fandom conventions

cool-yubari:

realsocialskills:

On Tumblr, a lot of people seem to communicate happiness by exaggerated displeasure. Like, if a fic has made them sad or someone’s art is just *that good*, they’ll comment “SCREW YOU I DIDN’T NEED MY HEART ANYWAY” or something like that. But I’m always afraid to send things like that because I’m afraid it’ll be mistaken for genuine hate. What is a good way to make it clear that I actually really like what they do while keeping that sort of mock rage? Or should I just not bother?
realsocialskills said:
I don’t know, and actually I often have a lot of trouble telling whether someone is intending to complain about something or praise it when they’re talking that way.
Do any of y’all know how to tell the difference, and how to be clear about which one you mean?

cool-yubari said:

A large part of expressing distress in a way that it’s taken as a compliment is having a reaction that’s consistent with what the author was trying to do with their fic (or art, or whatever). For example, if they wrote about a beloved character’s agonizing death, and you’re crying, they succeeded in conveying how sad and moving this is. So “AAAH MY HEART, I HATE YOU, POOR EPONINE!” doesn’t meant “you horrible author, you” in a serious way. It means “I’m floored by how intensely you made me feel this.” That goes double if the author got their reader to empathize with characters that aren’t generally well liked, or see things from a different perspective. Extreme emotion or mock rage can emphasize how great an accomplishment it was to bring this particular reader around. “Wtf, I don’t even LIKE Filch but now I can’t even, what have you done to me?? *sobbing into pillow forever*” is a positive review, because it means the author made someone look at canon from a radically different angle and sympathize with a character they usually consider unpleasant.

Also, a significant part of what comments like this are geared to emphasize is the huge gulf between what the reader normally goes around feeling, and what they’re feeling as a result of reading this story. Some fanfics are written with the tone of a pleasant summer breeze, but some fanfics are intentionally emotional rollercoasters. Screaming and crying is a normal reaction to those. It’s not a sign that anyone seriously wants it to stop.

As a final note, if the author has reblogged other people who flail and yell about their stories with happy comments, you can generally assume they’re comfortable with this way of interacting. If all the other comments on a story that they’ve responded to are straightforwardly complimentary and you don’t know the author, it’s probably better to avoid leaving a mock-hate review. They might have issues that make that sort of talk stressful for them.

annabellecoeur:

realsocialskills:

On Tumblr, a lot of people seem to communicate happiness by exaggerated displeasure. Like, if a fic has made them sad or someone’s art is just *that good*, they’ll comment “SCREW YOU I DIDN’T NEED MY HEART ANYWAY” or something like that. But I’m always afraid to send things like that because I’m afraid it’ll be mistaken for genuine hate. What is a good way to make it clear that I actually really like what they do while keeping that sort of mock rage? Or should I just not bother?
realsocialskills said:
I don’t know, and actually I often have a lot of trouble telling whether someone is intending to complain about something or praise it when they’re talking that way.
Do any of y’all know how to tell the difference, and how to be clear about which one you mean?

annabellecoeur said:

Usually I’m close enough to the person that they know what I mean, but even then, I often tend to add a note in parentheses explaining just to make sure.

Either that or I rapidly flip back and forth between HATE and LOVE, both being aggressive in tone, provided the person doesn’t mind me being like that.

In the scenario anon talks about, I’d probably write something like “WOW REALLY WAS THAT NECESSARY HOW DARE YOU (that was so perfect omg I love it a lot I really do)”, that kind of thing. I hope that all made sense.

thegreatgodum:

realsocialskills:

On Tumblr, a lot of people seem to communicate happiness by exaggerated displeasure. Like, if a fic has made them sad or someone’s art is just *that good*, they’ll comment “SCREW YOU I DIDN’T NEED MY HEART ANYWAY” or something like that. But I’m always afraid to send things like that because I’m afraid it’ll be mistaken for genuine hate. What is a good way to make it clear that I actually really like what they do while keeping that sort of mock rage? Or should I just not bother?
realsocialskills said:
I don’t know, and actually I often have a lot of trouble telling whether someone is intending to complain about something or praise it when they’re talking that way.
Do any of y’all know how to tell the difference, and how to be clear about which one you mean?

thegreatgodum said:

You can never be 100% sure that your hyperbole will be understood. It’s half comical exaggeration and half context, so - if the person sounds much angrier/sadder than is usual (“and your little dog too”) or uses humorously extreme metaphoric language (“LITERALLY SHOOTING MYSELF INTO THE SUN RIGHT NOW”) AND the situation does not appear to call for anger/sadness (somebody has Done A Cute Fanart), it’s probably mock rage. Both of those things are extremely subjective - there might be someone out there for whom that situation does create anger, even if it’s just for personal association reasons. When you use hyperbole like this, you’re basically just making an educated guess that you’ve gone far enough and the situation is unambiguous enough that the odds are in your favour - it helps if you know your audience, as well, but I’d think the odds of anyone at all taking e.g. a threat to shoot anything into the sun seriously were fairly negligible.

