Transfer window on the world



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31 August 2017 | 0

Many people (including myself) are tempted to wax lyrical over the benefits of technology and the interconnected world we live in where the latest news and information is at your fingertips, but transfer deadline day is a yearly reminder (and microcosm) of just how badly those benefits can be abused.

It’s not that many years ago that transfer deadline day was a non-event. It only came into effect in the 2002-03 season. Back then, it was a boring administrative detail. Not any more.

With the advent of rolling TV coverage and the need to provide as much content as possible to fill it, transfer deadline day became a perfect vehicle for Sky Sports News which effectively turned it into a national event – for football fans, at any rate.

Many might have been happy with that state of affairs but the Internet, websites, blogs and smartphones/tablets have widened the audience to a large part of the male population who find themselves gripped, elated and deflated by the saga of which player chooses to join their club or leave it.

Transfer news has become an industry in its own right and those pumping out news, rumours and clickbait, will argue that they are merely providing more avenues of information for an audience that takes great interest in footballers’ comings and goings.

Does it matter? Yes it does because it provides a test case of how the need for constant updates and new information leads to a rash of rumours and fake news being generated to fill the empty spaces.

Does anyone really need to refresh a Web page or look at news alerts on their phone every five minutes? No, they really don’t. They could probably get most of the important information on an hourly basis. If they confined themselves to looking at their chosen web sites before work, during lunch and after work, the quality of information provided to them would be even more accurate and they would be better informed because most of the fake news would have been debunked by the time they came to hear of it.

As it is, people who regularly use technology to gain up-to-date information about the doings of the football transfer market are operating on a mix of truth, rumour, conjecture, made up nonsense and clickbait. This makes them more misinformed than if they had read a newspaper or website on the morning of transfer deadline day and then read another one the day after.

What I’m getting at is that in a world where there is an insatiable appetite for constant updates, more information is very often not better information because so much of what we’re being fed is junk or of incredibly limited value. In many cases, we’d be much better off without it. It’s not quite a case of no news is good news, more like too much news is bad news.

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