By Hans Ebert
While those who make a study of such things- and count us amongst them- wonder about the sudden drop in almost one fell swoop of being on Twitter by many in horse racing, races are still being run and right at the bottom are not tips per se, but only what we like at today’s Carnivale of Actione at another Happy Wednesday. But Twitter? Hmmmm.
While Twitter will always attract those with an opinion, especially regarding the ebb and flow of politics led by the daily Trumpeting while there will always be tweets featuring cats, other cute animals, the sayings of online life coaches and some genuinely relevant news, other than those who’ve been tweeting away about the same things for the last 5-6 years, there’s a hush out there from the rest of the racing community.
As more and more are saying, Twitter is a “distraction”. That might just be a subtle way of saying that it’s stressful. Very stressful as stupid and hurtful comments cling to you as do those who are not whom they paint themselves out to be.
For some of us, it’s part of our job to have a presence on the social media platform. We do the best we can without letting the various examples of “click bait” draw us into engaging with especially those hiding behind pseudonyms and seemingly needing attention. We’re not going to babysit nor feed the trolls.
While the usual suspects in the racing world still bang the same drum of discontent, those to whom these messages are aimed refuse to see or hear what’s going on. They have bigger fish to fry and important ass to kiss. This ass is called elitism. It’s a priority to those at the top of the mountain. What “participants”?
Whether one might not like to hear it, there’s a pecking order in horse racing. There’s always been one. Social media has only helped to reveal the suck ups- those who have always been into self promotion, grand standing and ensuring they’re “out” there and always ready to go where the money is.
Nothing really wrong with any of this except for the fact that some of us have an aversion to clammy hands, cheap politics, fakery and tweeting from both sides of the mouth.
Having access these days to those able to crack codes and see who are behind those pseudonyms and what’s thought to being said secretly through direct messaging, nothing- nothing- on social media remains a secret. Julian Assange taught this to the world years ago. More recently, Zuckerberg and Facebook were found out.
So if social media is such a dangerous place aided and abetted by fake views and “likes”, why is most of the world on it? Addiction? Loneliness? Needing to be the biggest Twit? Unhappy with the real world? All of the above? Who knows? Who cares?
For horse racing, Twitter is important in providing news. Where it gets derailed is when everyone jumps onto the same dance floor and flogs the same moves to death adding nothing new to what has suddenly become an old war horse.
Maybe that’s it: For a social media tool that’s here to make the marketing of anything quicker, easier, more cost effective, has given all the power to the consumer and has buried many newspapers and publications in the process, very few really understand how to use Twitter effectively and that there’s a world of difference between “you’re” and “your” and how many are judged by the grammar they use.
Read something bovine which was tolerated a few years ago and that former patience is no longer there. Who needs it when there’s life to lead in the real world?
Whether Twitter or Facebook or Instagram or SnapChat or using any app, surely it’s only a diversion and respite from real life? But has this “respite” turned into Mr Hyde and become the root cause of far more stress and violence and deep racial divisions in the world today?
What about using social media to improve the quality of life- real life and not fake life in the online world. And this includes the horse racing industry and those involved in it.
Many are doing very good things for various charities. There’s plenty of room for more to be done. In the words of the philosopher Nike with a swish, Just DO it.
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