George R.R. Martin is currently “depressed” according to a recent blog post, and he’s partly blaming social media, calling out “anti-fans” who get off on thrashing pieces of entertainment and art rather than sharing a recent work they loved.
In a post titled “Dark Days”, George R.R. Martin reflected on the “nightmare” that was 2023 and how “rational discourse” appears to be over in our country. While some of this related to the political climate, he showed worry over how many treat movies and books. “I take solace where I can. In chocolate thrones, if nowhere else. In books. In films and television shows… though even there, toxicity is growing. It used to be fun talking about our favorite books and films, and having spirited debates with fans who saw things different… but somehow in this age of social media, it is no longer enough to say “I did not like book X or film Y, and here’s why.” Now social media is ruled by anti-fans who would rather talk about the stuff they hate than the stuff they love, and delight in dancing on the graves of anyone whose film has flopped.” This is the part where his fans get pissed that he has time to write an 800-word blog post but not a couple pages of The Winds of Winter.
Similar sentiments were shared by fellow author Stephen King, who posted on social media earlier this month that “adolescent fanboy hate” was to blame for The Marvels bombing at the box office.
Really, both George R.R. Martin and Stephen King have some good points. While “anti-fans” can’t solely be blamed for the failure of The Marvels, negativity spreads fast on social media (probably more so than positivity) and has the power to alter the prospects of movies, TV shows and books. Martin calling out these “anti-fans” obviously won’t sway the mindsets and habits of these social media users – even he recognized his power is limited – but we all know how much more fun it can be to read a one-star review than a four-star. At the same time, is it worth it to keep spitting venom when the damage is already in progress?
Do you agree with George R.R. Martin in his take on social media behavior? Give us your thoughts below.