Let’s just alllll clear the air here – there are things that almost all of us are guilty of doing at one point or another that are unproductive and, in the grand scheme of things, eye-roll worthy. We’ve all done something in this fandom that annoyed each other, that was out of line, etc. – ourselves included.
We’ve toyed with writing this post before but when alluding to it, people have asked “why give attention to it?” and we agreed. As with most things among Backstreet fans, they’re in an uproar about it one day and quiet about it the next. Because of some fans who think WHOTB is always “telling people what to do”, sugarcoating everything, acting privileged, etc. (and still read everything we post apparently… hi!!), we are especially hesitant to post anything like this. [It took us a week to finish this post and it seems more relevant than ever at this moment]
But sometimes, shit just needs to be said. The annoying shit needs to be called out and we all need to grow up and get a grip. 98% of the time, being a BSB fan is nothing short of AH-mazing, but the 2% it’s not is enough to drive a person crazy. And we totally understand the frustration and anger behind some things – we feel the same way sometimes, but most of the time, there’s better ways to handle it. Sometimes, it’s about things that don’t need to be handled at all. Sometimes it’s just a matter of not knowing where to direct the grievance. Sometimes it’s a matter of knowing what to post and what to keep to yourself. And we’re not the only ones who feel that way. We’ve spoken to many of you – publicly and privately – and all of it just needs to be aired out. We started WHOTB as an honest communication about all things Backstreet and at some point, we got too concerned with what others thought. It stops here.
This post is not telling you what to do. We’re guilty of some of these as well and the first step to change is admitting. For some, it’s therapeutic to know you’re not alone, you’re not being an asshole, and you’re validated. For others, you’re going to have a different opinion and that’s OKAY (duh). We invite all opinions and discussions to our inbox! To be clear, this post is not to address those who are simply sharing opinions – it’s to address the repeated complaints and mental drains. If you don’t see it among the people you interact with, that’s GREAT! But we do. And if we do, the Boys surely do. That’s where it gets embarrassing for everyone.
So, here are the things we, as fans, should maybe stop wasting so much energy on…
1. Trolling of ANYONE in the comments of a Backstreet Boy’s social posts.
Since the days on Angelfire and writing letters to a P.O. Box, there have been fangirls (and boys) who cite free speech as a reason to say whatever they want about anyone else, including any opinion they have about everything from the way a Backstreet Boy is living his life to who he married to which fans he chooses to engage with, etc.
Since the invention and rise of social media, it has only gotten worse. While the most vocal of fans are few, they are unfortunately the loudest. Look at any social media post that includes a Backstreet wife and you are sure to find multiple less than savory comments. Even without a wife, there are rude comments about the way someone looks, assumptions galore and arguments among fans.
Does no one else find this EMBARRASSING? First of all, Kevin, Brian, AJ, Howie and Nick read their comments. Second of all, you’re wasting your time. If you think that any of them are going to change their minds about something or someone because of your unsolicited opinion, you are sorely mistaken. In fact, you’re only making yourself look bad. Don’t like something? Don’t like and keep scrolling. Let people live their lives. Just because it’s on the internet does not make it your business.
It’s also worth mentioning that the wives and their children did not choose fame — lay off.
2. Feeling the need to argue with other fans all. the. time.
Inevitably, there’s always going to be something that sets you off every now and then that you can’t help but respond to (we do it all the time), but sparring with someone who you don’t agree with, especially in a public comment section, doesn’t help anyone. Intentions may be pure but it’s kind of like rubbing a wine stain into a white rug; you think you’re making it better, but it’s just drawing more attention to the bad shit.
It doesn’t matter where you’re from. Every region of fans has a tendency that annoys other fans. Whether you agree with something another group of fans is doing or not, it’s not anyone else’s place to ARGUE about what they should or shouldn’t be doing. Take care of yourself and how you behave because at the end of the day, that’s all you can control.
Want to turn a negative into a positive? Post something positive (and not so shady) that you can control. At the very least, post a positive comment instead of spewing directly at someone because they’re probably miserable anyway. Trust us — the reaction will be more favorable for everyone.
3. For the most part, caring what other fans think at all!
Does it hurt you? Is it causing actual harm to one of the Backstreet Boys, their families, their team, other fans, etc.? If not, stay out of it.
People are always going to have their opinions and people are definitely going to have opinions you don’t agree with. There is absolutely no point in arguing who is right and who is wrong when there is usually no right or wrong to it. If you have the right to vent, so does everyone else, whether you like it or not. Of course, there is a classy way to do it and there is a crass way to do it. There’s productive and constructive and then there’s hateful and useless. There are choices and most days, you can’t let other peoples’ choices affect you – like them or not.
We’ve also found it really useful to take it to private messages if something someone says bothers you. Sometimes trying to understand someone, without the influence of others, makes all the difference in the world.
4. Low key competing for attention from the Boys.
The Backstreet Boys have been around for 26 years and have millions of fans worldwide. Whether they know your name / face or not, they appreciate you and we think that they’ve made that very clear. Some of the things that fans have done for attention though is definitely not cute.
