It seems that nobody is alone anymore with the existence and popularity of social networks, forums, and fan discussion groups. No matter what the situation, people are able to connect and cope with others on the Web with similar interests and attitudes towards the world. Typically, people participate in theme or specific topic based discussions, like the fan discussion forum for a specific TV show or book series. Fans are encouraged to be interactive with the show by creating fan-fiction, fan art, and discuss the issues and themes that are presented. However, as Stein expresses in her article “‘Off topic: Oh my God, US terrorism!’: Roswell fans respond to 11 September,” the fans of the TV show Roswell are connecting at a level that is much deeper than what is usually virtually expected.
After the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Millennials were looking to cope, talk about what they were feeling, and have questions answered. Communities all around the US came together in an effort to support each other through prayer and general comfort, and this included virtual communities. While some may find it inappropriate to be discussing the happenings of 9/11 on a TV discussion board that has very little to do with the situation, I believe it exhibits the Millennial generation’s desire to be open, honest, and communicate/ connect. Since all of these fans have such strong feelings about the morals and values projected in Roswell, which are tolerance, acceptance, and love, they are more willing to read and participate in this online community to find comfort. I think it’s pretty incredible how much we have come to rely and trust the online communities that we are part of. People seek guidance, comfort, and emotional support from those who they’ve never met and may be thousands of miles away, but they can connect via their passion for the value and morals conveyed by a TV show.
While some Roswell fans thought it inappropriate to be writing about politics, terrorism, and revenge on a television show forum, I believe that people’s engagement of creating memorial art that incorporated characters from the show, exhibits true passion and well-natured behavior that commemorates those lost in the 9/11 attacks, and offers a sense of much needed community at time of complete loss and confusion.