So I’ve been watching kdrama for 6 years now, and blogging for (approximately) 6 weeks. I know, it feels like so much longer, right?
Anyway. I have to say, these last 6 weeks have been a huge eye-opener for me, in so many ways. I’ve realized things that I’d never even thought of in my previous 6 years as a non-blogging kdrama watcher.
Let me rephrase that.
Some of these things are new revelations, and some are things that I’d sort of known in my head, but now, having stepped out of the lurking closet, these things have been magnified to a degree that they sort of blow my mind a little, and give me pause.
I call it the unifying power of the kdrama-verse.
ONE WORLD, ONE PASSION
I’d always known that the Hallyu wave had tremendous reach, and I knew in my head that there were people all over the world watching the same kdramas that I did, with the same enthusiasm and fervor.
Yet, when I started blogging and the stats showed me what countries the blog views came from, it boggled my mind that people from so many different countries were searching online for information on kdrama.
I didn’t even recognize a number of countries that my blog views came from, and it’s been highly educational mousing over those country names and having WordPress show me where they sit on the world map.
Some of the more exotic countries (exotic to my mind, but perhaps not to yours) are: Russian Federation, Israel, Estonia, Cyprus, Suriname, Kenya, Iraq, Nepal and Qatar.
I mean, I’d known in my head that people the world over were watching kdrama, but it had never occurred to me that my fellow kdrama fans hailed from such far-flung and exotic places!
Not only did I learn this, I also learned that there is a country called Georgia. I mean, I’d always thought that Georgia was a US state. And yes, it is a US state, don’t get me wrong, that hasn’t changed or anything; I just didn’t know that there was an actual country called Georgia.
Thanks to the WordPress stats page, though, I now know this, and I know what Georgia’s flag looks like.
Now, who ever said blogging was a waste of time? It’s been improving my knowledge of the world by the day!
It began to hit home for me that the drama-verse is literally made up of people from all over the world, united by a single passion: kdrama.
This was just scratching the surface, though.
As I ventured further into the drama-verse, I learned so much more.
FACE-TO-FACE (SORT OF) WITH FELLOW FANS
As part of my un-lurking, I began to comment actively on other blogs, including blogs where I’d only lurked before, and I even joined Twitter.
I’ve found that Twitter & blog conversations are so much fun coz it’s all focused on a common passion. You just know where to go when you want to share in some common k-love. And that is really one of the coolest things.
It was (and has been) so much fun chatting with fellow fans who not only shared the same passions, but who were always ready to squee, spazz and fangirl together with me.
It was easy to imagine that this was their full-time occupation and passion.
After some time, though, I began to get a sense of who they were in Real Life as well, and it boggled my mind that we came from such diverse walks of life.
As I explored the blogosphere, I discovered that we were doctors, lawyers, auditors, consultants, students, musicians, mothers, grandmothers, homemakers, and more, and we were all letting our inner fangirls out.
That is just so fascinating and amazing to me.
In the drama-verse, there are no boundaries dictated by age, occupation, gender, or station in life. We are all fangirls (and boys) sharing a deep-reaching passion for our k-stuff and k-people, and we simply enjoy sharing our passion with one another.
That is just the coolest thing, evar.
I suspect that if we’d met in real life, we may never have guessed that we could chat for hours on end or spazz over a drama or k-actor together like peas in a pod.
Let me qualify that statement by also saying that when that commonality is revealed in real life, the unifying powers of the k-universe are just as strong.
CASE IN POINT: A REAL-LIFE EXAMPLE
On New Year’s Day this year, I met a new k-mad friend who’s less than half my age and we’ve totally hit it off.
I’d been invited to attend an informal piano recital at my ex-piano-teacher’s home, and afterwards, I chatted with the various people who had been in attendance. This particular young girl and I started talking about our experiences playing the piano and other related stuff, and somehow we eventually got to talking about learning Korean, which then got us started on kpop and kdrama.
