February 25th 2021

Today I attempted to avoid unnecessary negativity. Mostly in the context of how I watch football.

For starters, I muted the TV. Whenever I watch football — which I find myself doing a lot at the moment — I inevitably get annoyed by the stupid things that commentators say. I’m looking at you, Keown.

A lot of the time I react to the things they say, because they’re so dumb that they force a reaction. And it’s always full of agenda or bias and rarely on fact or nuance. And so I’ve just stopped listening. I listened to music instead and, let me tell you, it vastly improved my football watching experience.

On top of the silent commentators, I avoided checking the Arsenal blogs. I haven’t logged into my Twitter account for years, and deleted the app a long time ago (also mostly to avoid the negativity), but during and after Arsenal games I’ll check some comments from Arsenal-related journalists and analysts on Twitter. I didn’t do that today, and oh boy was it better that way.

On the face of it, it was an exciting game. Arsenal came from 2-1 down to win 3-2 in a big European game. It had good goals, calamitous mistakes, and some enjoyable passages of play. And because I wasn’t listening to the commentators, and I wasn’t reading negative tweets, I could just enjoy the game.

I actually found myself celebrating the goals moreso than I’ve done in a long time. I think when you’ve got the commentary on and you’re flicking through your phone, it makes you less invested in the thing you’re actually watching. And I was pretty invested tonight. It was nice.

It was nice to win. It was nice not to hear Keown. I wish there was a button to mute Keown as well as mute the fake crowd noise. I’m sure they’re working on that technology as we speak.

I think in general it’s good to just remove yourself from negativity where you can. It’s something I’m actively trying to do more of. I don’t read the news. I don’t check social media as much as I used to.

Until tomorrow, I don’t listen to Martin Keown anymore.


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