Be your own person. Be genuine. Be kind. You don’t have to constantly defend one of them online, copy a fan who seems to get a lot of attention from the Boys, or tweet them 43 times daily to win their favor. At the end of the day, Kevin, Howie, Brian, AJ and Nick try to make each one of us feel appreciated by sharing their talents and their work with us. They’re gracious when we see them in person and they put up with a LOT because they care about fans. Having a selfie or a birthday tweet isn’t everything.
5. Feeling lesser than because you didn’t get the same experience as someone else.
Please read this. There is no reason at any point in your existence as a Backstreet Boys fan that you should ever feel guilty or depressed because you didn’t have the same experience someone else did or as cute of a pose in your VIP photo as your friend or you didn’t get a rose from Nick or whatever the case may be. Please stop tainting your own really great memories because of what other people tell you happened in their own experience. Sometimes people lie and they stretch the truth to make themselves feel better about their own experience and it ends up making you feel worse.
Any moment that you felt alive at a Backstreet Boys concert, at an event, at a VIP, on a cruise, listening to their album in your car — that’s an experience to celebrate.
6. Demanding more, more, more.
Seriously, what the hell. They can’t announce or finish ANYTHING without multiple people asking them to do something else, somewhere else.
Meet and Greet is never long enough. (That they don’t even have to offer)
They never take enough selfies. (That they don’t have to stop to take)
They never sing the song you want them to sing or they sing the song you hate everytime. (They have 26 years of music with only so much time to make everyone happy)
They never tweet you. (They don’t have to tweet at all)
They weren’t in a good mood and ignored you when you ran into them at their hotel. (What?)
NEWSFLASH: The Backstreet Boys are humans. They are performers, but they are also grown men who just want a cup of coffee without being bothered sometimes. They offer meet and greet so that fans now have the opportunity that they didn’t have in 1999. 10 year old you is living the dream, whether it’s 30 seconds or not. When you have 100+ fans who want (and “deserve” as people like to say) the op to meet them, they can’t spend 5 minutes with every person, but they’re AS NICE AS POSSIBLE.
If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it 100 times – enjoy what we have because complaining sure as hell isn’t getting us anywhere. And it’s definitely not making sacrificing time out of their lives to do a job that takes them away from 2 years any more attractive. Can’t we try to make this pleasant?
7. Acting as if we have any kind of ownership of the Backstreet Boys just because we chose to spend money on an event.
Whether you’ve been to one VIP M&G / event or 125, YOU. DON’T. GET. INPUT. ON. HOW. IT’S. RUN. Whether you’ve been to one concert or 234, you don’t get to choose the set list or the ticket pricing.
If you don’t like how things are run or a particular show or event, don’t go. Can you suggest things that might make things better to the appropriate people or ask other fans what they think? Of course! But if you keep paying hundreds of dollars then come home to complain online about your experience or take jabs at something, then show up again two nights later, that’s on you.
8. Being a know-it-all.
Kevin, Howie, AJ, Nick, and Brian’s business is their business. Acting like you know something that isn’t public knowledge isn’t cute. If you do know something that isn’t public knowledge, you shouldn’t be talking about it on the internet anyway. If you’re a fan who is calculating things and posting about them even though it’s something that 1) isn’t confirmed and 2) isn’t your business to tell, for the love of God, stop.
There are times that fans will say things before they’re announced on a hunch or because of a leak. We’ve been guilty of it before too. We all get so excited for all new things Backstreet! But there is a LOT of work that goes into every announcement the BSB make and it’s not fair to them or everyone who works with them on it to ruin it for them or for other fans.
And if it’s about their personal lives… WHY is that ANYONE’s business? Stay out of it. Geez.
9. Thinking that Kevin, Howie, Brian, AJ or Nick owe you anything.
See #7. These Boys go to work and their work happens to make us exceedingly happy. As much as we’d like to think seeing them in person 57 times makes us all friends, it doesn’t. Does it make us friendLY? Of course. These guys are five of the NICEST, most humble guys that you will ever meet and a lot of times, they go above and beyond for us. We couldn’t be more grateful.
But they don’t us their off days, their personal lives, their time… just because we’ve invested parts of our lives (and money) into them. They don’t expect us to spend everyday of our lives doing something for them. We can love them, we can be their biggest fans, and still give them room to breathe like normal human beings.
10. Being (or at least trying to be) anything less than kind.
We know this post is a lot. We know it’s nothing new. We know that it can sound a little preachy and we’re sorry if you’ve taken it that way. We love this fan-mily and we love the Backstreet Boys and more than a few of us seem a little crumpled and disgruntled lately so here we are, laying it all out — airing out the dirty laundry, if you will. The best way to move forward is to acknowledge the bad stuff and grow from it, so that is what we’re doing.
If you’ve followed WHOTB for any length of time, you’ll know we’re all about love and kindness and gratitude. We’re all human, but we’re also all adults and we need to start acting like it. It starts with positivity. It begins and ends with the things you truly love and I think anyone reading this can agree that we’re here for the music. We’re here for the Backstreet Boys. Period.
It would be nice if we could also be here for each other. ❤