Keeping up to Speed

Posted: November 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

Jordan Holloway

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November 8th, 2012

In modern media or “social media” information is abundant and almost instantaneous.  The rise of popularity in social media over the last few years has put pressure on celebrities, businesses, athletes, musicians and even athletic clubs to create social media pages to keep up with the trend.  Anyone that doesn’t conform to new media seems to be left in the dark and is seemingly uninformed.  The speed that citizens are receiving information as well as the means to provide feedback causes our culture to change at a very rapid pace.  “The acceleration of communication media shape[s] every aspect of society” (Straw, Gabriele, Wagman 2011:310).

Professional athletes have begun joining social media (most notably twitter) as a form of publicity and also to connect on a personal level with fans.  For NBA players who are already in the spotlight the views they express over twitter are amplified in comparison to the average tweeter.  As role models and contracted athletes under the name of their organization they are expected to act responsibly and speak within the boundaries of what’s expected and acceptable.

An example of using social media negatively while in the spotlight is the publicized feud between former NBA superstar Shaquille O’neal and Fox Sports writer Jason Whitcock.  Whitcock tweeted:

“Right now, Chuck would win Shirt-Off II… Shaq is opening the season out of shape, as usual.

Shaq was so offended by this comment about his weight that he publicly challenged Whitcock to a fight.  The publicized bantering of these 2 celebrities is an example of how new media can be used negatively.

Despite some misuse of social media such as this example many professional athletes use twitter exclusively to connect with fans, promote their team, and congratulate others for achievements.  Social media has sped up global communication immensely and has been overall a very positive technological advancement.

References   

– Straw W, Gabriele S, and Wagman I. Intersections of Media and Communications “Concepts and Critical Frameworks” Chapter 16. Edmond Montgomery Publications: Toronto, Canada (2011).

http://larrybrownsports.com/media/shaq-jason-whitlock-fight/160634

Information and photo retieved on November 7th, 2012

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