Category: Social Media
Regarding my absence ftom 2020 NHL playoff blogging and my social withdrawal online
Here we are, deep into the NHL’s COVID-19 affected NHL playoffs! It’s sports-content when the world is generally forced to step back. The NHL’s system is proof of the step-back: Two host-cities for gameplay, no attendees, players/team personnel in a “bubble” to prebent catching the dreaded virus that has afflicted the globe.
The Tampa Bay Lightning are once again facing the Columbus Blue Jackets (last season’s series is a painful memory) and have taken two of three games played… Well, unofficially, it’s two of six games as the clubs had eight(!!!) periods of play in the series opener – regulation play and five overtimes.
In all the stories I just shallowly touched on with this, I haven’t said one damned thing in written content. The fact I’m writing this with a sudden personal turn is bad enough, but I was the original Tampa Bay Lightning blogger and this is my personal site so…
Why haven’t I said shit? That in itself is personal.
I have it upfront on Johnny Fonts that I have an issue with my hands which makes typing more difficult. I’ve also written on Raw Charge about my condition in general in a (failed) fundraising attempt. There’s stuff here too, but none of it speaks about the now. I haven’t gone public with this one – with friends on social media or on this site.
Oh, my silence has been influenced in part by the risk factor for the NHL that is at play with the virus. In May it made this writer turn up his nose at the playoff-system (so did the Lightning) but this isn’t the virus or politicking that has muted me…
Han Solo said it best in the Tatoonie desert in Return of the Jedi, “Instead of a big dark blur, I see a big light blur.” Subtract the daek and you have my silencing ailment, cornea scars that have rendered me blind.
It’s not total blindness or I wouldn’t be able to even attempt to write this. It is profound though and stops me from spending time reading coverage of the Bolts in articles or on social media. I struggle to read, I lose patience with thanks to pop-up elements on top og illegible text and give up. I also lack – and always have – the ability to keep up with the fast-fast pace of Twitter during games or events.
And then there’s watching games. I can’t. Or movies. Or news coverage. It’s blurred into discontent for me.
I pay attention to headlines I see; I follow news on Reddit specifically for that. I’m just not going deep in coverage as the die-hard sports fan that I am… And it sucks. It sucks that I am not invested in my passion covering the Lightning.
My general health affliction (paired with anxiety and insecurity issues) has always prevented me from much involvement with things. This vision issue continues that plight. The cornea scars are a result of eye-dryness which is a condition I’ve suffered for decades by way of tumors and necessary surgery. This explains why I’m always in sunglasses in photos: To hide the scats unsightliness.
To be visually impaired like this on top of my heating issues? It’s making me into a modern-day Helen Keller.
So, I’m not in the playoffs and coverage of the Coolest Game on Ice during this time of plight. I have been investing myself in music in a manner derived through my blogging days: Content management, promotion, and research. Oh, listening is a part of it too. It’s a step down from sports coverage as many independent musicians who are out there are only doing things as a hobby and I am and will remain irrelevant to them as I have no reputation in the industry. Having been part of Lightning coverage for so long made me relevant in hockey and Bolts coverage, especially seeing local media has never given the Bolts more focus and coverage which the franchise has earned through competitiveness.
So, uh, yeah… I’ve shut up. I suppose that makes some people happy. Perhaps this explains to my friends and colleagues why I’ve been scaled back on social media (though Facebook corporate/political issues have contributed, that’s one platform though). I media-share a lot and sometimes post messages. I don’t exactly enjoy making it seem like I want all focus on me by not reacting to others.
We]l see (pun intended) if things ever improve, but John Fontana is muted in many ways in the online world that has been his home for most of his life. And it pains him. Profoundly.
End the attention; block Donald Trump on Twitter
I follow headlines not by way of Google News or an aggregation program but instead by way of Reddit. It’s driven by community in what gets posted and if it’s valid / worthy content or not. While seeing all the news content tied to politics at the moment in the United States, there is one ugly, ugly factor being repeated over and over again.
