The age of the internet and social networks couldn't be at a higher peak than right now. Just so we're clear too, a social network are those websites you're company doesn't want you to visit for hours on end while you're working that 9-5. You know what I'm talking about:
Basically if you haven't been *poked* *Tweeded* *IM'd* or have some sort of chain letter survey filled out by now....you're really behind the 8-ball.
Social networks Facebook and Myspace are still the top dogs of the scene with over 200 million active users a month. Everyone from 12 year old Billy posting his status as "pirate" and saying the new Jonas Brothers Album is crap while giving you a track-by-track breakdown like a young Cameron Crowe to the 55 year old Frank who's catching up with old high school buddies he hasn't spoken to in years while posting which movies he's seen lately and how many stars he gives them.
This phenomenon that's spread it's infection all over the world faster than the information superhighway has now spilled into professional sports. I can't say that I blame these guys...most professional athletes have 3 things that social networks attract. (1. Youth 2. Money 3. Fame)
The bigger the social network, the more people are attracted to it. It's kinda like the newest video game platform or IPhone. Everyone needs to get it and get involved.
The question I'm having though is since athletes are becoming more and more accessible through social network sites, does that influence how much you follow/enjoy the athletes' performance in his/her sport?
The reason I say this is because Shaq is on Twitter which is basically a real-time updating service. So for instance if I were at a Burger King, I could pop up my Blackberry (yes, that's a phone) and look up my Twitterberry app (app = application/program) and set my status as:
"At Burger King....tummy wanted some whopperage."
So if you sign up to follow me on Twitter and wanna see what your "friends" are up to....it lists every one's last status update. You'll know I'm at Burger King eating a Whopper and you can reply to me what you think about it!!!
In essence it's the biggest waste of time in the world but it's perfect for people who are addicted to their favorite athlete and wanna know everything they're doing and when Now that athletes are involved and purposing going out of the way to promote their twitter/facebook/myspace/youtube page....does that influence how much you follow that athlete.
Ever since I signed up for Chris Bosh's Twitter page, I've found myself looking at Raptors box scores while watching his videos on youtube and calling him "CB4" instead of Chris Bosh. In fact I was messaging him to come to Chicago before the trade deadline and he replied!!!!
Athletes today grew up in the internet age like most 20-30 year olds so the access they allow into their personal lives isn't anything new to them and maybe not as scary. Some athletes are scared to death to allow access to what they do in their personal life to the public claiming they like their privacy just like everyone else. Today's modern athlete is dissimilar.
We possibly are coming up on an age where we need no more sports media to let you know the back story on a game because you can get it on a blog by the actual player himself or by a player's *tweet*. Sportscenter may even go back to doing what it does best....give the damn score and highlights to go with it. Think about it....if you wanna know what's going on with the player....IM him and ask him rather than hoping a weak minded sports media asks him the question you want answered.
I've been hooked on Chris Bosh lately and the reason is Twitter. I think the more and more we get into a wireless age where you can get info and access at the touch of a finger....the more and more we'll follow more than just what we read in our local paper. Everyone will be every one's "friend" and we'll all be a more informed sports fans for it.