As we know this season has dropped off the map. We lost more than a few and a few have seemed to have dropped off the map. When I get on TS I am usually the only one on. Occasionally someone will drop in but that is becoming more rare as time goes on.
I sent a PM to Tom last week and I will share the gist of it with all of us:
Discord is killing the atmosphere we had and I think it is a huge reason why we are losing people. I am not saying not to utilize Discord but I cannot think of a time that written communication through a social media network is more effective as a primary means of communication over voice. A few of us did not utilize Discord when CAV started using it. Why? We do not do social media and it is difficult to communicate via social media while driving. No?
I get that being on TS for some can be a problem with family but I often see members racing but not on TS. Why? I see people posting on Discord while I am on. I think the lack of communication has caused a few of our members to go elsewhere. When did talking become a less-effective means of social communication?
Perhaps it is just me, but Saturday I jumped into the iRacing TS channel, while I raced in ACC, just for the chatter. I said very little but I felt as if I were not alone, just turning laps.
I know I come across to many (in this post) as the "Old Guy yelling at clouds" and I understand that many of our younger members have family obligations and limitations to what they can do when they race. I had them too. That is what headphones are for. (Yes, snarky, but I learned long ago that no amount of surround sound replaces the sounds you can hear with a good set of headphones).
I could be wrong but I feel that if we continue to communicate with Discord as our primary means of communication, we will continue to ruin (My opinion) the continuity and sense of community we had while racing.
I could be wrong...
A few members already know my thoughts on this as well, but I have never really stated them publicly.
In many ways, I do feel the same as you (surprise, huh? Another "old guy" ).
There are times that I feel Discord, for all of it's valuable assets, has actually done more harm than good to this league. Between the complete drop off in website and TS usage, coupled with the dramas we had in the past on Discord, I feel it has damaged the group overall. It also produces a bit of a "spending too much time together" feeling for some people.
I know we cannot eliminate Discord at this point, and I do not plan to. In many ways, it's like Pandora's Box. Once you open it, you can't close it again.
I take a certain amount of ownership and responsibility for some of the issues. Since Discord, I have not been as active in maintaining communications on the website. That is entirely on me, and I need to make a stronger effort in that.
I think that we, as a league, need to figure out a better way to integrate and balance our usage of Discord with the website/TS. I need input form others though to help identify ways to do that. I can't do it all on my own.
I think it’s fair to say I likely burnt myself out insofar as constant communication with Discord. I am sooobmuch more balanced bow that I don’t utilize any social media in my phone. It’s been quite liberating.
In some ways I think I found myself with a false sense of community that was becoming less bonded instead of stronger, yet that was hidden via constant beeps of attention grabbing nonsense.
I think a lot of people get to where you are with social media now. I learned years ago that the best and most effective manner to communicate was face-to-face with voice coming second.
When social media started to become big a few thought it could take the place of face-to-face and voice. Many tried hard, for many years, to make it so but in the interim many became slaves to their phone and social media.
I cannot tell you how many times my daughters would share a room and instead of talking, text to each other. I finally told them that if they wanted privacy to go off on their own but if I caught them texting while two feet away I would take away their phones.
You can see the effect social media has in our lives every day. We have a president who seems to have a need to Tweet his every thought to the masses. We have his opponents replying to his tweets. We have others re-tweeting and adding their own opinion in real time. This in conjunction with the 24 hour news cycle does not make for healthy communication. There is a lot said that many would not have the sack to say if face to face.
I am always amazed at how much people think that an experience should be filmed or recorded. Often to the detriment of the person doing the recording. Why go to a function if you are going to hide behind a camera all day? Drop the phone and enjoy the real world around you.
I got off FB (my only SM account) five years ago and have never looked back. I am only on Discord because it seems that is the only manner in which CAV is able to communicate now.
I do participate in forums (one political forum in a Guitar Forum) but not all the time: My home time is my time and I rarely go on the interwebz except to race. In that I usually only race about 2 hours a day and I am encouraged to do so by my GF.
Outside of the electronic dog collars I have other interests: I play guitar, I like movies, I love to read. I also like to talk to people face to face so I make a lot of effort to visit with friends and family.
You will not regret getting off that damn phone.