By Dan Dracea
Recently, I’ve been asked to contribute to a new project in the motorsport journalism field, here in Romania. I’m talking about a new quality website that will try to become the “go to” place for Romanian motorsport lovers in order for them to get in touch with what’s happening in major competitions worldwide.
In order or this to happen, the founder of the website, who happens to be a friend of mine, came up with the idea that motorsport lovers would like to read things written by other people like them – which is kind of fair. With this in mind, the website started to recruit passionate motorsport fans that can also write very well, and after quite a few selection processes were made, a bunch of us landed the jobs at hand.
I was more than a bit skeptical when my friend told me that most of the guys were recruited after careful study of various Facebook groups, all related to motorsport and composed of motorsport lovers. Turns out that some of them are good enough to become paid journalists, if the chance is there.
This leads me to a question. Are Facebook groups defining you as a person?
Most of us are in at least one such group. Let’s face it. Whether you’re passionate about a video game and are in touch with what’s new and chatting to people like you in a group dedicated to the game in question, or just want to learn new and fascinating recipes from cooking addicts just as yourself, Facebook groups is a good place to start. Are our hobbies throwing away information about who we are? They do.
I’ll continue by taking the nearest available example: me. I’m part of several Facebook groups. There’s one for my favourite online game, one for cycling lovers, one for Formula 1 fans, one closed group where I discuss football topics with my close friends, one for Arsenal fans and about 4 or 5 for various school related stuff. An outside eye could judge me by looking at only these groups as a motorsport, football and cycling freak, which is in the same time a student, a gamer and an Arsenal fan. Pretty close to what I’d say, really.
I must admit that I’m in a few other groups on Facebook as well, it’s just that I’m not really active in them, so I haven’t mentioned them here. I also studied what my friends are doing on social media websites, and it turns out that some of them have joined much more groups than me, and are spending a lot of time discussing with people who share the same passions as them.
Facebook groups also stand for social groups. When someone is part of an online group like this, chances are that he is also spending time and having really good friends that share that particular interest. Our interests define us, as human beings, eventually. It’s easy to describe a person based on what they like, and often times it creates preconceptions about how that person is in the day-to-day life. I know that the word has a highly negative meaning in our times, but preconceptions are most of the times true, whether we like it or not.
Next time you have to make connections with someone, why not ask them what Facebook groups they are part of, online? You can definitely gather some information about the person, and I bet than most of the times, that information will be conclusive.
Ah, betting. Another one of my, let’s say, “hobbies.” Why am I not part of an online Facebook betting group? Hmm… Maybe because I don’t want to share my passion with others, but practice it alone. Well, that’s another debate starter, right there.
Dan Dracea is a sports journalist based in Romania. You can follow him on Twitter @DDracea.