As the concept of networking grows, so does social media. Global brands such as Twitter and Facebook have grown in such large proportions such that Facebook floated on the stock exchange lastweekend at a valuation larger than Walt Disney and Amazon. With social networking ever-growing, so has its accessibility – even reaching out to the most media-friendly football players.
This is where the problem starts. Twitter and Facebook are great to keep in touch with friends and such, and even for celebrities and sportsmen to be more accessible for their fans. And if used in the right manner its great. But when its not, well that leads to a whole host of issues.
Let’s take one main culprit for example – Joey Barton. The QPR captain has never been shy to outlay his opinion, on or off the pitch. And at numerous times has got him in trouble. His recent implosion at the Etihad Stadium coupled with his rant at Alan Shearer(how dare he) have led fellow tweeter’s heckling him with abuse. Louis Saha, Spurs’ on-loan striker has recently been in hot water with his own fans after congratulating Chelsea’s Champions League win – a victory that prevents Spurs from participating in next years competition.
Racial abuse is also highlighted on social networking sites. Danny Simpson was recently abused by fellow tweeter’s calling him the ‘N’ word, a theme that has seen other footballers face similar abuse.
I know certain manager’s have it as a club policy such that social media outlets are banned within the club. I tend to agree with this rather vigilant stance, as one slip-up is picked up by the tabloids to the point that Twitter has become a vulture’s feeding zone.
Why would a professional footballer put certain aspects of their personal life into the public eye? Even if the thoughts or comments may be harmless within their friend-circle, once it is in the public domain its a different ball-game. Of course there are many who use the social media platform’s to great effect, but they will always be running the risk of saying something deemed stupid by some readers. Unfortunately (or fortunately) we’ve seen many footballers leave twitter due to constant abuse of their opinions, or more often – because of recent performances.
I think it would genuinely help footballers if every club were to adopt a ‘no-social-networking’ rule. So, follow me on twitter @beautifulgame9.
Comments and views welcome.
- Joey Barton takes to Twitter to launch rant at Alan Shearer (guardian.co.uk)
- Twit Joey calls rival a ‘mong’ (thesun.co.uk)