Sunday, June 8, 2014

Facebook Pitfalls Part 2

Every year I've been writing this blog, I see people making big bad derby mistakes while using Facebook. I know that people don't mean to mean to "do Facebook wrong" but when you see it happening over and over again, you want to just stop the train wreck. This is not an accusation; everyone posts and can post whatever he or she wants on Facebook, but there are things you should avoid so you don't necessarily put you or your league in an awkward position. Some of this advice is probably a repeat from one of my earlier blog posts, but most of it bears repeating. Here's a link to the original if you're interested.

First of all, please don't vague post. Yes yes, we all know how frustrating it is to be angry about something in your life, derby or otherwise, and you just need to get it out of your system. What's vague posting? A good example is "I am so tired of some people's attitude." Posting like that could be about real life, work life or derby, and is bound to make people uneasy, which is the whole point to vague posting. We have all been there, but when you vague post, other people get paranoid; I know that might be what you wanted to happen, but I can almost guarantee that the people being impacted by your post aren't the people you're mad at. This is next statement is universal with every bit of advice in this post; not every emotion or experience belongs on Facebook.

Don't be abusive towards officials. It happens all of the time; you've had a rough game and you didn't like how the officials called penalties. (Shocking, I know.) It's ok to be frustrated, and it's ok to talk about it with your teammates in private, but do NOT talk about it on Facebook. First of all, we as players and coaches don't know what the refs witnessed and saw during the game. We see our version of it, and they see theirs. As derby has progressed over the years, I believe we are seeing better trained refs who don't have a personal agenda; thank heavens for that! Secondly, don't comment publicly about refs and their bias on Facebook because you never know who can see it! You may  think that your posts are just going to friends that are sympathetic to your views, but Facebook is like electronic lice. Posts jump around and land every which way, and you have no idea who is going to read them. How embarrassing is it to post a screed about a terrible ref crew and have someone from that league call you out on it? Just don't do it; the WFTDA and MRDA both frown on posting nasty things about officials, and well they should! Just. Don't. Do. It.

Don't post snarky comments about other leagues. Just like the above paragraph, you have no idea who can read your posts, and who is friends with whom. Don't start a war over being snarky. Talk about it with your friends in meat space, not on Facebook!

Don't post about how hung over you are on FB if you're ditching practice. Well, you can post about it, but don't think you won't get the stink eye from your teammates. You will, but probably not from everyone, but you'll get them. And guess what? You earned them; not because you were hung over, but because you decided to post about it on Facebook. Don't post about stupid crap unless you're willing to be judged on it. That's pretty much a given on just about everything you post on Facebook.

Don't unfriend league members if you're both still in the league. I know, people get all excited and add everyone in derby when they join a league, but it's a serious jackass move to unfriend them while you're both still active in the league. I know that people fight and argue and have issues, but you still have to work as teammates, and something petty like unfriending someone is going to have a chilling effect that can travel to the track. There are a lot of ways to avoid someone you might be angry at on social media; you can unfollow their posts, or hide them, but don't block them on Facebook. That's just being petty; what happens if you stop being mad at them, and now you have this ridiculous awkwardness between you? It might feel right at the time, but seriously reconsider what the long term consequences might be.

The final bit of advice I give is a warning. Don't get into ridiculous fights on Facebook about derby. I know, it's hard to stay out of a stupid argument, but most of the time, it's just not worth it. You really need to define for yourself what is a worthy battle, and what isn't. Everyone has strong opinions in derby, and you don't have to throw down yours at every provocation. Pick your battles.


  1. I feel like the TL:DR of derby + Facebook is if it's derby related and not positive, just don't post it.

  2. A vague post I did got be banned for life from another league so I can vouch that vague posts are highly stupid. I thought I was being smart by venting to fellow derby people and by not mentioning names I would be fine but nope, 85 comments later I was served a ban. Yay me!