We’ve all become a little obsessed with some cult film or TV show at some point. You know how it goes – you can’t think of anything else so you start researching every actor and actress, the director, where it was filmed, and suddenly you know everything about the show.
So instead of just enjoying the show, as is, you think: “It’s so good! How could this be it?”
Cue the fan theories.
We’ve all read them. Shows like Lost and Game of Thrones are particularly strong examples of fan attachment to television shows. “They were dead the whole time!” “The island represents purgatory!” “Jon Snow is a Targaryen!”
When is too much too much, though?
Are we ruining story telling? A recent article on WIRED, regarding fan theories and everyone’s new favourite sci-fi show Westworld, suggested that access to various social platforms that has given us the means to virally share theories and ideas is destroying the original story matter itself; that we can’t just enjoy the thing we’re watching.
So is social media ruining TV?
We would have to disagree. With access to these television shows around the world, and online arenas to talk about them, something really cool happens – the world stops caring about your background or who you are.
You suddenly share this common interest and you are interested in hearing (or reading) what others have to say. You might even disagree with them, but instead of shunning them, you might offer up an alternative theory.
Really, fan theories are this amazing form of worldwide collaboration. Globally people are sharing and engaging, agreeing and disagreeing. It’s a conversation.
The way people share fan theories and engage in social threads is one of the ways in which we remember why we love social media.
So let’s just keep sharing!