I’ve become semi-addicted to Twitter lately. (And here I thought I had achieved victory over social media by giving up Facebook!)
I joined Twitter for professional reasons at first, working on a project that required me to be somewhat informed about the hot new restaurants and chefs in Toronto. Luckily, it wasn’t a painful exercise, because I love food! I quickly started following outside the foodie circles, into current events, politics, marketing, technology and more recently, sports.
Sometimes I will come across posts that remind me to not take myself too seriously. Foodies preach about buying and eating only local and sustainable, bloggers meticulously and lovingly pine over their photographs and the gorgeous plate compositions, the food truck proponents will rant ravenously about the travesty of municipal legislation that prevents them from fairly operating on their city streets and ask you to sign petitions… John Lanchester wrote a nice piece in The New Yorker where he put all foodies in their place:
Imagine that you die and go to Heaven and stand in front of a jury made up of Thomas Jefferson, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Your task would be to compose yourself, look them in the eye, and say, “I was all about fresh, local, and seasonal.”
What I find probably the most amusing is within the realm of sports. On Twitter, and on TV and radio sports shows, analysts and armchair commentators will go to great lengths – with dramatic pauses for full effect – to analyze last night’s game to death to parse where things went awry, or to declare with utmost authority what the Leafs need to do to dig out of their mess. Most recently, it’s been all the analysis on the NFL scouting combine and who ran the fastest 40 yards, and next will be the breakdown of March Madness, down to what shoes the players need to wear to get to the Final Four.
Charles Barkley recently mocked the fact that professional basketball teams are now all hiring analytics staff, claiming, “Because they had no talent to be able to play . . . smart guys wanted to be able to fit in, so they made up a term called ‘analytics.’” (it didn’t occur to him that basically, he was saying he’s not smart). Well, I am a firm believer in the fact that the numbers don’t lie, and I don’t necessarily agree with his theory on the evolution of analytics in sports, but I do think analytics in the world of sports is kind of funny. I mean, can you imagine: the movie “Moneyball” created a whole sub-industry in sports. The nerds won!
And that’s my point: there’s a nerd for everything. While the analytics guys may be the nerds to Charles Barkley, he should listen to himself and his fellow sports broadcasters give such ridiculous in-depth analysis about a game. Trust me, Charles: it’s just as nerdy. FuBu reminds me that it’s driven by passion: for sports, for food, for knitting… people should be celebrated for loving something so much, I suppose.
But it reminds me that the only people who should be revered and lauded for their nerdy passions are the ones who save lives: our scientists, our engineers, our doctors, our military, fire and police servicemen and women… They can be as nerdy as they want; I offer them my full respect. Everyone else doesn’t need to be taken so seriously – let’s just chuckle and move on.