Kyle Williams plays football. On Sunday, he played on a grand stage, seeking to fulfill a dream of all football players: a trip to the Super Bowl.
Unfortunately for Kyle, his team did not win. Unfortunately for Kyle, despite some other fine plays, he made a couple of mistakes. Unfortunately for Kyle, he had to hear about those mistakes through social media in some very unsavory and inappropriately over-the-top fan tirades. What I found interesting is that the things said are probably no different than what people would have said 10 years ago. The difference is that 10 years ago, those wishing to go on a verbal tirade only had the audience of those at their party, in the bar, or simply the dog lying at their feet in front of the Barclay Lounge. Today, those same verbal tirades can be found simply by logging on and viewing Twitter or Facebook streams. I recall a quote that a social media expert once shared: “If you’re not a little nervous when you hit ‘post,’ you are probably not doing social media correctly. ” I think what he meant is that you need to understand at that moment, whatever you post is visible to the world. Social media gives power to voice, but it also gives up anonymity. I think there is a responsibility that goes with that. You should always be careful what you say and think for a moment, “Do I really want to post this for the world to see. ” I bet there are a few folks out there who wish they had a little more discretion at that moment of truth when they hit “send. ” Kyle, keep your head up. Those same people trashing you would give a left arm to be in your shoes. Better days ahead.