August 15, 2013 - submitted by Stephanie, Australia

Q. Hello Oracle, hope you are well.
I was talking to a friend of mine a few weeks ago, and we were arguing over what makes you a fan. She claimed that you are a true fan if you follow their tweets, and always know where they are and who with. I myself disagree with this, I think that celebrities should have their privacy respected, and that not by doing this you are still a fan. We then continued, and went into detail about what makes a person a real fan. So my question is, what makes a person a real fan. Is it by following everything to do with them, and basing your life around them, only after you have all their records, or been to a concert?
Thank you.

The Oracle replies:

I'm going to be evasive here as I have seen quite a few people bickering over who is a a bigger/better fan... don't let anyone dictate what being a fan means to you; it's up to YOU!
Fan is short for fanatic and by definition that means something extreme. However, over time the word has come into its own meaning. If you support a football team or whatever, that's being a fan whether you go to matches or not.

I think of myself as a fan if I like anything be it an artist's music or a film director. That doesn't mean I have to become a walking encylopedia and know every fact. I don't need to be tested or take a Mastermind type quiz to grade my level of commitment. For example, I may be a fan of a certain band but that doesn't means I know all the members name or their history - I just love the music.
All I will say is fandom should not be a competition so to me owning their records and going to a gig if I can is enough but there's nothing to prove.
I agree with you, Stephanie. I prefer whatever I am an enthusiast of to have their privacy. They don't owe me anything. If anything, it's the other way around for me. Music brings me so much that I am forever indebted to my musical heroes.