Social Media Has Ruined Sports Discourse

04/21/2023

Social media has undoubtedly ruined sports discourse, and it is a shame. It has turned sports into a mess where people care more about insulting rival athletes and fans than they do about enjoying the game.

You've all seen it, I'm sure, two people going at it on Twitter in defense of their favorite player and teams, hurling out-of-context statistics and insults at each other to capture more likes than the other. And yes, I know this always existed in one form or the other long before social media existed. The problem is now, these conversations happen on a scale and platform where any and everyone can see what is said, and the goal to be viral leads to more and more outlandish takes.

This isn't even to mention the athletes who struggle to handle the reality that they can see the worst of what everyone thinks of them. Imagine the damage to your mental health if you had access to a platform that could show you the worst of what thousands and millions of people think of you, from your work to your looks, your voice, and all of the above.

And, of course, a lot of these athletes are wealthy, but we know enough about mental health as a society now to know none of that matters.

It is all a disaster. Social media and sports were supposed to be a match in heaven with easy access to highlights and tweets from your favorite athlete. Then that dream quickly became a nightmare, and now we have a mess of people with bad intentions hiding behind a keyboard. And even worse, many major publications are in on the act and post purposefully offensive and provocative content. They've found that anger and annoyance are more consistent sources of engagement on social media than positivity is, and engagement is the game of social media.

Fortunately for me, I've found my solution for the time being. That solution is a muting spree on Twitter to avoid the consistent offenders whose sole purpose is to drive an angry or annoyed response out of you. It's made sports and social media far more enjoyable.


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