Do they grow on trees? Did they come from another planet? Is there a secret lab in South America that builds them from scratch?
No one knows for sure. But after encountering dozens of these creatures myself, I figured it was time to investigate.
Let’s start by taking a closer look at the four primary types of fanboys:
- The Blind Lover
- The Rival Hater
- The Fanboy Who Cries Fanboy
- The Guy In Denial
The Blind Lover: Noted for being the most devoted of all the fanboys, The Blind Lover will ignore any and all issues of a person, product, company or service in an effort to provide his never-ending support.
The Rival Hater: This fanboy is rarely seen praising the person, product, company or service that he loves. Rather, The Rival Hater prefers to spend his time bashing the competition.
The Fanboy Who Cries Fanboy: Have you ever waited in line to purchase a new product from Apple? Did you get up extra early to pre-order a Nintendo Wii, or buy your tickets to see the final Harry Potter movie two months in advance? If so, don’t be too vocal about it. There are fanboys out there who are so embarrassed by their own fanboyism that they will cry “fanboy!” whenever a devoted fan appears to be present.
The Guy In Denial: He wears Sonic the Hedgehog t-shirts on a regular basis. He sleeps on X-Men bed sheets. He has purchased every version of Star Wars released on VHS, DVD and Blu-ray, and he pays extra for new video games to acquire the “collectors” editions. But he’s not a fanboy. Not at all! He’s just a regular Joe, living his life like other regular Joes who pays $30 to $90 extra for Madden, Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty.
Surely we have all encountered at least one of these fanboys. But how…and why? At what point in time did these unusual creatures emerge on planet Earth?
They’re Not Just Geeks – They’re Jocks, Too
For generations, people have believed that if you take off your shirt, paint your face and chest with the colour of your favourite football team, and cheer like a mad man during a sporting event, you’re normal.
But if you put on a plastic Storm Trooper costume and wait in line for new Star Wars collectibles at Toys ‘R’ Us, you’re a “fanboy.”
Wrong. The truth is that both groups are expressing a degree of fanboyism.
They’ve Been Around Longer Than We Thought
Have you ever wondered why your aunt never misses a rerun of The Andy Griffith Show? Maybe you’ve noticed that your grandpa never moves from his favourite La-Z-Boy chair. And let’s not forget your neighbour Bob – he’s been drinking the same brand of coffee for 40 years.
As you may have guessed, these people are your elder fanboys (and elder fangirl). Devoted till death, with or without a cause, they will support their favourite person, product, company or service with unrelenting loyalty.
But they weren’t the first fanboys – far from it. In fact, evidence suggests that the first fanboys appeared during the days of cavemen:
What are they staring at? No one knows for sure. But their intense reaction is unmistakable. I’ve seen a similar look on the faces of people waiting to get an iPhone 4S.
They Don’t Own The Internet, But Who Can Tell?
If you think you’re safe to post a critique of a highly anticipated item, think again. The fanboys will rant and share your link with thousands of their friends. Bear in mind that that they do this – share the link – while simultaneously saying that your article is irrelevant, that your opinion is meaningless, and that you only wrote it for page views.
Well, if that were true, why did the fanboys give the author what he wanted?
The truth is that most bloggers and journalists don’t write critiques for the purpose of hits. They write them because that’s who they are. Look closely and you will often find that they critique every company equally. But don’t expect a fanboy to bother looking into that. He’s too busy calling the author a “troll” who produces nothing more than “link bait.”
And don’t think you can safely praise a company either – that won’t get you anywhere, not even if you mean every single word you said. The Rival Hater and The Fanboy Who Cries Fanboy will turn around and do what they do best – call you a fanboy.
They Also Help Our Economy
One of the little-known benefits of fanboys is that their support never ends, no matter what.
Thus, when General Motors was in the toilet – when the quality of their vehicles was at an all-time low – you could still find men and women who were eagerly buying GM cars.
This means that Apple, Nintendo, Toyota, Disney, Hewlett-Packard, the author of Twilight, and any other person or company with fanboys and fangirls will never go broke.
If They Help Our Economy, Are They Really That Bad?
No, not really. They may get on our nerves, embarrass themselves in public, and make us wish we could move to another planet. But in the end, fanboys aren’t that bad.
Follow me @LouisBedigian
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