As I sit here in front of my computer attempting to work, I frequently find myself turning my head to the right and glancing. This happens once every 30 seconds or so. What is to the right? Answer: My Phone. Now this is not an uncommon occurrence for 21st century Americans. Studies show that we now check our phones once every 27 seconds or so, roughly. The reasons we check our phones are infinite, however tonight my head keeps drifting to my right for only one reason.
That reason is Twitter.
The updates have been pouring in tonight from the retweets, favorites and responses I have been receiving from my followers. Oh, the power of social media! It can control you. Honestly, it’s pathetic how many times I check my twitter and other social networks, but that’s the reason why we have it. We want to know what is going on in the world right this second. Twitter gives everyone an outlet for ideas, thoughts, beliefs and so much more. We follow celebrities and athletes and new organizations in hopes that they can provide us with some relevant and newsworthy information.
As I said twitter gives everyone an outlet to express their opinions and ideas. We tweet at people we don’t even know in hopes that they will see it and respond. But with virtually no filter where do we draw the line as to what we can and can’t tweet at people? Late night host Jimmy Kimmel puts some abusive and vulgar tweets towards celebrities into a funny light with this video. It features celebrities reading tweets aimed at them.
Now I know the video is funny but the tweets aimed at them are a little concerning. People don’t realize that once you put this stuff out there, it’s out there forever and you have to own up to it. As Herm Edwards would say “Put your name on it!” Those 140 characters are a direct reflection of you and we have to assume that you honestly feel that way.
In the NFL for example, St. Louis defensive end Chris Long is very active on twitter. He is open to fans responses and thoughts on football. But he tweeted out a few days ago how he was disappointed with the hate and hurtful words that people used towards him. Two years ago things were taken a step further as San Francisco return man Kyle Williams received death threats after he muffed a punt that would ultimately be the deciding factor in the NFC Championship game vs. New York. Death Threats? Really? Don’t people understand that is not okay? Apparently not because it is happening once again with San Diego running back Ryan Mathews.
Mathews is a former first round pick from Fresno State who the Chargers drafted with the hopes that he could replace LaDainian Tomlinson. Injuries have slowed Mathews for the first part of his career and he hasn’t quite lived up to the 12th overall selection the Chargers spent on him in 2010, but the organization believes that Mathew’s best football is in front of him. The Chargers running back revealed last week that there are people on twitter who “hope he (Mathews) and his mother get AIDS and die.” After revealing this to reporters Mathews said “So far, what I’ve done right now, I’ve been just an average back, I got a lot of people just frustrated with my performance in the last few years. They expected me to come in and do big things.”
Fair enough, he admits that he hasn’t been as good as expected, but wishing AIDS onto someone? That’s just ridiculous. It has to be hard enough for athletes and celebrities to perform as well as carry out their everyday lives. But with these tweets comes added pressure and maybe some hurt feelings as far as attacking a person’s character or wishing harm on them.What is happening to Mathews is a growing epidemic on the “Twittisphere”. Bottom line: don’t write anything that you wouldn’t want written about you and don’t write anything you are not willing to own up to and claim. Be smarter about your Tweets. And as for Charger fans, try and stay classy San Diego, I’m not the first person who’s told you that.
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