Insights: A Column, Issue 4


Josh Click, Photography Editor

   Twitter stans, obsessed fan accounts, and any other type of socially-accepted online stalking needs some serious toning down. After a quick trip to Twitter, one can find a fan page account dedicated to practically any movie star, YouTuber, Twitch streamer, or any other person in the public light. It has become clear as day that these mega fans, or “stans,” need to learn boundaries and common etiquette in parasocial relationships.

   According to National Public Radio (NPR), the term “stan” originated from the song “Stan” by Eminem, in which a fictional obsessee named Stan is driven to suicide after fantasizing a relationship with the rapper. When calling someone a stan, it refers to a person who has taken a parasocial relationship to an obsessive level, to the point where it resembles a stalker (

   Stereotypically online, these individuals create accounts on different internet platforms and share their often extreme opinions related to their idols. These posts put these people on a pedestal, reflecting the almost worship-like behavior these stans have toward them. Stans also have a tendency to sexualize or infantilize these celebrities or artists. They contribute to a toxic fanbase who share the same opinions, making this behavior all too socially acceptable.

   Super-fans are no strangers to crossing boundaries. In 2020, for example, after speculations of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un’s death (which were quickly debunked), Stan Twitter decided to take this opportunity to put the tyrannical leader’s daughter in the spotlight, according to the Telegraph ( Contrary to their beliefs, she is not a “slay queen,” she’s conventionally attractive. She’s not a “girl boss,” she’s just a nepotism baby. I shouldn’t have to explain why it’s wrong to romanticize the daughter of a tyrannical leader just because she is pretty. This fan behavior isn’t limited to just romanticization.

   In 2017, according to Teen Vogue, Artist CupcakKe was harassed off Twitter after posting sexual tweets about K-pop Artist Jungkook. A group of his fans sent death threats to CupcakKe while simultaneously attacking her weight and figure ( The argument could be made that she sent an inappropriate and boundary-crossing tweet first, but attempting to compare demands for someone to end their life to a catcall or out-of-touch compliment is simply delusional. Neither side is innocent, but the fans’ response was unwarranted.

   Please, continue supporting your favorite artists and creators. However, do not forget that these celebrities are, at the end of the day, human beings. Holding someone to such high standards leads to idealized and unrealistic perceptions. Online users, particularly “stans,” need some lessons on how to treat real, grown human beings.