How fans’ obsessions can turn toxic

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Spider Man has been played by Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield and Tom Holland.

Alyssa Smith, Social Media Manager

 

 In a society where so many things are polarized, many find it silly to pit celebrities against each other over trivial things. Unfortunately, debates have been sparked as a result of the release of “Spider-Man: No Way Home”. 

The recent release of  “Spider-Man: No Way Home” was an immediate success and left fans excited. Many took to social media to share their thoughts on the two previous Spider-Mans, Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, being included in the film alongside Tom Holland, the current Spider-Man. While many were just happy to see all three Spider-Mans share the screen, some saw this as an opportunity to debate who the best Spider-Man is. 

Twitter has become a battleground for Marvel fans to bicker about who is the best Spider-Man and why. Although many continue to debate, some fans would rather not pick a favorite and celebrate all the actors’ unique films and achievements. 

Some believe all these debates do is create unnecessary tension between celebrities and only make it harder for actors to do their jobs.

With the debates growing popular on social media, some have begun to imagine how this might affect the cast. Senior Callista Hawbaker sympathized with the actors. ¨I think everyone debating over the best spider man could be hurtful to the cast. I feel like this could cause them to be insecure about their acting or feel worse about how they performed in their movie,¨ she said.

Fans were not the only ones to compare the three. On the movie’s press tour, many media outlets asked members of the cast who they thought was the best Spider-Man. 

Imaginably, when actors are asked this, it could make it awkward or difficult to answer without offending anybody, although it is meant to be fun.  

The comparison does not stop with just the characters they play on screen, however. Fans have taken a lot of interest into the Spider-Mans’ personal lives. 

Holland and co-star Zendaya, who currently plays MJ,Spider-Man’s love interest, were exposed as a couple in July due to paparazzi photos. Many had already speculated a relationship and immediately became infatuated with the pair once it was confirmed. 

Although at that point neither Holland or Zendaya had said anything publicly about their relationship, fans were quick to obsess about the pair. 

Now that the two have confirmed their relationship, fans and the media cannot get enough. Clickbait articles about break ups and videos analyzing every move they make in interviews have appeared all over social media.  

Their relationship was quick to be compared to Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone’s relationship. Stone played the love interest to Garfield´s Spider-Man. 

The fascination fans have with Holland and Zendaya’s relationship is another example of a parasocial relationship. A parasocial relationship is typically associated with celebrities where a fan puts time and effort into learning and loving a celebrity but the relationship is one-sided and the celebrity has no connection with the fan. 

TikTok and Twitter feature many videos of fans gushing over how the pair acts in interviews. Senior Mattie Moats has noticed some questionable fan behavior. “I do think some fans are in a parasocial relationship with them because they will watch their every movement and are completely involved in what they are doing,” she said. Assumptions about the relationship go viral and it becomes difficult to decipher what is real and what is fake. 

While it is enjoyable for many to learn about the pair’s relationship through interviews and articles, many argue that the obsession can quickly become unhealthy. “Parasocial relationships like the one people have with them (Holland and Zendaya) are unhealthy because people become so obsessed with people that are so far out of reach that they don’t really know them at all,” Moats expressed. 

While the majority of fans just like to appreciate their favorite actors and movies, there is a few who prefer to stir the pot. Many fans are encouraging others to be mindful of who and what they are talking about especially when they do not know these celebrities personally.