In person, most fans report that the Roloffs are polite and gracious. Thousands of people travel to Roloff Farms to buy pumpkins and pay to go on the wagon tours in October. Almost all visitors report that the members of the family are very nice at the farm. The feedback is the same from people that attend the speaking engagements of Matt and Amy, and sometimes the Roloff kids -- they are polite and kind to people that meet them face to face.
However, for many fans, they don't have that opportunity, so like many celebrities, fans are hopeful to communicate with their favorite celebrity through the internet - or at least hear them communicate with other fans. That is the question people are asking. What is the buzz on the Roloffs and fan interaction via the internet? It's not nearly as positive as the in-person feedback.
Matt Roloff: There are contact forms on the Matt Roloff official site, http:/www.mattroloff.com . Matt has said he has staff that sorts through his email and will sometimes bring any important emails to his attention. approximately two to three times a year, through his employee, Matt will answer filtered questions which are posted on his site by his appointed moderator. It's infrequent, but if averaged out, about once every four or five months.
Amy Roloff: Amy's website http://www.amyjroloff.com/ is relatively new, springing up in October, 2008. Amy also has a "contact me" feedback form where according to what is written on her site, she welcomes hearing from fans. Since Amy's site is new, the jury is still out on her reputation as far as fan communication, but the early returns suggest it would be very rare for Amy to return a personal email or question - unless it was a request to have her as a guest speaker at an event or function.
The Roloff Family: Through TLC's official website for Little People, Big World, they have recently introduced something new. Fans can leave voicemail messages (make sure you're comfortable with the public hearing your voice/message because they are available for anyone to listen to) for the Roloff family and apparently the Roloffs will answer. It is new and they haven't answered anything as of yet. Again, expect it to be the filtered questions that would be of interest to all viewers that you would expect on an official site. http://tlc.discovery.com/fansites/lpbw/audio-chat/audio-chat.html As for the other Roloff communication on TLC, it does not exist. Years ago Matt used to post on the message board. According to Matt, he was asked to stop posting on TLC's website. Since that the Roloffs have had no communication with fans on the TLC official site.
Jeremy, Zach, Molly and Jacob Roloff: Like many kids and teenagers, most of the Roloff kids (I feel like putting an asterisk beside "kids" because Jeremy and Zach are only 3 months away from being 19 years old) have accounts on the various social networking sites. As you would expect, fans seek communication from those pages. Their reputation? They Roloff kids don't add fans and they ignore fan messages, questions and comments. Some people do want it known that Zach Roloff had the best reputation out of the Roloffs in terms of being open to occasionally answering questions or returning a comment. However, most of the positive feedback appeared to take place a couple of years ago. I don't think anyone would expect Jacob to have contact with fans and Molly until recently. Jeremy was infamous for wanting nothing to do with fans. More on that a few paragraphs down.
Obviously the easy thing to do for the Roloff family is to cherish their travel and possessions as Amy has spoken publicly about how blessed the family is to travel to new places. The easy thing for the kids to do would be cash their weekly paycheck that Matt has said they receive from being on the television show, hang out all the time with their friends in their many vehicles, swim in the new pool and hot tub, play the latest video games in their rooms on their HD flat-screen televisions...and never give a thought about "fans" and how all of this came about or how it is able to continue.
However, this is my view on this. I think it's undeniable that the Roloffs have achieved their goal of helping the area of LP awareness. They have in a way, it sounds archaic, but true, humanized little people for a lot of the public. Many people have never known a little person and the show has enabled the public to see people with dwarfism as anybody else. Having said that, in achieving that, it's also undeniable that the Roloffs have benefited greatly from the perks of their fame. The Roloffs, particularly now, have said they completely support and enjoy their role as celebrities doing a television show. They love their lives they say. Amy told Gordon Knights' church that God has blessed her and her kids with the opportunity to touch people. Amy has spoken about the power a person has to bless another with a small token of kindness, even if that act seems very small. The Roloffs in print and television interviews express their appreciation for their fans, say they love their fans, are thankful for the support and ask for continued support.
So when their reputation is that they dedicate very little time making an effort to communicate with those fans, it makes their words of appreciating fans and their words of gratitude look very empty. Particularly when part of the Roloffs appeal has been that they are real people that relate to the public. Yet they wouldn't be caught dead dedicating a little bit of their spare time to show some appreciation for the life they say they are grateful for? In my opinion, it doesn't reflect well on them.
