Teams played sports? Not today, thank you Tweetdeck

Apparently there’s some sort of big sporting event on at the moment in Brazil.  I didn’t realise it was Olympics time already.

I am, according to large swathes of the media, supposed to care.

Amazingly, the media (and the General Public) doesn’t seem to understand that there are people who Just Don’t Care.  Never have.  Don’t have a team, never will.

This is me.

Big events will always wind people up.  Look at the vitriol and spite being sluiced around Social Media with the Scottish Referendum coming up!  Anyone dares to express an opinion, they’re shouted down and attacked from all sides!

If I don’t want to know about something, I filter it out, to varying degrees of success.  TV? Easy. Change channels, break out the DVDs, switch off, go for a walk.  Twitter?  Ah, thank you Tweetdeck

I’ve spoken about Tweetdeck before on here – customising it by hacking the files buried deep in the extensions directories – but with big events one feature really comes into it’s own – Filters.

In the Beginning was the Hashtag…

It’s become a convention that for every major event, a Social Media hashtag has to be created so people around the world can comment.  For the Eurovision Song Contest it was, not surprisingly, #Eurovision.  For the World Cup it’s #WorldCup.  There’ll be variants, of course, but get the main one first and you can pick up the spare later.

Look at the columns in Tweetdeck – top-right you’ll see an icon that lets you access the settings for that column, including the filters…  Add the hashtag you wish to exclude, save the changes and Bingo! Twitter becomes a much nicer place.  And you can do this without blocking people you follow.  After all, just because someone follows football (or cricket, rugby, Doctor Who, the Eurovision song contest for that matter) doesn’t mean you don’t want to speak to them.  Some of my best friends follow cricket!

My current filter list looks like this:

#spoty #xfactor #bgt #Brazil2014 #WorldCup

I don’t filter out much but it does what it needs to. Want to talk about me behind my back?  Tag your tweet with one of those and I’ll never see it.  If I tag one of my posts like this, I don’t see it!

You can do similar things with emails – use filters in Gmail or rules in Outlook – and syphon them away from your inbox and into a folder for later perusal.

Facebook and Google+ are more problematic – neither really let you filter our hashtags even though they both use them.  There was an extension for G+ that let you mute things but that doesn’t work any more.

This post was…

originally a much larger rant about my attitude towards sports.  Looking back through the lenses supplied by my wonderful wife (who, thankfully, also doesn’t watch sport on TV but has given me the perspective of one who joined in at school) I must’ve made a variety of peoples’ lives hell at school.

I would like to take this opportunity to apologise to:

My classmates – no-one wants a black hole of negativity on their team, someone who made no effort whatsoever no matter what role they were placed in.  Their parents can’tve been too pleased when told the tales of my inactivity, either!

My teachers – no-one wants to have to teach a black hole of negativity who just won’t even try and join in.  For 7 years.

My wife and kids – who have to put up with this sporting black hole of negativity and carefully cultured ignorance.  My eldest lad enjoys playing football at school and wants a team kit.  I don’t know what to get him!  Is there such a thing as team-neutral, I-just-enjoy-the-game-in-general kit that won’t single him out for abuse from someone who equates that team kit with someone who eats babies?

The Future…

I’m trying very hard not to pass my attitude on to my kids.  It’s one (of many) things I’d change were I to go back in time and do it all again with full knowledge of what had happened last time I leaned on the goalpost and watched the ball roll past while continuing a conversation about Call of Cthulhu.  I would at least make an effort.  After all, it wasn’t their fault my team-mates were lumbered with the guy who was picked last – at least after week 1 when my lanky frame may have fooled them into thinking I was a sportsman.  And I do mean last.  I was the no-choice kid you got left with after fat guy, boy with asthma and really tiny boy.

So now I run, I cycle, I’ve dabbled in archery and I make damn sure my kids at least join in.  If they enjoy it, brilliant! If they don’t, then at least we’ve got another thing in common.

And Finally, Today in Doctor Who…

Now there are many people out there (admittedly, probably not reading this blog), who do enjoy these sport things, and Doctor Who might put things in perspective.

It’s their flagship (let’s face it , their only) Science Fiction series, the jewel in their Christmas TV schedule.  When a new Doctor is being cast the speculation and media coverage is immense – even after the actor has been cast, people want to know what his outfit will be like, will the companions continue the same, will the TARDIS get another makeover, are the BBC going to change the branding again.

Now imagine you don’t give a toss about some weird TV show that only kids watch, couldn’t begin to care about having an opinion on who should or shouldn’t be cast in the role.  Now scale that up – imagine Dr Who is a huge global media event, that every news bulletin finishes with a round-up of Dr Who news from the day, that there are pubs where you can watch it on the big screen every Saturday…

There you go.  You’ve got an inkling of how I feel about sports.  You’re welcome.

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