Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Sports Connection

     Social media has completely changed the way in which the world communicates on a daily basis. Individuals can instantly “post” something on the web through social networks and spread their thoughts to the world about any and everything imaginable. Many people have used social networks such as mySpace, Facebook, and YouTube, as well as blogs and other social mediums to become wealthy and famous individuals. So what has this world sharing and connecting with each other via the web done to the sports world and careers of some individuals?
     Sports fans dream about being close to their favorite athletes and communicating with them on a daily basis; social media sites have allowed this dream to come true. With networks such as Facebook and Twitter, the average person can befriend and follow their favorite athletes on these social networks and feel even closer than just watching them during their games or on the news. In return, the athletes can interact freely and from a safe distance with their fans on a regular, laid-back basis. Athletes can show their gratitude towards fans on a more personal level and really connect with the people who support them in their careers. Fans can follow these stars in their daily activities and express their feelings, bad or good, to the athlete in ways that otherwise would not be possible without social networks.
     However with the power of social networks comes responsibility. As in all jobs and professions, individuals must be held accountable for their actions and in today’s world they must be held responsible for their words. With social media networks, the ability to vent and let your frustrations be known is just a quick touch or click away from being distributed for the entire world to see. Athletes must be cautious of what they post to their personal accounts and to whom they direct their comments or rants. Many instances have occurred where a few words sent during vulnerable times have cost these individuals thousands of dollars and sometimes playing time. The New York Knicks star Amar’e Stoudemire was fined $50k by the NBA in June of this year for using a homophobic slur in a post.
     The world of social media is ever evolving but it is here to stay. It is an amazing resource for information and connections in our internet driven world. The possibilities are endless in what one can accomplish through these networks. But with all things, it must be used in a responsible manner. 

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