WHEN SOCIAL MEDIA BECOMES A NIGHTMARE
We all have different tastes in cars, thoughts on replica or counterfeit parts, and ways we like to build things. It’s these traits — particularly the first and last — that make the car world an interesting one. If we all built the same damn vehicle, things would get very boring, very fast. In fact, I hazard a guess that this magazine would not exist, and neither would the scene, if that was the norm. But it’s this very difference that seems to give birth to plenty of negativity on social media, and I suspect that a touch of tall-poppy syndrome is also involved.
In this modern age we live in, social media is in our faces 24/7, so we see plenty of sweet, sweet cars posted, shared, and loved by most. But alongside all the love, there is a huge amount of negative feedback served up by ignorant people. It’s got to the point that I cringe most times I post a Kiwi car onto the NZ Performance Car Facebook page, as you never know just how big the barrage of negative feedback will be. Perhaps it’s a side effect of the large reach our page has that those pesky Americans get their digging spades out — with often ignorant and uninformed blabber. You know, the type of stuff that would get you punched square in the nose if it was said person-to-person.
It’s not just the Americans doing it either; there are plenty of Kiwis who lack the skills to hold their tongue or, should I say, fingers. Don’t get me wrong — it’s fine to have an opinion; in fact, I applaud anyone who has enough backbone to form one. But is it really necessary to tear someone down on a public forum because you don’t like their way of doing things? What do you really achieve? If people held their fingers back a little, I feel the scene would be a much more positive place.
But that’s seemingly the world we now live in; a place where people feel that the internet is simply an open invitation to them to spout bullshit.
We have a policy that means we don’t heavily moderate such stuff, but we also don’t tolerate it, and often jump on in and bite back — even when we know it will get us nowhere — fast. We also love it when the owners get in there and stand strong. I could sit here and type things like ‘we need to be positive’, ‘we need to stop this type of behaviour for the good of the scene’, and so on blah blah blah, but, in reality, it’ll fall on deaf ears — haters gonna hate.
So, what can we do to curb this rubbish? Should we be more heavy-handed when moderating such comments? People are, after all, entitled to an opinion, and this is in no way a dictatorship. Or do we simply need to let it go — ignore the bullshit and move on in a more positive light?
After all that, you can understand my trepidation when deciding whether to feature my own car in this very issue. Yes, the E36 is real, and yes it’s a completed(ish) project. Is it cheeky to feature my own build? Fark knows, but I do know that if any of you built it and then submitted it, I’d be knocking on your front door in no time flat. So, to the haters, suck it up, it’s only five pages. And to anyone else who may have been waiting for this moment, flick to page 36 to see what I get up to when not writing about your cars — after all, I have to have some fun myself, right?