First the history lesson, for those 50 and older do you remember your first computer? Do you remember dial up? 40 and older – do you remember when we got email, no more sending mail through the post office, 30 and older – do you remember y2k and how the computer world was going to crash – 30 and younger – well you grew up with all these gadgets, you know them well, you are familiar with all these products on your telephone, in fact, few of you remember telephones connected to the wall in your home.
Take it another way, do you remember when people would get on local racing websites with their forum boards, hide behind a name, and write crap, some to stir hits to their website. Those websites have been replaced by social media, in particular, Facebook.
Facebook is a great tool, a great way to stay social, to stay in touch in with numerous friends, but like all things positive it can be used as a weapon, it can be used by the devil to create sin, to create hate, to create negativity, to create cyber bullying (a word that did not exist 10 years ago). Facebook could also be destroying our sport, think about it, do people really want to go someplace when they read about negative things at a racetrack, would you?
Facebook has kept us connected, in fact we are more connected to one another than we have ever been in the history of the world. We can wish someone Happy Birthday, Get Well, thinking of you, prayers, faster than running to the store, buying a card, and sending it….BUT…..have we lost our ability to relate? With all this connectivity we seem to be more isolated than ever before, but we are human beings and we need physical contact, a hug, a handshake, a look into the eye discussion, things Facebook does not provide. If you don’t believe this is correct then please explain what happens when soldiers return home to their loved ones – the hugs, the kisses, the tears. We have to learn to relate!
Facebook is great for getting the word out – post it on Facebook and thousands can get the information instantly. A Lakeside press release this morning was seen by 7337 people by 7 P.M. tonight, wow! I-35 Speedway used this method to announce the Saturday rain out and Sunday racing. Very successful method to spread the word.
My wife each day writes a positive note that several people follow, in fact, we have had people come up and tell us how much they appreciate her comments and thoughts. Positive thoughts, positive challenges, has created her own following.
Oh but we are a negative society, we love to stir crap, we love to get upset and tell people only our side of the story, we love to get other people’s sympathy, even when we are wrong. Let me explain without using names – over the last couple of weeks there have been issues which people jump on Facebook and do exactly what the first sentence stated, yet after a few days go by, the emotion has left, the sympathy is gone, and the reality has set in. In both cases apologies have been issued, but you will not see that on Facebook, we love to stir but we have a problem publicly apologizing, public admitting we are/were wrong. Which gets more respect, voicing a frustration looking for sympathy or admitting a mistake was made and moving on.
So my challenge to everyone in racing, please pay attention to what you are posting and specifically why you are posting.
We highly encourage our employees at Lakeside and I-35 to refrain posting anything. Why you may ask? Simply because written words do not always carry the correct message. Words can be twisted, the meaning can be lost. How do we conquer the urge to post, remember the paragraphs above about relationships? We are striving to build relationships, that is how we will get our sport back, how we will make new fans, how we will race with friends instead of enemies, how we will conquer jealousy and create sportsmanship. Please put down the phone and learn to communicate via a relationship!