[info]Op-Ed: Somebody’s Watching…


Let’s say that someone asked you what you liked to do in your spare time and your response was:

I like to stalk.

How is anyone supposed to respond to an answer like that? I don’t know if you can, but in today’s K-pop industry, there are fangirls and fanboys who make it their priority to stalk their favourite idol from schedule to schedule. For these people, stalking is a full-time gig. Many people, including myself, find this a tad creepy, but is there anything wrong with it? Is the obsessed fan stalker a dangerous thing or not? In some cases, the stalker gives off the idea of someone sitting in the bushes with a pair of binoculars. In many criminal cases, this is exactly what stalking is defined as. But are there other, good-intentioned forms of stalking? I think that there just might be. The fans who follow their idols from schedule to concert to event are really just kids at hearts who want to feel closer to their idol and why not? Apart from being only slightly alarming, all these fans want to do is show their support.

These fans are called Sah Saeng Fans, which means basically that they follow the private lives of their favourite idols. They do things like pay $50 just to take a cab to a hair salon or cafe or shop where their favourite idol is. These people take things to the extreme, camping out in front of television stations and even sometimes the homes of idols. That is certainly extreme and well creepy, but I don’t think it’s dangerous. People will call these fans freaks and sick, but what have they done that is so wrong?


What may seem wrong to international K-pop fans is that in other places in the world there is a very large defining line called privacy. But in one of the most densely populated nations in the world, is privacy as applicable as it is in a large, spacious country like Canada, one of the least densely populated nations in the world? As well, by becoming an idol in a small, heavily populated country like Korea, one should understand that they will never ever have any privacy. A large part of becoming an idol is to always be in the spotlight, so where does privacy fit in that? Not to mention, these stalkers aren’t packing heat or looking to poison their favourite idols with super glue, they actually are fans. Should idols not be thankful that they are someone who inspires others and is held in high esteem? Fans are people too and they deserve to be respected as much as the next person. A person should not be put down because they have an unhealthy love of Super Junior or DBSK. Idols depend on the support of these fans, so why not give the stalker fans of the world a little love?

On the other hand, who has enough time to stalk their favourite star across the country? There should be a line at which to draw your stalking hobby. If you stalk your idol at their entertainment company, recording studio, the television station, that sounds okay. Once a person begins to camp outside an idol’s home, they should back off. While an idol is a public commodity in many senses, they do deserve some privacy. How would you feel if a bunch of girls stood outside your house and sang and screamed until you thought you might go crazy? There is a fine line between stalking for fun and hiding in the bushes with a pair of binoculars. You want to catch a glimpse of your favourite idol shopping, go right ahead. You want to catch a peek at whether your favourite idol dances to Liza Minnelli in their underwear, no way. A good fan is one who knows when to stalk and when to stay at home and write fan-fiction instead.

Stalking can be a hobby for some, though it may not be for you. What someone does in their spare time should bring them happiness and not be fodder for others to mock. Moreover, the fan is an integral part of the idol music business. Where would the idols of Korea be if fans didn’t stand around their recording studios screaming or following them from one recording to another? They wouldn’t be very popular idols at all. Whether it is creepy or not, stalking is a part of the Korean entertainment cycle. If you remove one part of the cycle, who or what will suffer?


source:soulbeats || cr:missemergency

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