One aspect of technology that has become a staple in sports, along with every other aspect of our lives these days, is social media.
If you landed on earth from another planet, you might likely report many humans have a square appendage growing out of the end of their hand that seems to be telling them what to do judging by the time they spent looking at it. You can’t go to a sporting event and look around and not see the prevalence.
So, now the genie is out of the bottle. It has become a billion-dollar industry. Business Insider puts close to 20 percent of all time spent online is someone engaged in social media, with Facebook taking the lion’s share at 14 percent. It’s not hard to see the attraction. You can keep up with all the current gossip, family matters, companies, and most importantly for this segway … sports information.
When you combine social media with a subject like sports, it can become a nice value-added product for fans. At the Music City Bowl this year, fans could choose which upcoming songs would play based on votes coming in from their cellphones.
If the Nashville Predators score in the last five minutes of the second period at home, and you have the McDonald’s app on your phone, you get a free Big Mac, no purchase required. If the Predators score 4 goals at home, or on the road, and you follow them on Twitter, you get a free frosty from Wendy’s.
Some might know, I use Facebook and Twitter to update fans on local sports information. The many pictures I take that I do not have space for in the paper make it a way to add an extra layer of coverage to the newspaper. I’ve run a contest during basketball season, and when I can come up with a new one we’ll try it again.
If you’re interested you can find the Facebook page here: http://bit.ly/Standard-Sports and Twitter @sstandardsports. My own personal Facebook has languished into a deserted state with virtual tumbleweeds blowing around on there as it takes all my social media allotted time doing what I call “my hobby.”
You hear the good, the bad and the ugly about social media from being able to get news at a moment’s notice to someone stealing your furniture because they know you are at Starbucks in Murfreesboro because you just checked in.
Whether it’s good or bad, I think, is how you use it. Just like a shovel can be used to dig a hole or whonk someone over the head, social media can be an added way to enlighten yourself on important topics or waste time better spent reading a book.