We get it. There is nothing better to do at this point in the year than to scroll through the numerous riders that you follow on social media while at school or work. Summer is over, there are no races taking place, and anything beats listening to your overseer drone on and on about God knows what. (That's probably happening as you read this article.) But just because you "follow" an individual and their off-season adventures doesn't entitle you to any further action. We've got a long break from races ahead of us, and all of us will be looking at the same quotes and photos, so let's not murk up the comment section.
1. Keep Your Opinion To Yourself
This is at the top of the chart because it is the most frustrating aspect of the public climate that we currently live in. It's easier than ever to get your emotions to an audience, but if this is your lone objective on social media, please limit it to your own account. There is no need to lash out at a racer your none to found of on their own post, nor is there any reason to engage in an argument with someone who has a different point of view that you will never, ever meet. Claims that "insert person/track/brand is ruining our sport" will be lost in a sea of comments, and if your view was one that could change the direction of motocross, it would not be hidden by a cryptic screen name that ends in your racing number.
2. Remember That These Are Real People, Not Characters
If you are going to go as far as saying something disrespectful or vengeful online to a racer, keep in mind that they may or may not take it to heart. At what point in their career path did it become acceptable to outright bash their life, results, or worse, their significant other? We've seen plenty of comments directed at wives and girlfriends of racers, and while some are able to shrug it off, others are offended at the accusations thrown their way. If what you have to say online isn't something you'd say in person, it's best not to state it at all.
3. Easy With The "Edits"
The latest plague sweeping through the sport are "AwesomeMXEdits." These photos are originally taken by professional photographers and posted online in articles and galleries, but are then grabbed by someone with a smart phone and run through a number of filters and editing programs. The result is a cartoonish image that bares no resemblance to the original, but is somehow deemed better than ever.
This is nightmare for photographers. Not only are your photos practically being stolen and used for someone else's personal gain (the legality of this is a gray area), but often times your name is attached to the image against your will. And to be quite blunt, they all look lame.
4. Riders Only - Remember Your Image
Instagram idiocy isn't limited to fans, as riders often put questionable material in the public eye. Most are young and unfamiliar with how far their reach is, but when you are considered to be on a higher level than others your age, your maturity is expected to be equal. Keep the posts of off-season antics limited, even if they are just modest and childish. If a brand is paying your hefty sums, it's best to assume they are watching your every action to see how well the return of investment is, even off the track.
Also, can we kill this trend of posting pictures found on AwkwardFamilyPhotos.com and tagging one of your fellow racers in it? Every time you do this, a commoner thinks it is acceptable and does the same with their friend. Be a leader and bring an end to this cruelty.
Now that you know are well-versed in how to be a better member of social media, let's make this off-season suck a little less. If we haven't offended you yet, then be sure to follow our numerous outlets, including Facebook (www.facebook.com/TransWorldMoto), Twitter (twitter.com/twmxdotcom), and Instagram (instagram.com/twmxdotcom)...