The Secret of a Fangirl: How the Internet Raised Me

An iPod. That's where it started for me. I discovered Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, and Wattpad and never looked back. When I received my first iPod in 6th grade, my life changed forever. Maybe this is a slightly dramatic claim, but it does contain truth. My sense of humor, my personality, how I spoke, and the extent to which I liked things were all immensely influenced by the internet. The first fandom my malleable middle school mind latched onto was none other than that of One Direction. Overpriced concert t-shirts and far too many magazines plastered with the band members' faces stuffed in my closet tell you I was a bonafide Directioner in the band’s prime era. Cringe, chuckle, or click out of this article all you want, but how could I not? Harry Styles circa 2012 could probably scientifically be proven the most adorable human to exist. 

It got to the point that I waited in line overnight on the sidewalks of New York City to see One Direction play approximately 5 songs. This obsession was kind of a problem. And it continued to go strong for about two years after that. After being in the midst of this fanaticism, I realized how much my own passion had shaped me. It's why I am who I am today. I found that I didn't really care about the 'real world' anymore because the fan world was so much more exciting. I didn't really have anything to talk about if not for One Direction. In consequence, I slowly drifted away from friends who weren't 'fangirls.' I made a friend in 7th-grade through bonding over One Direction fan fiction! This former obsession is probably the reason why I continue to wait for 5 hours in line (more reasonable?) for The 1975 general admission concerts or why I don't think it's weird at all to meet up with people from the internet in real life. (Such as the Lithium anniversary party!) Thankfully, my One Direction phase is long gone, but its impact is not lost.

By Amanda Gordon

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