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Social media: Is it really worth it?

I’m not the social media police, it is a brilliant source of up-to-date information and keeping in
contact with friends, but it is also one of the most dangerous areas of the internet (writes David Corkill).

The only social media public forum I use is Facebook and I am very careful as to how I use it. I rarely post anything and if I do it is usually about someone else and their success. If I win titles or do well in competition, it doesn’t get put on. I don’t share photographs of meals I am enjoying or have made and I
definitely do not abuse anyone.
All these areas are a no go for me. Why? Simple really, I don’t think anyone is particularly interested in my life to the point of actually wanting to read about it. Some people enjoy doing that and I support their right to do so, they get a lot of enjoyment sharing and it can be very funny and informative.
However, it is also the greatest platform in the world for self-promotion and like it or not, it is
hard to ignore that part of Facebook, but again if some wish to do it so be it.
The problem about writing on social media however is it is on record forever, even if deleted. Screenshots
are a wonderful addition to the modern age. I am aware of a really interesting one posted by a national
association official. It was very quickly deleted, but it still exists.
Anyway, moving on to much more important people.
Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff is a national cricketing icon. He is also a television presenter and has many credits to his name away from his professional life in sport. Freddie, as he is known, is from Preston, a
place I know very well having played bowls at the Guildhall for many years. Before Potters, it was the home of the World Indoor Championships and the UK Singles. The people are down to earth and very friendly and Freddie appears to be no different so I decided to read his first book.
It was excellent. Maybe not the most challenging of reads, but that suits me so I enjoyed it immensely. I manage to get through around 70-80 books a year, but this one made an impression because it was nonfiction and very honest. Brutally honest at times, and I loved that about it the most.
Freddie talked about his life, personal and professional. The challenges he faced and the health
issues he endured.
He also wrote a chapter on social media and influencers. If you don’t know about social media influencers
it’s worth a read of Freddie’s take on them. It appears they make a shed load of money telling people what they themselves like and what they promote on the internet. The make a very profitable living at doing it.
Strange times!
His views written with the occasional ‘tongue in cheek’ way made me smile and all without the politically correct (PC) ‘police’ getting too annoyed. I have no doubt the people involved in the production of his book edited it very carefully to ensure it was suitable to go to print.
Freddie deals with social media and television extremely well and succinctly. If you don’t like something
on TV don’t watch it. Simple. The best button on the remote control is the ‘mute’ one. I use it all of the time when watching sport in particular. As
Sometimes I watch football and rugby matches without commentators’ voices. I enjoy the
majority, but if I don’t, the mute button is my greatest ally. I am sure it is the same for some bowlers when I am working.
No problem.
But I don’t go on to Facebook or Twitter or any other medium and complain about them.
They are there to do a job and they do it very professionally, but I have the right to mute them, not
abuse them.
As Freddie would say ‘get a life’.
As he rightly says, the world is in torment economically, there are also people dying every day of illnesses that we just cannot prevent and there is a war going on which has affected millions of people.
Global recession is on our doorstep and yet there are always a few that just want to complain about something as inconsequential as a comment on a sports event or indeed any other subject. The book
is full of well-written and interesting aspects of life and social media was extremely well covered.
Social media can be a minefield just look at the court cases recently.
Everything that is committed to that medium becomes a legal target and many have had to publicly apologise for their actions or worse, lost jobs and some have even ensured financial ruin as a result.
Common sense prevails most of the time, but with changes in terminology it is essential to keep up
to date. In today’s politically correct world there is nowhere to hide.
I totally agree with Freddie Flintoff when he says we can all be lured into expressing our views, but it’s maybe worth just reflecting a little before we go on a rant. The red mist that keyboard warriors sometimes suffer from is very real.
Freddie takes this to a new level when a meal from a local restaurant is not totally complete
when it was delivered.

I can’t do it justice here, but he describes his feelings so well when he tries to get the situation resolved
that it drives him to almost explode.
His book as many of the books I read was available at my local library as an e-book.
It’s a free service and libraries have tens of thousands of titles available. If you are not aware of it believe me it’s well worthwhile signing up to it.
Lady Gaga, real name Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, is a pop star born in the USA.
Well-known and articulate, she described social media and I quote ‘the toilet of the internet’ during
an interview on a USA television show. Whether you agree with that statement or not, I respect her
opinion because at times you really do wonder, in some cases, if she has a good point.


Views expressed by David Corkill do not necessarily represent those of the team at Bowls International.

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