What the Facebook Bowling Community Can Learn from Erin McCarthy

by Gianmarc Manzione 0

PWBA champion Erin McCarthy

On July 21, PWBA champion Erin McCarthy noticed something while scrolling Facebook following the conclusion of the Junior Gold Championships.

“Instead of Facebook being flooded with congratulatory messages to all of the competitors who achieved the ultimate dream of making Team USA, to those who made a cut for the first time, to those who beat the previous year’s performance, or even to those who competed for the first time and learned what they will do better next year, it’s flooded with posts made by adults complaining about the number of participants bowling on a pair, the long hours they have to spend in a bowling center, the length of time it takes to update standings each day, the lack of volunteers, the prize fund … the difficulty of oil patterns, the number of bowling balls allotted for tournament play.”

A similarly unfortunate dynamic played out earlier this year after 16-year-old Solomon Salama walked into the USBC Masters and led the field for the first qualifying block. That story ignited numerous posts on Bowlers Journal’s Facebook page criticizing the kid’s style because he is a two-hander. This boy’s remarkable achievement became an opportunity for purists to grind their axes.

“I find it so incredibly mind-boggling that people cannot find the good in this event that literally portrays the future of our sport,” McCarthy wrote. That applies as well to Salama’s case as it does to Junior Gold.

“Instead of complaining about an event that has attracted over 4,000 youth bowlers, how about we congratulate them on putting themselves out there and thank the USBC employees, volunteers, sponsors and so many other entities who devote their time and effort to the event?”

“Mind-boggling” is a pretty good adjective for the problem McCarthy underscores, and her simple suggestion for an alternative way of engaging with the world on social networks seems like an easy one to embrace.

Are you up to that challenge?

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