I'm not suggesting that they must answer every letter, every email, every message. I'm not suggesting that they become best friends over the internet with strangers who are their fans. I would like to think if I were in the position of someone like the Roloffs, that as I use all my material possessions and express gratitude for the opportunities my position as a "celebrity" has provided me, that I would still force myself at least a couple of hours every couple of weeks to staying in touch with the people whose support has made my life style possible. The easy and selfish thing to do is enjoy all the perks, spend all your free time enjoying those perks, say a few empty lines in an interview about how you're grateful to the fans whose support has blessed your life and never make an effort to communicate with fans.
From maintaining this site, we can say that every member of the Roloff family have fans. I don't think it is unreasonable for Molly Roloff, 15, to show some gratitude and give a little back to the fans whose support has enabled the travel she enjoys or the car she'll be driving. She's at an age where many kids are working low-paying part time jobs where they have to be polite to the public. She can understand that the trips, the house, etc have been made possible by having a television show and the network continues the show because people watch the show. Without the fans support, the Roloff kids would not be enjoying many of the perks and experience they cherish. If the fans that the Roloffs appear to take for granted, stopped caring about the Roloffs, TLC would stop the television show. The large crowds at Roloff Farms in October would fade away. There wouldn't be a demand to pay Matt and Amy their fee to hear them speak. The Roloffs material possessions and life-style that they say they enjoy now, would take a hit. The Roloff kids probably wouldn't like that too much.
For example, people inquire all the time about Molly, they would like to know how she made her Christmas decorations or wondering what kind of tattoo she appeared to have on her ankle. I don't think it's unreasonable for Molly (just using her as an example) every Sunday or every second Sunday, from 7pm to 8pm, to skip the hour of self-enjoyment with friends and say this is my hour of showing appreciation for the life I have. Certainly, many people in the public eye are able to achieve this whether it's with a fan page that they truly use to communicate with people and sometimes returning the comments that an answer would be appreciated. Again, it's not an all or nothing type of thing. They'll never be able to answer everybody and some will always feel jilted, but it is a matter of effort and a tangible way to show gratitude.
Having said all that, if the Roloff family don't feel it's important to maintain contact or have any personal interaction with their fans, I would strongly urge people, kids and parents of kids, to not attempt to contact some of the Roloff kids and their friends on various social networking sites.
Friends of Jeremy and Zach that appear on the show: There are many infamous stories on the internet with disastrous results of fans attempting to ask the Roloffs or their friends from the show questions. When it was well known that Jeremy refused to associate with those fans, some ventured out to asking his friends questions. Some of the responses fans have reported receiving have been downright despicable for anybody that believes in moral decency. Jeremy's friends, including Jacob Mueller (which is one of the reasons why many people groan every time Matt and Amy Roloff talk about how the friends are such good Christian kids), have returned messages to fans by cursing at them, calling them "b*tches" or "losers", or mock the physical appearance of some of Jeremy's female teenage fans, and telling them to do horrible things. If you are a teenager or a parent of a teenager, strongly discourage them from trying to contact the Roloffs or their friends and avoid the cruelness that they sometimes have been known to dish out.
As for the Roloff twins themselves, Jeremy and Zach, they were caught years ago telling their friends what they really feel about fans. They called them idiots, said they want to tell them to F off while discussing their beach birthday party that TLC organized for them, Jeremy said fans suck the unsuckable (I still don't know what that means, but I know it's not a compliment!) and he totally ignores the "losers" despite Matt's pleas to him to be nice to fans.
Given that information, do you really want to have contact with them? Particularly with Jeremy's online conduct in that past, he's proven he doesn't have the ability to communicate in any respectable or decent manner to people, so it's probably in the best interest of all involved that Jeremy remained muzzled on the internet.
Although, it certainly would not make them unique as celebrities that see their personal fortune increase and want nothing to do with fans.I don't think I need to expand on how it reflects on their character or gratitude. Lets be honest -- that kind of talk makes them look like spoiled, nasty brats.
Ending on a positive note regarding Roloffs and fan communication online, Matt's parents, Ron and Peggy Roloff have the reputation for being nothing but kind and gracious to those contacting them. There are contact forms available on their website http://www.peggyroloff.com/ronpeg/ as well as being active on various other websites where they have the reputation of fairly regularly returning comments in a kind and appreciative manner.