Curbing Celebrity Fan ClubsThis can be characterized as an era of public "heartthrobs." Thanks to today''s technology, which allows people to "get close" to celebrities by means of Internet sites, fan clubs easily spring up to enable their members to communicate with each other, beyond time and the space, as it were.
We need not be too concerned about teen-agers forming fan clubs for their favorite stars, using Web sites to express themselves and share their feelings. Some teenagers, burdened by their school workloads, are known to find release by engaging in activities revolving around admiration of their idols, which include sending fan mail.
However, because members of the younger generation are usually immature and vulnerable, they are often incapable of making fair judgments since they tend toward the emotional, rather than the rational.
There have recently been two unfortunate cases ?the discovery of toxic substances in beverages sent to family members of the singing group G.O.D. and its fan club leaders, and the controversial debates among fan clubs of Yoo Seung-jun and Tony An, who were brought up overseas, about their idols'' enlistment in the army. It is indeed lamentable to find that some extreme elements in the younger generation can engage in acts that pose threats to others'' health in their bid to punish anybody in the way of their idols.
Furthermore, the attitude of encouraging performers to shirk military service is most deplorable, since this is a duty of all South Korean males and is not something that individual celebrities can choose to do or not to do.
We therefore urge all fan club members to change their way of thinking and curb their unreasonable behavior. Executive members of the official fan clubs formed by the management companies of the stars and voluntary fan clubs should try to foster proper attitudes among fan club members. For instance, they should make young fans aware that congregating around a celebrity''s home is a nuisance to the neighborhood. For its part, the star''s management company has to take responsibility instead of merely basking in the adulation of teenage fans.
In addition, television stations and the rest of the media should not encourage teenagers to become addicted to celebrities. They can do this by refraining from featuring only well-known performers in their entertainment programs like game and talk shows.