But, basically, if a very small chance that you will be misunderstood is unacceptable, just don’t do the thing. Plenty of people communicate in more straightforward ways, even on tumblr, and you don’t need to participate in a trend if it’s going to stress you out. Honestly, I believe that worrying about being misunderstood is going to do more harm than the potential misunderstanding, but that in and of itself is a reasonable cause to avoid it in my opinion.

kingwiththekey:

realsocialskills:

On Tumblr, a lot of people seem to communicate happiness by exaggerated displeasure. Like, if a fic has made them sad or someone’s art is just *that good*, they’ll comment “SCREW YOU I DIDN’T NEED MY HEART ANYWAY” or something like that. But I’m always afraid to send things like that because I’m afraid it’ll be mistaken for genuine hate. What is a good way to make it clear that I actually really like what they do while keeping that sort of mock rage? Or should I just not bother?
realsocialskills said:
I don’t know, and actually I often have a lot of trouble telling whether someone is intending to complain about something or praise it when they’re talking that way.
Do any of y’all know how to tell the difference, and how to be clear about which one you mean?

kingwiththekey said:

In my experience, certain things will almost always clue in to it being a positive response. The example “SCREW YOU I DIDN’T NEED MY HEART ANYWAY” is a good one because “I didn’t need my heart anyway” always means that something has been good. This is usually part of communicating that the thing has made them feel an intense emotion, that could be perceived as negative, but in a positive way. These all refer to situations where the subject matter has been potentially angsty.

  • “I didn’t need my heart anyway”
  • “This hurts me”
  • “No, go sit in the corner and think about what you’ve done”
  • “Literally crying”
  • “You’ve killed me, I am now dead”
  • “I was not prepared.”
  • “Slow down”
  • “You need to not”
  • “Just stop.”
  • “This hurts my soul”
  • “I’m done, I’m so done”
  • “I can’t even”
  • “I’ve lost the ability to even with this”
  • “You took my ability to can.”

Those all indicate, in every instance I’ve seen them used, that the person saying it is meaning to praise the thing. Generally speaking any reference to the following will do the same:

  • my feels
  • flailing.
  • fangirling
  • wailing
  • tears
  • my heart
  • use of the word “ow”
  • dead

These are usually combined with several other phrases, usually very explicitly aggressive ones, like “screw you,” “fuck you,” “what’s wrong with you?” and those sorts of things. There are a few phrases that can be in a grey area, but when combined with the rest are usually clear, things like “What gave you the right?” are common. 

Grammatically odd structures like “I am cry” and incomplete sentences like “so much pain” are used in this way to further indicate the lack of serious, literal meaning to these responses in favor of specific subculture meaning.

These types of messages also usually contain needless capitalization and fairly meaningless superlatives, like “omg” “whoa” and other expressions of disbelief/strong emotion: “fucking hell,” “holy fuck,” etc.

Indicating some action you’re theoretically doing by putting the words between dashes or astrices is something that is usually done at the same time and good for making it clear as well. Such as:

  • *crying*
  • *dies*
  • -flailing-
  • -fangirling-
  • *rolls into the floor*

These things are all exaggerated expressions of emotion that are expected and legitimized in terms of tumblr culture.

A slight variation on this is using sarcasm in tone, while still using dramatic language, like “No, that’s okay, you can totally stab me in the heart with these feels. That’s fine” or “Nope, not crying at all. That’s fine, I didn’t need a heart” or “Welp, I’m dead. *Flies off into the sun*.” or “Well fuck you too then” but that last one is risky, and really, really needs the word “too” and is best expressed in the tags after reblogging or in a reply to the post, not in a message about the post.

So, some practical examples of how to put this together would be:

Situation A: A person has written something very angsty about your OTP

Sample message 1: OMG! OWOWOWOWOW! MY HEART! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU???

Sample message 2: That’s alright, not like I needed my heart for anything anyway. You can totally just stab me right in the feels. Not like I wanted to do anything but cry and flail today.

Sample message 3: FUCK YOU TOO! I AM DEAD AND I WILL NEVER RECOVER! WHO GAVE YOU THE RIGHT TO MAKE SOMETHING LIKE THIS?!

Sample message 4: -flailing- MY HEART -rolls out the window-

Situation B: A person has posted a screenshot of something very emotional on a show you watch and added song lyrics to make it more emotional.

Sample message 1: OMG HOW DARE YOU? *crying* MY HEART!

Sample message 2: WHOA FRIEND SLOW THE FUCK DOWN!!!! 

Sample message 3: owwwwwwwwwww -sniffles- god it hurts.

The other main time that this custom is used is to express that someone has simply done something well/is something very good and you are jokingly jealous and/or angry about their talent. In this case, we see more expressions of anger and disbelief. 

  • “Oh my fucking god, you did that with an ink pen??? Holy fuck!”
  • “Fuck you and your artistic talent.”
  • “I hate you! How the hell did you write something that perfect?!”

The trick to using this successfully is to be very specific (like adding the “and your artistic talent”) and over use praise words about the actual work (perfect, amazing, wow, etc)

  • “Fuck you and your perfect shading!”
  • “Oh my god I am so jealous just stop okay you’re amazing just no.”
  • “I fucking hate you your gorgeous fucking human being with your perfect smile.”

Those are a few examples of how to use that in different situations, the first being about shading of a drawing, the second being a generic work of some kind, and the third being about a person’s looks. The third is less common, but it does happen. 

It took me a while to pick this up, but I seem to have been using it successfully for some time now and I haven’t run into any problems using the things I included. I hope this helps. And I’m sorry this ran on for so long, goodness gracious I had a lot to say. 

realsocialskills said:

Thank you for explaining. Most of this makes a lot of sense to me, although I think there is a lot I still do not understand about this idiom.

I’ve also seen some of those phrases used actually-negatively, particularly:

  • “I’m done, I’m so done”
  • “I can’t even”
  • “I’ve lost the ability to even with this”