Editorial: August 6, 2021
The recent correspondence from Tim Thomas to conformation judges touched on the use of social media. We have addressed this topic in past editorials, but maybe it needs to be readdressed.
There is no question, no matter on which side of the political spectrum you fall, that social graces and civility have deteriorated. Opinions have reached a fever pitch with many, and their posts on Facebook and other social-media platforms are beyond insulting. It has become commonplace to rage online. It’s our constitutional right to have and express our opinions, but there is a way to do so without being insulting. Express your opinion without insults; as the adage goes, it’s easier to attract bees with honey. Before you post, think of how you reacted when you read an opposing view written in the same insulting style. Read your post again and then again before you send it. Facebook is a platform, so think of it as a diving platform; Sometimes you have to swan-dive; other times, it’s a belly flop.
We all have friends, real friends, whom we can call and confide in regarding any situation. Friends who are truly friends – not Facebook friends whom we have collected over the years by way of mutual friends or mutual interests. In our world, dogs are our mutual interest. So opinions about judging or judges or competing dogs only create problems, not solutions. Your judge is not an idiot when you lose and a genius breed authority when you win. Sometimes you lose to an inferior dog, and, yes, sometimes you win over a better one. It was long ago when a former columnist of ours, now deceased, wrote flowing prose about a recent judging assignment, how wonderful the club was, the food at the luncheon, the hotel, the stewards and how pleased they were to see two particular dogs, mentioning their wins in almost every column. The column would end with that unwritten line and I’m available next year. The AKC finally stepped in and requested that we put a stop to that kind of self-promotion.
Posting photographs of your last meal, missed flights, hospitalized family members or strong political views might please you, but they really aren’t of interest to the 2,000 friends you have collected along the way. Your real friends – the ones you travel with, have meals with, speak to regularly – are the ones who are really interested in your opinions and personal life. You know, the ones you turn to in good times and bad. If you have a problem with someone, a face-to-face conversation is always the best solution. Your entire friend list on Facebook does not really need to be involved. Facebook, like all social platforms, serves a purpose: It’s great to disseminate information and bring people together, but with civility. For those other times when you feel you have something to say to someone, say it face to face.