Tweeting Destiel: A Social Experiment

I am a proud Destiel shipper and have been ever since The Collectress introduced me to the Supernatural universe. Still, I must admit, the Destiel phenomenon on Twitter and Tumblr astounds me. These fans have found a ship to sail and do so proudly on social media.

While the Destiel ship is not an explicit one on the show, fans of the pairing don’t seem to care. During the premiere of season 9 episode 10, “Road Trip”, the hashtags #Supernatural and #Gadreel trended worldwide as well as the surprising dark horse #ProfoundBond, which fans all know refers directly to the very special relationship Dean and Castiel share.

Still, the slash pairing of Dean Winchester and Castiel, Angel of the Lord may not be every fan’s ideal couple. Many of the fans prefer to concentrate on the show premise of two brothers, saving people, hunting things, and the family business. Not to say that I don’t wholeheartedly support that as an overarching theme of the show, but I also don’t find it superfluous to want two of the main characters to develop their relationship more fully. Thank Chuck I’ve never been trolled specifically for my dreams of Destiel, but there are many who have been bullied within and without the fandom. The Twitter account @SPNAntiBullying was created to help these shippers deal with any encounters of bullying across social media, and seem to genuinely want to keep the fandom getting along as well as possible.

It seems to me, tweeting Destiel has become somewhat of a social experiment. Over the summer, thebacklot.com held their annual Ultimate Slash Madness Tournament with over 7 million votes narrowing the top two slash couples to Sterek (Stiles and Derek from Teen Wolf) and Destiel. Destiel won with over 8 hundred thousand votes, but just by a smidge–those Teen Wolf fans are very capable foes. Throughout the tourney, shippers tweeted, tumbled, and pinned directly to the page to get their OTP votes, myself included.

final2When the fandom has something to say to The Powers That Be, we tweet ’em. When the fandom has an issue with a writer and a plot (SEE: ROCK AND A HARD PLACE), we tweet. The wonderful thing about the SPNFamily is that the writers do acknowledge and appreciate fan input. When the “Bring Back Castiel” movement was happening during season 7, viewers petitioned, begged, threatened and pleaded to bring back the fan favorite and the writers did just that. When Destiel shippers felt the need to connect on Twitter in a safe space far away from all the wank, they created @ProfoundBondInc and the @DestielNetwork to unite fans, and it is working. Just check out the amazing Tumblr page Destiel Around the World to see the impact that social media has on Destiel, the most OTP of OTPs.

The power of the fandom on social media is real.

Use it for good, young padawan.

xoxo

The Collectiva Diva (I ship ship it good)

6 Comments

    1. acollectivemind

      I seriously feel that we should not feel embarrassed to ship a friggen amazing couple of dudes that share a profound bond! I, personally, do not try to rewrite canon nor do I cuss out any showrunner who disagrees with me on Twitter. I cannot account for the assholes who do.
      Wear your Destiel love loud and proud, baby! It’s 2014!
      TCD

  1. spnmonster

    While I appreciate how emotionally engaged in the show some fans are, and I’m sure the writers do as well, as a writer myself I respect that the story is theirs to tell and not ours to direct. I’m deeply troubled by the vitriol that some shippers, and I’m not accusing only Destiel shippers here, have hurled at the writers over past couple of seasons.

    I hadn’t heard of @SPNAntiBullying, but it sounds like a great idea. I wish that shippers could step back and disengage rather than escalating arguments, especially on websites outside the fandom. I’m sure these ship wars cause others to see us as childish and just a little crazy.

    We need to keep things in perspective as well. I’m sure you’ll agree that the show is about a lot more than shipping, but we sometimes spend so much time defending or promoting ships that we seem to forget that.

    Keep up the good work.

    1. acollectivemind

      As much as I enjoy the show and the fandom, I felt truly wary to go to the BurCon in November cosplaying Destiel because I feared wank from the crowds. The image projected on Twitter by shippers (for the most part) is vicious and mean spirited. Frankly, I didn’t want to be looked at as “one of those” by fans not on board my ship. You know, the “normal” watchers who enjoy the show just for the hunting, saving, family business. The ones who don’t read fanfic, obsess over fictional relationships on Tumblr, or make soundtracks to cry to on Spotify. Luckily, when I asked a fangirl to take a pic of the Collectress and I in front of the Impala, when she recognized us, she grinned and said, “Smile like it’s canon!” and my fears were dissuaded in an instant. Within the greater SPNFamily, there are multiple factions, ships and types of fans. Thank Chuck that I haven’t encountered the cruel ones, only heard terrible stories about them and fear them in my comment section. Oh, and I love your Tumblr page, BTW. Meta SPN makes my heart smile.
      TCD

      1. spnmonster

        I was at VegasCon last year, and Destiel was the only ship I saw cosplayed. I saw a few individual characters — Sam, the Impala, etc. — but to my knowledge no one gave Destiel cosplayers a hard time or anything. Unless things have changed a lot I just don’t see it happening. I think that fans at cons tend to be pretty cool about these things. It’s in the anonymous space of the internet that they tend to get ugly. It’s much easier to be mean to someone when you aren’t looking them in the eye, you know?

        Thanks for the compliment on the tumblr blog. Feel free to jump into the discussion anytime!

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