Why I no longer follow J.K. Rowling

From the first moment I picked up a Harry Potter book I was hooked. I was immediately immersed in the magical world of Hogwarts and spells, reading about magical creatures and the adventures Harry went on during the books. I loved the books, and they remain my favourite book series, I re-read them every summer and look forward to the release of the illustrated editions every Christmas. Harry Potter has always played a huge part in my life, and is the reason I met my best friend. 

So why then have I unfollowed J.K?

When I first set up my Twitter account, one of the first people I followed was J.K. Rowling. As I mentioned, she is my favourite author and I wanted to see what she got up to in her every day life and what her thoughts were on certain topics. However, after a couple of years of following her, I began to discern the author from the person behind the twitter handle.

For so long, I associated the writer with the books, thinking that if I didn't agree with J.K, I wouldn't like the books anymore or that any conflict in ideologies between author and reader would somehow tarnish the series I have come to love. But as I have grown older, I find that I can still love the books, without thinking the author is untouchable.

She is, after all, human.

A human with 10.6 million twitter followers. 

Now I'm not saying Rowling is perfect, there was a time when I thought so but then I realised we are all human and all make mistakes etc. But in my opinion, she has influence over 10.6 million people, many of whom, like me, are fans of the Harry Potter series. This is where my issue lies. 

While I was following her, I noticed she was very vocal about politics and political events of the time, this isn't really my thing but fair enough, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But I began noticing that the things she posted weren't always thought through as much as they should be for someone with as big a following as her. 

I began to get frustrated with her vocal opinions on topics in which her own, radical, opinions were displayed. Again, I'm not saying that she was wrong to do this, but I began to feel uneasy about the way in which she was doing this. The first Harry Potter book came out 20 years ago, and the series is still highly relevant within today's society; meaning that her followers range from grown adults with fully formed opinions to young teens, who are still learning where they stand on certain issues.

As a teenager, if I saw my favourite author speaking of issues, I was mostly inclined to agree with them because, in my young eyes, they could do no wrong. When I was younger however, the authors I loved would be on Blue Peter or television shows, speaking mostly about their works and would keep the topic pretty light. With the invention of social media, we can now delve deeper into how the author thinks which allows more of their own, personal opinions to come to light. This means that young teenagers are being exposed to spur-of-the-moment tweets which aren't always thought through. 

I began to feel a little let down by J.K via the way she portrayed herself online, and decided last year that enough was enough. I was happy enough to enjoy the material she had written, without feeling obliged to agree with her on every political opinion she tweeted out. After all, her own opinions don't detract from the magic and wonder I felt when I was 7 and reading the books for the first time. 

I still love Harry Potter, I still look forward to new material being brought out but I'm going to let my love of the series begin and end with the pages of the books...

Lottie :) 

No comments:

Post a Comment