Pony Thought of the Day: Fan or Fanatic?

What is the line for being a brony? At what point should someone be considered to be taking it too far, and possibly in need of psychological help?

Because, I mean, somebody who dresses up as their favorite pony for a fan event? Clearly quite the dedicated fan, but there’s nothing pathological there. Somebody who seriously and without irony declares their intent to marry a fictional character, including setting a date and writing a ceremony? Clearly something has gone very wrong there.

But where is the line in between? Is it just that there’s a certain amount of dedication beyond which you are too dedicated (spending an hour a day doing pony-related things is fine, spending X hours a day is too many), or does it matter what you’re spending that time doing? For example, is X bigger if you’re spending that time creating something? Is X bigger if your pony time is with other people?

Or does it have nothing to do with how much time you spend or what you spend it doing–is it determined by what impact brony-ness has on you?

No answers today, just questions.

0 thoughts on “Pony Thought of the Day: Fan or Fanatic?

  1. To my very pleasant surprise, the “Twilight is my fiancée” guy turned out to be trolling.

    …which is doubly good since that letter of his had a serious madonna/whore-complex vibe to it.

    But where is the line in between?

    Huh… there's actually a line in the fic I'm writing: “I've often found that 'lines' cause more problems than they solve.” Now, the circumstances are rather different, so take that with a grain of salt, but I do tend to favor a somewhat utilitarian/pragmatic approach to mental health. Given how fluid the criteria are for mental illness in general, I don't think it can be measured in what impact it has on the individual person.

    For example, is X bigger if you're spending that time creating something? Is X bigger if your pony time is with other people?

    As with many addictive things, it's only a problem if you do it alone. 🙂

    And now I find myself wanting to draw up an “are you a pony addict” chart with all these variables, except, as mentioned above, there's so many variables that I think we might wind up measuring brony-ness in quaternions rather than normal numbers.

    Same with measuring impact on the world around them.

    Apologize if all my rambling is stupid and/or doesn't make sense, I am once more typing at 2 AM while waiting for my sleep meds to kick in.

  2. No, I think you're on to something. IIRC, part of the standard for psychological disorders is the “harm to self or others” standard. Before you even apply those lists of traits people like to copy out of the DSM, you first have to establish that the person's unusual behavior is causing harm or increased risk of harm to themselves or others.

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