Mental Health, Community, Commitment, and the Growth of Individual Identity in the Participatory Fandom of the BTS ARMY
The BTS fandom is incredibly large with millions of digitally active fans. Participants, called ARMY, show a high level of commitment and involvement that has led to the fandom breaking engagement and performance records. The growth of individual identity among collective fandom, especially the impact that digital fandom participation has on their physical lives, was studied through a survey distributed to ARMYs on Twitter. The data, which was composed of 978 responses, was split into groups of
... highly involved (HI) fans and less involved fans (LI). The data suggests that ARMYs who spend more time involved in the fandom and fandom activities experience a higher positive impact on their habits, and are more involved in their physical communities, as well as experience a high positive mental health impact and low negative impact. However, more research is needed to acquire a more detailed report on the growth of individual identity in participatory cultures, although this study should be considered as an outline of the basic factors in which fans experience influence: financial, mental, social, and lifestyle.