Deceptive Assumptions

I’ve seen people claim characters are “worthless” and have no interest because they rely on a mix of their nostalgia/echo chambers and confirmation bias. They look at the tip of an iceberg and think the rest doesn’t exist. They imagine what’s above the surface is all there is to see.

Culture and the web of human behavior is far more vast, intricate and involved than people often believe. You might write a story. Nobody seems to care. It seems to be garbage. Then 15 years later, you find out someone loved it, and it inspired them to write too. You might give someone directions, unaware doing so allowed them to land a job which then led to people they helped in that job going on to thrive in successful and happy lives.

Society is complicated. Maybe what you see is a tweet about a character with all of 7 people who like it. What you don’t see is how one of those 7 people becomes immensely inspired by that tweet and writes other tweets, which then reach someone else in the same manner, growing fandom and adding excitement. Something that looks tiny and insignificant becomes massive in time.

You don’t even have to judge this by size. If you really, truly care, then you understand that reaching even just one person in a positive manner is all that’s needed. Maybe that tweet only reaches one person. But that one person it reaches has been going through some awful shit. That tweet was exactly what they needed to carry on, reach a better place.

This isn’t even delving into the phenomenon of silent participants – which is readily apparent to anyone who’s written a fic, received hundreds of views, but the fic has zero likes or comments. A character may have way more interest that isn’t reflected in online behavior because the character’s fans don’t go looking for tweets about them, or necessarily interacting with those tweets if seen.

“This character is worthless cause that one tweet I saw had only a few likes” is a bad take. It’s mistaking the tip of an iceberg for the whole thing.

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