a switch as soon as someone talks crap about their favorite group or idol.
I jokingly tweeted once about how under every viral tweet, there are at least ten k-pop fancams in the replies. Something along the lines of “every tweet that goes viral has fancams in the replies and it’s amazing.” And I tweeted this harmlessly, in jest. But when I checked Twitter again ten minutes later, I’d been spammed by angry k-pop fans questioning why I wasn’t just minding my business, why I hated them, why I was so mad about it, etc. Which, by the way, were things I’d never said nor insinuated. My joke-tweet had been twisted and misconstrued so intensely that I was suddenly under fire and my mentions were full of dancing idols and angry words.
Thankfully it didn’t blow up too bad, I’d deleted the tweet immediately and as soon as I did, it died down. It wasn’t until then that I felt the intensity of k-pop fans firsthand. I’d heard about it through stories from other people, how my friend who’s into the fandom sometimes stresses out because of some of its unspoken rules (apparently within one group you’re only allowed to have one favorite or something? But this I have not verified with others, so take it with a grain of salt). Another friend once wrote about how she shipped certain k-pop idols and she was attacked because people disagreed vehemently.
But their intensity should not be taken as a bad thing. Remember when they spammed #AllLivesMatter? Powerful. Using their propensity to come together for good and knocking down people who were trying to downplay the Black Lives Matter movement was a move that not a lot of people predicted, but a welcome turn of events. There really is power in how a group with common interests can really band together with the same goal. And despite my fear of how intense they are, I respect them still. They’re so dedicated to their fandom and it reflects in how they revere their idols.
Ultimately, this intensity, when directed to the good, can be incredibly powerful. When it’s directed towards someone they’re angry at, it can be scary. I’m just glad I learned the error of my ways early on. I respect k-pop fans greatly and am often jealous of the community they’ve built together, how they can start and end their day enjoying the music and content they love with others who love the same thing.
So more power to you, k-pop fans!