I’m not much of a kpop fan, and she’s not much of a kdrama fan, but we hit gold when we discovered that we were both familiar with Minho and To The Beautiful You. Minho is her ultimate bias, and I rather enjoyed To The Beautiful You, in which he acted. We chatted away merrily for the next FOUR HOURS.
We now text each other and hang out together on occasion. Never mind that we are in totally different age brackets, or that she’s still in school and I’m a working adult, or that other people look at us and can’t understand how we get along so well.
How cool is that?!
I’ve discovered that conversations over Twitter start with the sharing of k-loves, and often evolve into something much deeper and more significant: the sharing of lives.
Beyond chatting about the most recent episode of the hottest new drama, or the latest piece of k-entertainment news, I’ve found that k-Twitter friends share bits and pieces of their personal lives too. From a work challenge, to fighting a bout of flu, to a visit to the dentist or doctor, to work travel woes, to festive recipes, to stuff related to family and friends.
I find that often, when I look around Twitter at all my fellow k-fans and friends, lives are spilling out, one to another, and then another.
And the fabulous thing is, words of encouragement, advice & wisdom, virtual hugs and cyber kisses are shared swiftly and generously.
Everyone responds so naturally and eagerly that it’s sometimes hard to believe that we are people who have never met in real life.
THE FREEING NATURE OF THE K-UNIVERSE
To a large extent, I feel much freer on my k-Twitter account than my real life Facebook account.
In real life, I am connected with colleagues and clients on Facebook, and it would be completely inappropriate to spazz over my k-obsession on my Facebook page. Also, not all my real-life friends appreciate my k-passion, so I stick to more universally accepted and appealing topics when engaging with them over Facebook.
On Twitter and in the blogosphere at large, though, there is no need to tread so cautiously like this.
I feel free (not only free, but encouraged! Coz my k-friends like it, heh) to post hot photos of Gong Yoo or of Park Shi Hoo & Jang Hyuk.
At the same time, I believe that this freedom has helped many people who are introverts in real life to unleash our inner fangirls (& boys), to be free with giving voice to our likes and dislikes, and in expressing our support and affection for one another.
I’m an introvert at heart, though most people who’ve met me wouldn’t guess it. As an introvert, I do appreciate the freedom that the blogosphere and k-universe at large gives me.
I honestly think it’s one of the coolest things, that many bloggers are actually introverts, yet have perhaps hundreds of followers. Love that!
HAS IT REALLY BEEN ALL ROSES & RAINBOWS?
Well, I would have to say no, it hasn’t been all roses and rainbows.
In my initial steps into the twitter-verse, for example, I found that not everyone was as welcoming or as friendly. Perhaps it was because I was (am?) unfamiliar with Twitter etiquette, but I sometimes felt a little deflated when I was pointedly ignored while genuinely trying to join in a conversation.
I’ve since decided that perhaps these are introverts that I’m trying to strike up conversations with, and even with the freedom that the k-twitter-verse gives, some introverted traits may still apply. Maybe.
Regardless, the good completely outweighs the less good. There are more people who are friendly than those who are not.
It particularly warms my heart when people are welcoming, friendly and kind right away, without any kind of suspicion or reserve. I love it when I can jump into a lively conversation with someone and we’ve only just met on Twitter or on a blog’s comments section.
I’ve met some genuinely lovely ladies on Twitter and in the blogosphere, and I love – really, LOVE! – talking with them.
You know who you are, my dears. Here’s a shout-out to my very special k-friends ♥ Cyber hugs for everyone!
Also, I must say that the blog has been receiving a lot of love.
At barely 6 weeks old, the blog’s accumulated 3,102 views as I post this. I think that’s pretty amazing.
That’s quite a bit of love, for a blog that’s so young.
So thank you, for your warm welcome and your love! ♥
You guys make this k-universe a great place to be. Let’s keep on having fun together, in this fabulous cyber-place!
As for this blog, I just want to say that you are welcome here, no matter where you’re from. And, uh, you’re especially welcome if you’re from Georgia, heh.