There are some friendships that come and go, but for a good plenty of us, fandom friendships are forever.
Whether it’s making dank memes of your current TV show fix, waxing poetic about your life ruiner’s most epic moments, or analyzing the aerodynamic virtues of each space vehicle, fandom friends are the family you choose for yourself.
Fandom friendships connect us on a different level. Experts have likened it to how fans of certain sports teams flock together and root (read: cheer, rage, and cry) at the performance of beloved athletes. Balk all you want, but when it comes down to the basics, the feelings behind sports nuts, geeks, and otaku are the same: they’re bonded by a general love for something that resonates deeply in them.
Plus, the sense of belonging and community plays a major role in they way fans relate to each other. It’s that exhilaration when news of a new movie, season, or spinoff is released, or when an adaptation performs superbly on the silver screen, or suffers an unfortunate case of adaptation decay. Why do you think some people feel deeply hurt when a dispute erupts and rends the fanbase in twain? For some people, these fanbases are pretty much the only source of camarederie, comfort, and friendship they have. For short, they’re family.
So, let’s go back to our initial question: how exactly do we keep in touch with our fan friends?
Of course, there’s social media. Platforms such as Snapchat, Tumblr, have busy, busy traffic with fandom friends, and their exchanges can often go from the squee-worthy to the downright hilarious. This is where the magic happens — magic often being plans for group cosplays, text-based role plays, fanart, or fanfics. Collaboration is the spice of life, and two (or three, or four, or more) heads are better than one.
It’s all good fun when chat is the communique du jour, but what about voice?
Aaaaah, voice. Voice is the realm of a new, more personal level in the friendship. Anybody can weave a good story or be as witty, as funny, or as cool as they want to be on chat, but on voice? Calling or receiving a call from a fandom friend for the first time is a sort of opening up and letting the other person into a certain degree of your intimacy. It’s letting them listen to the timbre, the tone of your voice; it’s the possibility of having them listen to you stutter, stumble on your thoughts, let your enthusiasm run away with you, or you hopping from one ice floe of thought to another — and having the other person be present throughout all that. for some, the idea is terrifying and sometimes triggers a deep-seated aspect of their fears, but the very fact that they said “yes” to a phone call by no small feat means a lot to them.
After all, this is one of the best ways to not only encourage camaraderie and teamwork for fandom projects, but is also a great way to foster deeper, stronger friendships, and even nurture budding romances and long-distance relationships.
A great number of fans are mostly students and freelancers struggling to get by, and so every cent spent on a voice call means a great deal to those who live with a budget. Some may be fortunate to maintain post-paid plans, and then there are some who rely on call cards and other such services. Hence, we’re bound to ask: what are the things that fans on a budget want out of their PC-to-phone apps?
First, it’s got to be easy to get connected — nothing can mar that first-time phone call than technical difficulties that just make that first “hello” a clumsy, clumsy affair. A stable connection follows; clearer lines mean more talk time, and this means getting to know each other better in a hassle-free environment. The service also needs an easy [payment scheme to make top-ups a breeze. It’s got to have great customer support for those moments when you’re just not sure what to do, as well as a wide global reach to get in touch with more fandom friends all over the world.
Nobelcom is one such service that allows you to call abroad with almost the same rates you get by calling locally. NobelCom is a leader in the telecom industry since 1998 and allows you to call anyone in the world on a cell phone or a landline by using your current phone service but with completely different (and much lower) fee. It’s available as a free app on both Google Play and iOS; it’s easy to top up, and comes with a number of cool freebies and surprises. All it takes is the local access number, the PIN that comes with your call card, and the the number you need to reach and you will be connected to your friend.