We are roughly a week removed from the BEYOND REALITY EXPERIENCE that was the Stadium Series Weekend, already some folks on Canes social media have already moved past the acrimony and excitement in sharing our team with each other into this whirlwind of nastiness. Trolls, gatekeepers, and haters are going to populate every group of people. Canes fans are no different.
Some people point to the base nature of social media, but I think the nature of this problem goes beyond that. On the surface, you can say it falls on the basic idea that people fail to read past their gut reaction, take a minute before responding, or simply forget this is all a game.
But for the trolls, gatekeepers, and haters it goes deeper still.
If you are still reading this, you might be saying to yourself “Isn’t this coming from the guy who wrote that piece about podcasts to listen to?”
To that I say “Yes.” I did write that piece, and I wrote that carefully to say these are the podcasts I do and do not listen to.
I also wrote why I like particular podcasts, more than others. The hullabaloo around that piece was raised by people who did not read that article completely (headlines are tricky like that), did not take a minute before responding, or cannot remember this is all a game.
As content creators, we all need content.
If that means we have to create it from the Canes, our fandom of the Canes, or reactions from other Canes fans, it still has to be created. My piece gave plenty of people plenty of content. Trust me, I heard it all. And…guess what it is still supplying content, even as you read this! It will generate more content after this article is published too. Keeping the game going is as much a part of the game as the game itself.
I have talked (IN PERSON, imagine that?) with at least some of the people who took major offense to my podcast piece. How they took that, and the gestures made is up to them. I took their rebuttals and comments to the extent I wanted. Some more than others, others less than some. That’s the nature of this game, and it is just a game.
But the game keeps going.
Still there is a group of fans operating on social media that I cannot abide. Nor should other Canes fans. We have all seen them, even if they do not see themselves. These folks typically fail to read completely, take a minute to respond, remember this is a game, or worse.
They do all three and still spew vitriol. This group seems to wrap themselves in some cloak of majesty as if superior to other Canes fans. Some take on aspects of trolls, gatekeepers, or haters. Others take on all three at the same time.
Recently, I have seen more than is necessary gatekeeping, trolling, and downright hatred toward a variety of behaviors by Canes fans that have left me shaking my head. From trade thoughts, Tweets about games, and even the wave.
Who knew there were such serious aspects for Canes fans to engross themselves with?
(As of today, I have seen some issues Canes fans should be concerned with regarding other Canes, but I have not read completely so I will not respond)
Trolls have jumped on people claiming jinxes on the outcomes of games along with some less than flattering GIFs. In my rational mind, I ask “how did that happen?” If a Tweet causes a hockey team to lose, please explain that to me because that is some serious metaphysics that I want to understand.
And who is really wrong there? The folks who Tweet an update or the person who believes seriously in jinxes?
Gatekeepers told me, in the wake of my podcast piece, to “take the L” which was pretty interesting. Who is keeping score? I am genuinely interested in that aspect. Haters have been after Canes fans about the wave since before the dawn of time. Videos exist of people starting the wave, with hate Tweets following.
I can see this distraction element to a brief extent, but I am almost completely sure we are cheering for a team full of professional athletes. If the wave causes lapses in focus, are they that professional? I’m asking for a friend here.
We’re all content creators on social media in some fashion. I understand the “hurly burly”, but what battle is really won by being a troll, gatekeeper, or downright hater? No one is better off at the end of day for having to interact with these folks. Deep down, bad behavior online cannot be good for the trolls, gatekeepers or haters either.
If you find yourself interacting with other Canes fans as a content creator, fan, or participant on social media, ask yourself three really easy questions. Did I consume this article, Tweet, or podcast completely? Have I waited a minute to respond? Is this all part of the game that is interacting with Cane fans?
Throwing hate, being a gatekeeper, and trolldom is really not part of the game.