Fans obsessed with their favorite television, movie or novel franchise is nothing new. But when it comes the obsession that some fans feel for the “Twilight” saga, it could be a perfect storm for a new type of obsession and addiction.
The Los Angeles Times has a story that talks about how the instant access to news on the books and movies, coupled with the classic symptoms of fandom are leading to a different kind of fan obsession.
Chrystal Johnson didn’t think there was anything unhealthy about her all-consuming fixation with “The Twilight Saga” — until she discovered it was sucking the life out of her marriage.
“I found poems my husband had written in his journal about how I had fallen for a ‘golden-eyed vampire,’ ” says Johnson, a 31-year-old accountant from Mesa, Ariz., who became so enthralled by the blockbuster series of young adult novels and movies that she found herself staying up all night, re-reading juicy chapters and chatting about casting news and the are-they-or-aren’t-they romance between the stars of the films, Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson.
” ‘Twilight’ was always on my mind, to the point where I couldn’t function,” Johnson says.
“I check the Internet all day long for ‘Twilight’ news, from the minute I wake up until I go to bed at midnight,” says Joyce Swiokla, 50, a former engineer who runs the website CullenBoysAnonymous.com. “If there is a chemical that’s released when you’re falling in love, your brain has it when you’re reading or watching ‘Twilight.’ You get that utopic feeling of first love and you want to experience it over and over again.”
“My husband finally came to me and said, ‘I think you love “Twilight” more than you love me,’ ” says Johnson, who had become especially attached to the community she’d found online. “I ended up moving out of the house and fought for my marriage for six weeks. I had to take a step back and detox myself from ‘Twilight.’ I was really angry that I had allowed it to suck me in. Now I meet women every single day where ‘Twilight’ has become a major issue in their marriage.”
By going cold turkey, Johnson managed to kick her habit. And, with some work, her relationship later rebounded. But for some people, the romance, intrigue and celebrity gossip that’s always just a mouse click away is too hard to resist.
“What you’re seeing with ‘Twilight’ has to do with the ramifications of our infinite access to pop culture,” says Kimberly Young, a professor at St. Bonaventure University in New York and psychologist who specializes in treating patients with Internet addiction. “Any addiction is about escape, and some of these women are using it to fill a void. This is their way of connecting. Instead of watching soap operas all day, they’re online following ‘Twilight.’ And now they can chat and it becomes an opportunity to have a connection with other fans.”
Of course, as fans of the genre, we know that obsessions with the fictional universes we enjoy is nothing new.
You can read the full article HERE.