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John Gunning taking a 3 year social media break

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He just posted this on Twitter:

I'm assuming this also includes Sumo Forum, even though forums predate the term "social media". Or maybe he'll still check in with us here every once in a while since this place is much more low traffic/low time investment. Bit of a shame since he's our premier inside man, but I guess taking a social media break isn't the worst idea for your time and health.

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At least he still has his sumo column with the Japan Times. 

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Posted (edited)

Expanding his family? House? Life?

Edited by rhyen

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4 hours ago, Gaijingai said:

At least he still has his sumo column with the Japan Times. 

Damn. I just sent them my CV. It read "No sumo experience, can't speak Japanese, but fat, enthusiastic and willing to learn. Gizza job." It was a long shot, admittedly.

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A three year break? That’s very specific and hopefully his return to social media will coincide with a promotional program for a new book in English. 

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1 hour ago, yorikiried by fate said:

Good for him.

What's a "social media"?

The baddest drug trip you’ll ever take, it devours your soul

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Posted (edited)

Like @Shinobi Steve, I suspect he's writing a book (in English).  He seems spread awfully thin, what with creating Inside Japan Sports (which in 2018 in an interview, he said he wanted it to become the ESPN of Japan.  The website shows presently shows only one columnist, Todd Phillips), as well as his frequent column in the Japan Times.  In addition, he has a very heavy involvement with social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit and Line).  I, too, hope he doesn't think of Sumo Forum as social media.  This announcement does seem sort of sudden, as if there's some element of taking a "sabbatical", to step back from an overly busy lifestyle.

There's an interesting interview he gave to Tachiai.org on Jan 29,2018 that might offer some clues.  (Quote) "So many great stories I've wanted to tell, but there has been no outlet to tell them.  Either they didn't fit into a daily newspaper, or there wasn't an outlet for the feature or the behind-the-scenes stories, so I've always felt that there have been a lot of really great stories that haven't been told.  And I wanted an outlet to tell these stories".  That's why he created Inside Sport Japan and hoped it would be the ESPN of Japan.  But the focus of Inside Sport Japan was on more than just sumo, and I don't know if it has been as successful as he had hoped in terms of his goals.  I think a book in English would give him a much wider audience and most importantly, allow him to tell his great stories.  Here's a link to the interview - Part One.  (Parts 2 & 3 cover different aspects of sumo, such as how injuries are handled and who the rising stars are).  https://tachiai.org/2018/01/29/a-tachiai-conversation-with-john-gunning-part-1/

Here is Part 2 - "There are NO guarantees in sumo".  https://tachiai.org/2018/02/27/there-are-no-guarantees-in-sumo-a-conversation-with-john-gunning-part-2/comment-page-1/

Here is Part 3 - "It's not a sport.  It's a lifestyle".  https://tachiai.org/2018/03/10/its-not-a-sport-its-a-lifestyle-a-conversation-with-john-gunning-part-3/

Edited by sumojoann
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I can relate to John: I quit Facebook and Twitter 5 years ago, when my twins were about to be born. After a couple of months I realised how much my mental health had improved. I do not plan to go back and I encourage others to do the same.

For the record: I do not consider a forum "social media" for two reasons. First it's a niche, we come here to talk about sumo. Second, it's not focused on fast opinions (which in my opinion are the bane of social media).

I hope John's decision is for a good reason and wish him all the best.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, WAKATAKE said:

The baddest drug trip you’ll ever take, it devours your soul

Oh, thanks for a new definiton. When I first heard the term, I thought it was some tongue-in-cheek chemists' term for stuff like sulfuric acid.

Then somebody told me it was a machine that consumes time to produce gossip. Colored with some steampunk ornaments.

Then somone said it's like an early 20th century villiage telephone line, were everyone uses the same wire. The only difference being, that all connected phones are ringing all the time.

So you are saying it's maybe addictive?

Edited by yorikiried by fate

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Kotomiyama said:

I can relate to John: I quit Facebook and Twitter 5 years ago, when my twins were about to be born. After a couple of months I realised how much my mental health had improved. I do not plan to go back and I encourage others to do the same.

