Hundreds of Facebook friend requests waiting for approval. Names are unrecognizable, but supposedly they’re friends with my friends. When I scroll through my Facebook feed it resembles the spinning of a slot machine….a veritable blur of posts until I land on something I actually take time to read. The unique posts are just as rare as winning the slots. OCR-related blog posts and articles seem to come in multiples, each shared dozens of times over. I ignore most of them. Race reviews – haven’t read one in months. Instagram photos – all look the same to me. Twitter – just more stuff that I’ve seen a thousand times already. Me – I add to the madness with articles like this. What happened? How did I get to the point of being tired of obstacle racing posts on social media?
There was a time when I craved anything and everything OCR. News was scarce. I knew my OCR Facebook friends personally, or at least had several interactions with them online. I was interested in their lives. Actually that hasn’t changed. I’m still very interested in my real FRIENDS’ lives, but I find that they are often ignored, as their posts and photos get accidentally swept along in the deluge of social media information washing over me daily. When everyone shouts, no one is heard. It’s not the fault of any individual and it’s not the content. It’s the volume and I’m drowning it.
I’m tired of drowning. Social media is my tool, not my master. While some may be content with wandering mindlessly across the social media landscape, I am not. I want to want to read every post. I want to stay connected with friends, read things of interest, and not see the same photos and articles 20 times a day. I’m tempted to withdraw, to go on a massive unfriending, leave every OCR group and pare down to the 200-300 OCR friends that I have some kind of real relationship with. Yet I’m too vested in the community as a racer, a writer, and president of an OCR-related charity to take such drastic measures. It’s time for a new strategy, though, and it will be a combination of strategies shared with me by others. In case you need your own OCR social media life jacket, here are some of those strategies.
- Stop accepting FB friend requests from people you do not know. Just stop. Don’t feel guilty.
- Don’t want to seem like a jerk by ignoring them, then politely suggest that any friend requester follows your athlete page (or in my case the OnMyWayToSparta FB page) instead.
- Don’t have another page or don’t want to seem like a douche by referring them to your athlete page, then friend them, add them to a “Don’t know” friends list, and immediately un-follow them.
- Already have too many FB friends that you don’t know at all – unfriend them. It’s not personal.
- Don’t want to unfriend, then un-follow so that you never see their posts.
- Examine your OCR Facebook groups. Do they bring value to your life or do they suck the ever-loving life and happiness from your day? Leave those that waste your time or sap your joy. Do it! Now.
If you have other strategies, I want to hear them. Social media built the sport/hobby of obstacle racing and I’m not going to let it ruin it for me.