At me, don't at the players
Published: Thursday, Nov 21st 2019, 12:11pm
By: Sheldon Jones (@SheldonJones83)
One of the most unfortunate parts of the thriving phenomenon that is social media (and most specifically Twitter), is how terrible we are to one another. It's so easy to spout off on something or someone with the only restriction being that you have to limit it to 280 characters. Now I will admit that I have been known to go off on people on twitter when I deem it necessary, and get reminded by my wife that I am sometimes a keyboard warrior, but I came to the realization that there is a line. I am guilty of slip ups as we all are and earlier in this season I did the very thing that I am about to call a lot of people out on. This doesn't make me a hypocrite, but was just another lesson I needed to learn on my journey to try to make myself a better person in real life, as well as online. But back to the rant...
First of all, if you are tweeting rude, offensive and downright nasty messages to sports teams or any businesses accounts for that matter, you are rediculous and you need to stop. Random employees are the ones who have to read those tweets and I can only imagine how terrible it would be to have to put up with that as your job. Just because you think a certain teams Offensive Coordinator made some poor play call choices, doesn't give you the right to send an ALL CAPS explictive filled rant to a person who is most likely in the marketing department of said team, not the GM.
Secondly, just because an athlete has a Twitter account, doesn't mean that person deserves to be called out for every missed tackle or blown blocking assignment. When a player has a bad game the last thing that they need is to get to the locker room, open up their phone so see if any of their friends or family sent them a message of support and to see people tweeting them that they should be cut. How would you feel if random people sent you messages after you made a mistake on your proposal at work or you lost a client? It would probably feel pretty bad, almost like someone was kicking you when your down.
Now I know that some of you fans who are guilty of this are going to say that these athletes bring it on themselves, if they didn't want to be called out that they should stay off social media and that is a steaming pile of BS. These athletes are just regular people like you or I, they just happen to have put the work in and are physically gifted enough to become a professional athlete and be able to play a game to make a living. They are humans with emotions and have to deal with all the highs and lows in life that we all have to deal with. You have know idea what could set someone off, or send someone down a emotional spiral and I can imagine that insensitive or malicious tweets could do just that.
I also do understand that there are some athletes / celebrities that do stir the pot and troll fans themselves. While you could certainly make the point that they are asking for it, that doesn't mean that all athletes / celebs are like that. Instead of swearing or telling them they should be fired / cut or whatever, drop a GIF in the replies and have some fun. After all, that what social media is supposed to be about.
It seems today that people get their jollies by trolling other people online and it's getting old real fast. I love social media especially Twitter, it's a place that I can interact with long lost friends and especially my #CFLFamily but sometimes it gets to be too much. I'm all for debate with anyone on twitter and if I feel like you are wrong, I am going to tell you, but I am going to do so in a polite and respectful way as long as that i am shown that same respect. As I said above, in the past I too was guilty of not being so respectful on some occasions but I realised that I didn't like it when someone treated me that way, so why should I treat someone in a way that hurt me. With all the negative stuff going on in the world, I think it's a perfect time for everyone to make an effort to be a little nicer to friends and foes online. Whether you agree with me or not, my message is clear. @ me, not the player.