To find out what made this group so joyful, I began asking around. In addition to being an active member of Now Fizzing, Amanda Brennan is an expert on online communities and fandoms. Understanding the way these networks function and thrive is literally part of her job as the senior content insights manager at Tumblr. And she says that, without question, Now Fizzing is particularly special.
“In the climate of internet where there’s a lot of bad things going on, it’s so great to have this group that feels very pure and very positive just really about this thing that we all love,” Brennan tells me.
Her sentiments are shared by the 15 other members I spoke with, all of whom were exceptionally enthusiastic in their love of both “fizz” and the group. Time and time again, the same adjectives came up: fun, supportive, wholesome, safe, pure, positive, friendly, and earnest.
Aria, a Boston-based member of Fizz Fam, tells me a story about a time when she called her mom, who was in the grocery store, to ask her to scope out the scene for new Polar Seltzer’ade flavors. Confused, her mom repeated her request out loud in the aisle, catching the attention of a man who was looking for the same thing. Unable to find it, her mom hung up — only to call back a minute later to tell Aria that the nice man had found it in another aisle and returned to share the good news.
“I posted this story in [Now Fizzing] expecting people to laugh and comment on the random kindness in grocery stores or whatever, but the second comment was actually ‘OH MY GOD THAT WAS ME,’” Aria says in an email. “I noticed that the commenter had posted pretty much the same story from the other side in the group maybe five minutes before my post! It was so strange and hilarious and awesome. Seltzer!”
Fizzers, it appears, are the type of strangers for whom kindness comes naturally. “I’m not sure if all seltzer drinkers are good people,” a Fizzer named Randi explained in an email she wrote me while drinking Polar Orange Vanilla, “but these members are.”