I recently rejoined FB with a new account after an 11 year hiatus, a gap mostly enforced by China’s firewall and me forgetting my password. I have the discipline now to use it sparingly and to mute friends who post BS. It’s fine. I also use Twitter as a way of improving my mental health, strange as that may sound. It’s a ‘safe space’ where I can express views that’d get me invited for tea by local police if I shared them on Chinese social media and where I can also just engage with issues in my own language. I know this is quite a personal thing, but social media can be good for you! Having opinions but nowhere to air them is as bad for your mental health as the toxicity of some corners of Twitter. It can be suffocating. You just have to choose the right people to follow and have the willpower to not take bait. It’s the same as on here when someone uses a needlessly abrasive tone. Rise above it.

Edited by Eikokurai
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Well, I hope it's a book, as well. I'd like to read it. Like myself, though, if so he should have started last year. As I prepare to go to press, it's a piece of work, but a pandemic year is a fitting choice of timeframe.

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Posted (edited)

Much and all as the thought of a mysterious disappearance and subsequent enjoying of various online theories amuses me, it’s probably best to follow up on that tweet in case anyone is concerned.

It’s nothing to do with negativity online. I always enjoying chopping it up with people on social media or wherever. I don’t often get a lot of negative feedback but even when I do it never bothers me. In fact anyone doing what I do should be happy to get criticism and hear contrary views. Apart from keeping your feet on the ground it’s extremely valuable for both ensuring your arguments are sound and understanding how audiences are evolving.

Regarding the sumo book. That was finished and with the publisher in spring of 2020. It was due to come out last month but Covid and shifting economics in the publishing industry has led to it being pushed back to 2022 or possibly even 2023. I’m considering a major rewrite and perhaps taking some offers from bigger publishers but we’ll see. Anyway I’ll try to get that out within the next 18 months.

The projects I mentioned in the tweet (wasn’t talking about the book as that is basically finished) are extremely time consuming and require constant attention and focus. Mostly science related but there are a few sporting ones in there as well, including one or two (hopefully very impactful) sumo things.

I’ll still be doing all my usual sumo stuff for Japan Times and NHK. I’m back from a two basho kyujo break on Grand Sumo Preview for July and once COVID is under control color commentators should be returning to the booth.

Everything is good. I’ll miss the back and forth online for sure but it’s only a few years. In mid 2024 I’ll be done with those projects and back as normal.

Edited by John Gunning
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9 minutes ago, John Gunning said:

Much and all as the thought of a mysterious disappearance and subsequent enjoying of various online theories amuses me, it’s probably best to follow up on that tweet in case anyone is concerned.

It’s nothing to do with negativity online. I always enjoying chopping it up with people on social media or wherever. I don’t often get a lot of negative feedback but even when I do it never bothers me. In fact anyone doing what I do should be happy to get criticism and hear contrary views. Apart from keeping your feet on the ground it’s extremely valuable for both ensuring your arguments are sound and understanding how audiences are evolving.

Regarding the sumo book. That was finished and with the publisher in spring of 2020. It was due to come out last month but Covid and shifting economics in the publishing industry has led to it being pushed back to 2022 or possibly even 2023. I’m considering a major rewrite and perhaps taking some offers from bigger publishers but we’ll see. Anyway I’ll try to get that out within the next 18 months.

The projects I mentioned in the tweet (wasn’t talking about the book as that is basically finished) are extremely time consuming and require constant attention and focus. Mostly science related but there are a few sporting ones in there as well, including one or two (hopefully very impactful) sumo things.

I’ll still be doing all my usual sumo stuff for Japan Times and NHK. I’m back from a two basho kyujo break on Grand Sumo Preview for July and once COVID is under control color commentators should be returning to the booth.

Everything is good. I’ll miss the back and forth online for sure but it’s only a few years. In mid 2024 I’ll be done with those projects and back as normal.

Will you be taking a break from Sumo Forum as well?

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8 minutes ago, John Gunning said:

I’m considering a major rewrite and perhaps taking some offers from bigger publishers but we’ll see.

I'm an editor at Oxford University Press, so if you ever feel like making an English language teaching edition for the China market, I'm your man on the inside. I'll happily take my red pen* to your manuscript. :-D

 

*Proverbial only these days – I use an Apple pen on my iPad now.

