Especially with athletes, I hope not too much, honestly. I love how much more interaction there is between creators and fans these days, but I really feel that both groups also need private spaces as well. Athletes need space to have personal lives, play around with things in the gym, and have successes and failures that aren’t hyperscrutinized by fans the moment they happen. They deserve privacy. Fans also need space to react, be excited, disappointed, and have frank conversations about things they love/hate/hope will change without the expectation that everything they say is going to be seen by the people in question.
Having lots of thoughts, feelings, and opinion is what fandoms are really all about, and fans are incredibly engaged in the things they love, but they’re engaged in a different way than the athletes (or authors, actors, etc). Just like a athlete should get to choose if and when they release a video of a thing they’re playing around with, fans should be able discussions about how much they hate thing Y in an athlete’s routine without worrying about the athlete reading it and being upset because they love thing Y, or they’ve been working on it forever and they just can’t get it and now people are piling on them about it.
How I write about gymnastics on Twitter is very different from how I write about it on Gymnaverse, because my assumption on Twitter is that an algorithm is going to take everything I say and funnel it straight to the person in question, whether they’re looking for it or not. I don’t critique much, I don’t get into detailed conversations, and I want to make sure the athletes know I support them–because even when I dislike something, or I’m disappointed by how something went, they’re doing incredible things and I love watching it. On Gymnaverse I can just react to something as it’s happening in competition and have detailed conversations about the good, the bad, and the ugly. My assumption is that I am in a fan space, where I can put being a fan first and indulge in all the minutia. If there were no space where that were possible, I would probably fade out of the fandom.
I actively try, on all platforms, to be constructive and thoughtful, and to avoid being cruel or unnecessarily critical. I was never on GGMB and I never wanted to be. I want how I approach the sport to be positive as a rule. But I also feel like creators need spaces where they can be private, and fans need spaces where they can just be fans, because they are two groups of people who are deeply involved and invested in the same thing, but in very different, both valid, ways that aren’t always completely compatible in the same space.