Straight up, I have both. Sometimes they’re the same people, sometimes not. Facebook has always made me laugh in this regard and it’s in part why it’s good to have (in my case) a GK Solo, GKB Band, and my own personal friends site in Facebook, Twitter, WordPress sites. I have the freedom to be myself and communicate as I wish to whomever. So:
FAN- an enthusiastic devotee (as of a sport or a performing art) usually as a spectator, an ardent admirer or enthusiast (as of a celebrity or a pursuit)
FRIEND- one attached to another by affection or esteem
I’ve kicked around dumping my personal FB site for some time, but in that so many people seem to resonate with something, maybe just my music, or the band I fronted for 28 years, or whatever, sometimes with what I think or say, at least for now I’ll hang in there.
Yet the difference between a true friend and a fan is obvious to artists who have been public artists for some years.
On several levels I realized in my teens the difference between friends and fans, and it largely helped me navigate my own sense of peace and sanity with the way a genuine friend interacts with me vs. how a fan does.
To be sure even your closest friends may sharply disagree and yet remain and grow in friendship regardless due to common bonds that draw you together -so you “keep coming back” out of respect and commonality. If it were only about pity or trying to -be- someone’s literal savior you might be talking family, not friendship, or trying to live out a (wasted effort, plus self-centered) “messiah complex”.
Family members are often committed to one another over need, even a conviction that “this is just what families DO” (not somehow automatically wrong by a long shot!) and then there are times when even that can be so dysfunctional, even enabling, or in extreme cases abusive that parting ways on some level if not as a matter of course may be the best road to take for the sake of all.
Note- that’s extreme, but we live in an extreme world with plenty of differences including spirituality, education, lifestyle choices, general or specific maturity and/or actual experience in these areas. All of these can bring us together or move us apart.
So fans, sweet as they can be, are sometimes more like groupies than true friends. This isn’t always their fault. How many beautiful women have been super-admired for their physical beauty alone -and how did/does that work out in terms of true friendship much less long-term relationship?
To this day there are elements of fandom toward various historical or present dictators that some people admire. This is how and partly why they achieve and remain in power regardless of the misery they foist upon “their” own people.
I happen to be completely unknown to some and at times, respected and followed by some. I never expected to be agreed with by everyone and regardless what I produce via music, so what comes my way is every shade of love, or like, or so-so all the way to disgust. This is the norm for my work just as it is for every musician or communicator. If you get out in traffic you must expect the possible costs as well as benefits.
One thing I’m sure of- as much as I appreciate fans, friends are far more important and by God’s grace I have so many in close association and co-service I’m super, SUPER blessed. So especially to my fellow artists but all others as well:
You can live without fans but not without friends.
This is obviously not meant to be a Bible study on friendship but that would serve you well regardless of whether you’re a friend, fan, acquaintance or simply a passerby at my site. It has been super helpful for me to return to Bible truths about this topic (as for all others) again and again.
As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn