Destiel, Delena, Johnlock, OTP, canon — these terms are part of the language of shipping. That is, pairing couples together whether they are actually together or not. Fans are deadly serious about shipping. They will defend their OTP (one true pairing) with every Internet insult in their bodies. Even if said couple never gets together they will go on hoping — because so-and-so certainly does not belong with that other person! Shipping is definitely a buzzword nowadays. So, what drives us to ship?
I am guilty of shipping — a little. I don’t have a Tumblr page and I don’t go around attacking people on the Internet. I don’t post to fan websites. I am the quiet shipper. I think the most excitement I have gotten out of shipping is Magnus and Alec (Malec) from The Mortal Instruments and Carlos and Cecil from Welcome to Night Vale. I do root for couples but I don’t pair them together in the first five minutes of their appearance. I think shipping comes from the desire to have a fairy tale ending. It’s like having a romance vicariously through fictional characters. Nothing could ever be as perfect as your favorite couple. Someday, you will meet your own Damon Salvatore or Katniss Everdeen. In the meantime, you will just have to avidly support the fictional romances — by writing copious amounts of erotic fan fiction.
I think hardcore shipping must be a tiring business. First, you have to pick a couple. Then, you have to create a snappy name for them. You will also have the business of setting up a dozen fansites dedicated to them. You must prepared at all times to defend your couple from naysayers. Your couple is the one true pairing. There can be only one. I don’t hate on shippers. As I said, I am lazy/quiet shipper and a romantic at heart. I normally wait until I get more evidence that the couple is going to hook up. Then, I start rooting for them and get really upset when something happens to them. I just can’t devote the crazed energy that many fans have. I do dislike the Internet fighting that people do over it. It’s fiction, you know.
It’s okay to have a passion. The Internet is the place where fandom comes to roost. Tumblr is the paradise of shippers — even the strangest of pairings have a home on Tumblr. I think all of us ship a little bit. Even my fiancé thought Neal and Peter from White Collar should be together. The course of true shipping never will run smooth, but continue on it will.