Talking about Fandom: the Feels

In fandom there is the term “feeling” which is shortened to “feels”. It is that moment when you feel overwhelmed by something. You may call it sadness but it’s different kind of sadness. It’s just difficult to describe so we simply call it “feels”.

If you want to see some examples, I once wrote a post entitled “Jleb” Harry Potter Moments. Yeah, it’s quite similar to “jleb” in Indonesian.
However, no matter how overwhelming it is, we often intentionally hit ourselves with “feels”. Here are two examples. Harry Potter fans know that Fred Weasley’s death was sad but they still search in the internet for meme or fanfic or anything related to it, only to get struck with “feels” afterward. My Chemical Romance fans can get “feels” only by listening to any of their song but still, they listen to the songs, watch the videos on YouTube, watch past interviews, or read old articles. 
Why do we do that? Is it like when we fall in love? I mean, when we fall in love, we experience increase of dopamine and oxytocin. According to Marieb and Hoehn (2013), dopamine is “feel good” neurotransmitter; the ecstasy of romantic love may be just a brain bath of glutamate and norepinephrine, which act on the reward system to release dopamine. Oxytocin, on the other hand, promotes nurturing, couple bonding, and trust.
1. Is our feeling in fandom similar to those of people who fall in love? Or is it just obsession?
2. If it’s because of dopamine, why do we feel this strange emotion? Dopamine is supposed to make us feel good, right? Why do I feel miserable instead?
3. How long does it normally last?
Well, I guess for those who are not in fandom, it may sound like we punish ourselves. However, for people involved in fandom, it’s just a normal activity. We sometimes even think, “I’m in the good mood for sad fanfic. Let me search and read. Don’t disturb me while I’m suffering with this mess called ‘feels’!”
Also, if you’re interested in learning neurology, psychiatry, and fandom psychology, I have those three questions above. You may use it for research idea or something. 

16 thoughts on “Talking about Fandom: the Feels

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