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Posted (edited)

I quit Facebook 10 years ago, because it was toxic. I have a twitter account, but it mainly exists to like posts of George Takei, not to post myself and regarding this forum...

Making your way in the world today
Takes everything you've got
Taking a break from all your worries
Sure would help a lot
Wouldn't you like to get away?
All those nights when you've got no lights
The check is in the mail
And your little angel
Hung the cat up by it's tail
And your third fiance didn't show
Sometimes you wanna go
Where everybody knows your name
And they're always glad you came
You wanna be where you can see (ah-ah)
Our troubles are all the same (ah-ah)
You wanna be where everybody knows your name
Roll out of bed, Mr. Coffee's dead
The morning's looking bright (the morning's looking bright)
And your shrink ran off to Europe
And didn't even write
And your husband wants to be a girl
Be glad there's one place in the world
Where everybody knows your name
And they're always glad you came
You wanna go where people know
People are all the same
You wanna go where everybody knows your name
Where everybody knows your name (where everybody knows your name)
And they're always glad you came
Where everybody knows your name (where everybody knows your name)
And they're always glad you came
Where everybody knows your name (where everybody knows your name)
And they're always glad you came
Where everybody knows your name (where everybody knows your name)
 
With the drama, but without the booze. Love you guys and gals.
Edited by Benihana
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Posted (edited)

I think it really depends on the person. I enjoy social media and it doesn't stress me out at all. The people I know personally who've had problems with it tend to have issues with not being able to control how they use it. They'll make much of the stress themselves by searching out negative or highly controversial stories, continually responding to obviously stupid comments, and basically taking it all too seriously.

Edited by Katooshu

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Definitely, he would be doing a PhD. Science related - 3 years.

Hopefully, the forthcoming book tells behind the scenes stories. That was for me at least unexpected so soon, but I really welcome it. Would try to purchase it. 

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D

9 hours ago, John Gunning said:

Yes but I haven’t been very active here in recent years so I don’t think it’ll be all that noticeable. Most of what I have to contribute to the discussion will still be found in Japan Times or on NHK.

I’m also not closing any accounts so I’ll still be reachable if anyone needs to get touch. 
 

 

So no more senbei?

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On 30/05/2021 at 04:23, John Gunning said:

The projects I mentioned in the tweet (wasn’t talking about the book as that is basically finished) are extremely time consuming and require constant attention and focus. Mostly science related but there are a few sporting ones in there as well, including one or two (hopefully very impactful) sumo things.

That sounds exactly like a secret project to create a genetically enhanced super-soldier, er, super-rikishi who will dominate sumo for the next 50 years and reach at least 200 yusho. He's probably gonna be spending a lot of time in that secret lab underneath Mt.Fuji.

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5 minutes ago, dingo said:

That sounds exactly like a secret project to create a genetically enhanced super-soldier, er, super-rikishi who will dominate sumo for the next 50 years and reach at least 200 yusho. He's probably gonna be spending a lot of time in that secret lab underneath Mt.Fuji.

Maybe after Hakuho retires, he can assist John in his secret lab.  Together they can create a bionic version of Hakuho.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, sumojoann said:

Maybe after Hakuho retires, he can assist John in his secret lab.  Together they can create a bionic version of Hakuho.

That sounds like an excellent idea. They could call him the Six Million Dollar Hakuho. (or 658 227 000 million yen Hakuho if you take today's conversation rate).

Edited by dingo
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Nah. He's totally going in with Takamisakari. After all, he already has the robo-thing down. Once they crack the cybernetics it's Wakatakamisakari for the rest of our lives.

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3 hours ago, Churaumi said:

Nah. He's totally going in with Takamisakari. After all, he already has the robo-thing down. Once they crack the cybernetics it's Wakatakamisakari for the rest of our lives.

Wakatakakaka . . . . . . I cant even say that after a runup :)

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BTW good to know that the NHK English booths will have more than a single play-by-play voice in near-future basho. A single voice feels so lonely, unlike when I used to tune in decades (!) ago and it would sound just as engaging as the Nihongo audio.

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