The idol stan culture has always blurred the lines between the celebrity and the fans; the idols are more approachable and the constant dedicated engagement and involvement of fans in everything their idol does is something unique to idol stan culture.
They provide enjoyment, performances and inspiration, and the more successful they are as idols, the more people seem to expect them to lose their privacy, after all, they need to give back to fans who feed them, don’t they?
The famous owe the fans their fan service, after all, this is the life they have chosen, they are entertainers… our idols.
But there always exist some very clear lines that fans should never cross. Even celebrities have a right to privacy. It is true that the nature of their job means they will always be under the spotlight, their expectations of privacy would be less than the average person, but there exist certain rights the public shouldn’t invade.This applies to X1 and ONE ITs too, especially more so during this drought that we are experiencing.
All the content we have right now come from us fans, but not all of those content are freely given by our idols – and many a times we need to be discerning in what we are consuming.
This also extends to boycotting any content received from invasion of their privacy. Their private spaces – their homes, steal their things, or their private information should never be trespassed upon; they have the right to keep their communications private. When we see a new X1 picture, a video of them somewhere, information and leaks about their location – we should ask ourselves, where did this come from? Is this information publicly available? Do the boys know that it is out in public and are okay with it being spread? That is the main difference between a selca posted by a member’s cousin in instagram and a selca hacked from their cellphone. That is the difference between a photo taken when someone coincidentally runs into them in the street and a photo taken by following them incessantly everywhere they go like a shadow. In both examples, one of them trespasses into X1’s private sphere, the content is not freely given and it disturbs them and their lives.
Privacy for celebrities should start from fans themselves making these lines clearer.
We pay for their music, their photos, their concerts and fanmeets and during those times we have the right to enjoy our time with them and get our money’s worth, however, when we meet them on the streets, we should remind ourselves that they do not owe us anything.Most importantly, we ONE ITs do not own their free time nor did we ever purchase their free will. We should be grateful if they give us their signs or let us take their photos, we received them while X1 is on break, during their free time, and outside their working hours. We received something fans would often have to pay for, a fan service. When in such a position, put yourself in X1’s shoes. When consuming these contents online, we should always remain cognizant that their privacy is more important than our wish to see their faces, as much as we love them. We should not, even inadvertently, encourage sasaeng content. We should always be ready to report those who do.
Would all fans be this considerate?
When we truly love, we give without any expectations for that love to be returned, our acts would be sensitive, we wouldn’t want to harm people we love after all. It would be wonderful if in the future ONE ITs can be a fandom X1 will be proud of. We hope being with us doesn’t make X1 uncomfortable or make them fear us. Rather, let us be their friends, someone who will support them, they can rely on to be on their side always, someone they can trust. X1 are precious to us. When we invade their privacy and put them at risk, we lose that trust.
Even before their social media ban is lifted, and especially after they start getting busy again – we should remember to never support, even tacitly, any sasaeng activity, or any activity that encroaches on the basic expectation of privacy that they have.
For the rest of their lives fame will follow them, they will be hounded by reporters and people will always be interested, these are unavoidable, but as ONE ITs, we at least should be on X1’s side.
We should all be vigilant, block and report all content that invade their privacy, do not spread them – on social media, public forums or even private chat messages – no matter how tempted we are. The first steps taken to protecting X1 have always and should continue to come from the fandom.
ONE ITs, we rarely see them, but be careful to not get carried away, do not let your excitement cloud your judgement if we see them. Respect their personal space always and no matter the temptation, do not cross the line.
All of us fans are ONE family, with ONE goal, to protect X1, and we can do that together, as long as our hearts are ONE.
The cost of fame, shouldn’t cost them their safety and privacy, ONE IT won’t put X1 in harm’s way, this is our fandom’s promise to X1, a continuing promise.