When the Ethers Speak

(“Let the content  determine , , , not the form.”)

For the past 10 years I have faithfully (as it is commonly defined by guys) given you dressage-related facts and opinions. So forgive me one blog which may be off topic but I hope will still resonate with you.

First off, there are a handful of expressions that we run into on the Internet both verbally and in print that can afford to be retired.
”Stay in your own lane.”
“There’s a lot to unpack here.”
“Take it to the next level.”
“Something went horribly wrong.”
There are others, but that’s a start. Likewise, there are phrases and adjectives that should be shunted immediately to the trash heap simply because they are so overused as to aggravate even the sweet little grandmas among us. Examples:

You’ll be stunned
This will blow your mind
Insane photos

And while I’m thinking of it, please make them put a stop to the use of that condescending “Royal We” which is so ubiquitous in those list articles that make you click through 40 screens to find out Which Foods Only Pathetic Boomers Still Eat or Fifty Photos You Won’t Believe Are Real. Imagine if the video of Paul Simon‘s 50 Ways to Leave your Lover had been recorded that way. They would have reconciled by the time he got through it!

Now to be serious for a moment, as a recipient of all this digital information more than ever check your sources! Where you fall on the political spectrum is your choice, but there is so much false information floating around on all sides, some of it put up disingenuously by people (or bots) whose intention is to muddy the water and foment more controversy, it behooves you to do several things. It’s a little more trouble, but it pays to automatically question anything you read there. I can’t tell you how often I’ve encountered “shocking revelations” from whichever side which have already been posted, researched, and debunked numerous times years ago. Beware of manipulated photos and deepfake videos. I have no problem with Photoshop per se. I’d like it to amuse or engage but not deceive. If someone looks at this and believes I am actually conducting a frog orchestra, I look at it as their problem, not mine. Trusting is optional; verifying is mandatory! Be aware of where the sources you rely on sit on that continuum. Make sure you know whose “facts” you are digesting. Be sure you don’t listen only to opinions that reinforce your own. Do not automatically demonize a contrary one.

And just for me, if you choose to write, spelling and grammar do matter. Let the content of your message determine if you’re an idiot, not the form.