The only time social media was fun was back in the days when you had to have a .edu email account to create a Facebook page. I teach college, and thus had a .edu account, and so I created a page.
As it turns out, Facebook was a lot more risque back in the day when these college kids didn’t realize anyone could see what they were posting. It was an eye-opening experience.
What I’m trying to say is they were posting some crazy shizz at the dawn of social media. Facebook back then was more like Tinder meets PornHub, and I’ll leave it at that.
And quite frankly, if DraftKings was going to roll out something like Tinder meets PornHub, I’d peruse it, you know, out of professional curiosity. As a reporter. A serious reporter.
But I doubt that’s in DraftKings’ current world domination plans. Instead I just assume DraftKings is going to roll out another way for me to feel cruddy about the state of the world and my place in it.
In short: DraftKings is debuting a social product, and I’m going to avoid it like I now avoid handshakes. I’m not even going to fist bump this thing.
DraftKings goes social
First, the details, as scant as they may be at this time. DraftKings CEO Jason Robins spoke about it on his Q1 investor call.
“The launch of DraftKings Social, which is expected to roll out in the next few weeks, marks an industry-first innovation to create an integrated social community across sports betting and daily fantasy sports, as fans can interact with each other in this shared, peer-to-peer environment,” he said. “The product is particularly unique because it amplifies our ability to create an interconnected ecosystem across our consumer products.”
“The [DK Social] product is particularly unique because it amplifies our ability to create an interconnected ecosystem across our consumer products.” pic.twitter.com/Z4OcSMCppv
— DraftKings News (@DraftKingsNews) May 7, 2021
As I said: scant on details. A spokesperson for the company said there was nothing to add at this time.
But then DraftKings shared a screenshot of what DraftKings Social is going to look like, and what it looks like is just about every other social media platform.
There’s a place to create posts — the sample one was “I love every game in the tournament, reply here if you love college hoops!” (Audible groan.)
We are announcing the upcoming rollout of social functionality to our DFS and mobile Sportsbook apps, marking an industry-first innovation to create an integrated social community across sports betting and daily fantasy sports #DKNGEarnings pic.twitter.com/FKH3F4TbrW
— DraftKings News (@DraftKingsNews) May 7, 2021
Then there’s the “friends” tab, the “requests” tab, something that is a “private” tab, and my favorite, the “popular” tab, where I assume posts that are getting the most traction will rise to the top.
My bet is the “popular” posts will strike a delicate balance between people posting their big wins and people posting their bestest, most well-thought out, intelligent opinions on matters of the world stage, such as “why people who get coronavirus vaccines are sheep.”
So over social media
At this point, this is what my social media feeds do for me:
Twitter: The one I actually kind of depend on. I very carefully curate who I follow, so basically it’s a fire hose of daily fantasy sports news and Arrested Development quotes and not much more, although in the last year I’ve added “soothing voices from the scientific community.” Looking forward to dropping them soon.
Facebook: A cesspool. My Facebook is a cesspool. It makes cesspools look significantly less cessy. Understand: I have very few IRL friends on the account, as it started as a work thing, and so I cultivated it as that. Between friends and followers, it’s like 10,000 people deep (#humblebrag) and it’s basically one post after another about death or politics, as those are the posts that routinely get the most likes and shares. Basically, my Facebook feed is “Drunk Uncle” from Saturday Night Live.
Instagram: I still don’t really understand it.
TikTok: I’ll never understand it.
LinkedIn: About once every two years, I head on over there in case someone dropped off a job offer. Gotta stay on top of these things.
Snapchat: I only have an account in an effort to make sure my kids don’t go down the Tinder/PornHub route.
Now of course I use all this social media all the time, especially Twitter and Facebook. I post my stories, my columns, my ever-so-witty bon mots, all in an effort to get liked, shared, and retweeted. I don’t like it, but I do it. It’s part professional duties, part ego. OK, fine, mostly ego.
I post, therefore I am.
Show me the real stuff
To be clear: Not a Luddite, this guy. I love technology. I used to love social media, at least the pure idea of it, in which people connect with each other over the internet in a kind and loving manner.
Of course, it’s not that. It’s mostly a lot of screaming, and if it’s not screaming, it’s posts designed to make me feel like your life is better than mine.
Seriously: No one posts pictures of their family on Facebook when they’re at the airport, and the kids are crying, and the husband is fuming, and the wife is harried, and everyone looks like they just walked out of a proctology appointment at the dentist’s office while getting audited.
Nope. That picture is never posted. They just post the picture of themselves on a beach in Mexico, smiling, and I get to say to myself, “Aw gosh, why can’t my family be like that?” as my 12-year-old is sulking and my 10-year-old is pitching a fit and my 7-year-old is whining and my wife is glaring and I’m making an appointment with my proctologist/dentist/accountant (he’s very good).
Leave me alone
Here’s the thing: I treat daily fantasy sports and sports betting as my sacred spaces. They are not how I make my living and so they are simply a major hobby of mine, especially DFS. Seriously: When I sit down to scroll through the player salaries, and think about matchups and who’s going to be chalk and where I can get off the chalk and where I might want to hedge and where might this game go sideways and … well, I’m like that Zach Galifianakis GIF from The Hangover. Just deep in thought with numbers swimming in my head.
And let me tell you — this is my blissed-out part of the day. I love making lineups, love thinking this stuff through. It makes me happy. There is zero stress here for me, just joy. (Seriously: I feel like I could write flowery poetry about daily fantasy. It is my puppies romping in a dandelion field under a unicorn-filled rainbow sky.)
And that’s why I don’t want logging on to DraftKings to now become a social media battleground. I don’t want to see how your lineup did, I don’t want to know who you’re backing in the Utah State game, I don’t want to know your feelings about the coronavirus or Donald Trump or, honestly, anything. I am not here to talk sports, politics, or anything else. I’m here to crunch some numbers, have some fun, maybe win a few bucks.
I respectfully deny your DraftKings Social friend request.
Related: I will 100% accept your DraftKings Social friend request. I am a weak man.
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