The past couple of weeks have served as a reminder why I avoid engaging in conversations with people I don’t know on social media.
A barrage of content has been appearing, especially on X – formerly Twitter – since the atrocities from the Hamas incursion into Israel and subsequent carnage, which although unverified in some cases and deliberate disinformation in others are taken as gospel by people purely because it reinforces opinions they already hold.
I don’t think I have a personal Twitter account. If I do I’ve certainly never used it and although YA stories are all posted onto X (what do you call them if they’re not tweets anymore?) I never even check it for comments.
I do have my own Facebook account for keeping in touch with family and friends scattered across the world or fans of the band and have on occasion made the schoolboy error of actually voicing an opinion on a post I’ve seen from someone not known to me, invariably relating to music or football.
When I think about the torrent of abuse I managed to restrain myself from reacting to over such inocuous subjects as why Wolves should have held onto Conor Coady or how the live Deep Purple album Made In Japan, while OK, is nowhere near as good as fans make it out to be, it is as nothing compared to what broadcasters have to endure.
One radio host has had to step away from social media this week to protect their own mental health after simply advising caution over automatically accepting everything people see on social media as the truth.
Users have completely the wrong idea about why social media was created. It wasn’t dreamed up for people to interact over great distances, Facebook, X, etc., are all about algorythms to analyse responses and manipulate choices into marketing and advertising opportunities – in other words, revenue.
You didn’t really think Zuckerberg, Musk and the like were doing it for the greater good, did you?
Beyond the gate receipts I’m at a loss to find any justification for England’s friendly game against Australia on Friday.
It certainly couldn’t be claimed to be a dry run for Tuesday’s competitive game against Italy because there was never any question that Ollie Watkins or Jarrod Bowen would be leading the attack in the starting line-up for the Euro ’24 qualifier. In fact, the entire starting 11 was changed.
So all the Australia game did was put Premier League players at risk of injury for the sake of a pointless kickabout in front of a paying audience.
That said, well done England for a grand performace against Italy to reach the finals in Germany next year with two games to spare.
But what a player Jude Bellingham is. Incredible maturity for a 20-year old and a fantastic rapport with the fans.
Stupid TV quiz answer of the week
Q: Gannymede is the largest moon of which planet in the solar system?
Answer 1: The Sun
Answer 2: The Moon
Q: Lugholes are a slang term for which pair of body parts?
Finally, some answers are just so idiotic they’re not even worthy of mockery. While writing part of this column I failed to notice that The Wheel was on TV, which I usually avoid like the plague. Then I heard the question: Who was the drummer in Led Zeppelin? and the answer “Charlie Watts” from some Welsh bus driver which filled me with such rage and disgust I almost threw the remote control at the screen. I don’t need that sort of rank ignorance in my life.
Ghostly stuff on Really it is then.