The sitting President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, does most of his declarations in a one-way sentiment via Twitter. Too often he crosses the lines of leadership and maturity and sinks into the realm of knee-jerking, assumption, closed-minded folly and other negative aspects. Too often this shit ends up dominating the headlines or news content from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Too often, by way of reaction, people are double or triple-exposed to the Dotard in Covfefe’s antics by way of retweets (which are often derived from negative reaction) and news coverage over and over and over again.
With all the crap Trump pulls in his unbalanced stances, he still has over 43,000,000 followers. No, they’re not all bots. No, they’re not all supporters. No, they’re not truly informing people when they retweets his rhetoric. It’s because of those retweets (being done by friends and media) that I’ve declared enough being enough:
For the sake of no longer empowering a liar desperate for attention who has mired America, I have blocked @realDonaldTrump on Twitter
— John Fontana (@Johnny_Fonts) August 9, 2017
Look, The Dotard loves attention and blindly looks at it as support or as an ego boost. The more people who interact with him (or try to) by spreading his stuff around or replying to his content gives his ego a boost (even if that content is all of profanity). It’s easy to understand how some people want to get their news from the direct source, but when the direct source is mired at so many levels and marred with corruption, bigotry, hate? He’s not exactly going to “Make America Great Again” via inability to talk to the press with honesty and tact, or refusal to interact with people unless they applaud him or pay a hefty price for the opportunity.
A lot of people denounce him, a lot of people have actively protested against him and the direction of the country under him. It’s not shutting yourself out of hearing the news by blocking him on Twitter. It does send a message if more people turned their back on him on this social media avenue.
Overdue: Deleted my MySpace profile
Late 2004 I had a friend I met through Yahoo chat who only had images through this weird network type thing called MySpace… She had joined the network because of the indie music scene on there and socialized with both real and online friends through there.
This was before their was wider network access to MySpace and therefore I had to join in order to view any member’s profile information or photos. So in early 2005 I joined MySpace…
And hated it the entire time I was involved.
MySpace was like the AOL of social networks to me. Oh, it had a lot of bells and whistles you have seen copied and imitated by other networks… It introduced people to the web in general in a lot of ways (design wise – with customizable profiles where you could change every aspect of your profile with a bit of CSS know-how, which fathered an entire sub-market of web design sites). It was the forefather of other social network sites and catered to the mainstream while it’s “competitor” — Facebook — was aimed specifically at the college crowd and linking college students and alumni.
I connected with a few people on MySpace – old friends, new friends – but generally loathed the experience. MySpace was technologically obsolete, even if it’s vision was advanced. Social networking and it’s strength for marketing and message spread was something only just catching on.
The problem with MySpace was that it did not advance itself like most web properties do — no significant design changes, no huge additions or subtractions. Oh, there was one significant change that helped put it on the outs with me and others: More flash advertising. Videos, interactive applets and other intensive ads that belabored my browser and annoyed my web surfing experience. I don’t want to see a video for “Miss March” when I just want to see the message that was sent to em from an old friend! I just wanna’ log in and get it done.
Why did I stick around four years with MySpace? Friends who aren’t on Facebook (which I joined at the behest of hockey bloggers in 2006 or so, after the network started allowing the general public to join). Family as well. Just appeasing them because there was no way to stay connected to them without a Myspace profile.
But really, it’s over now.
I didn’t like the Web 1.0 design, I hated the crappy design jobs that people employed on personal profile pages, I hated (abhorred, loathed, etc) all the flash bullshit that was lumped onto people’s profiles (tons of youtube videos stacked on top of each other, tons of different photo album bells and whistles in the middle of the profile, etc) as well as the advertisements.
In the end, MySpace felt like a toy that had never had it’s packaging improved. A toy that’s never had it’s design flaws corrected besides the barest of changes. A toy that’s been improved-upon and leaped over by it’s competitors.
A toy that’s lost it’s novelty and wore out my patience early on. I endured. But no longer.