Athletes make Twitter incoherent, Twitter makes athletes mortal

Athletes make Twitter incoherent

I am old ­– not moving down to Florida, bridge club, dinner at 4:30 PM old (though I do enjoy a mean game of Canasta), more like I have a landline and like Coldplay old. But that’s not how I know I’m old. Rather, I’ve come to realize that I don’t understand a word people are saying in my Twitter feed.

I’m truly lost when it comes to the tweets of athletes. Baseball, football, tennis, darts, professional or college level – it makes no difference. I’m totally confused.

Sometimes it’s because their tweets are written in a code I’m unfamiliar with, such as this gem: Relationships these days .. emoticons Unlock it now!! Fareal tho . You may have seen the author’s previous work, (.Y.) or 3=============D.

 Other times, I can’t get past a sense of accomplishment that doesn’t seem consistent with the person writing. I follow one collegiate football player who describes himself as a model and entrepreneur, only to tweet, “Still up doing this mofo homework.” While I applaud the young man for doing his mofo homework, I can’t help wondering who is managing his mofo fortune while he’s grappling with Organic mofoin’ Chemistry?

Of course, there are other times when I understand all too perfectly what the tweeter means, but wonder why on earth someone would put that out in public, such as reciting this lyric, “FaceTime on the go, she gimme dome from a distance. She love to climb on top, but she love to walk off limpin …” Limping? Is she hurt? I hope she’s okay. Oh wait … I get it.

To be fair, not every athlete uses Twitter so, um … liberally. There are plenty who put out completely coherent, sometime humorous, even thoughtful tweets. But for every one thanking the fans, speaking of his or her family or faith, or promoting a worthy cause, there’s another one that reads, “I’ve created a new animal. It’s a Panda Dragon. It’s pretty cool.” Well, that is certainly going to throw the Chinese calendar out of whack.

In light of these challenges, I guess the fair question is, “Why follow them?” As a rabid sports fan I thought it would be fun and even enlightening to gather information on the players on my favorite teams directly from the sources themselves. I imagined it would give me insight that would increase my attachment, but instead it has left me wondering. Do I root for a bunch of assholes?

I’ve thought quite a bit about that and I’ve determined that the answer is no. They’re just young; I’m the asshole.  

Many of these young men and women were zygotes when I finished high school. For some of them, Nirvana’s “Nevermind” came out before they were born. They’re so young that a CD is just a tiny mirror with a hole in the middle. 

Everything they write has to be put in this context. They haven’t really known a world without social media, and therefore, a world with privacy. To have their intimate thoughts of the moment blasted across the internet is normal. It is assumed that everyone knows everything. There’s nothing worth hiding, because hiding is impossible anyway. You may as well share everything that comes to mind, even if it’s this:

So the Lincoln Tunnel in NY goes under water? It’s cool but back home in Washington we build bridges over the water. Seems more logical to me”. 

Such wisdom is kind of refreshing, I guess. I mean, what stupid shit would the 21-year-old me publish if I was in their shoes? It would be much more embarrassing than what they’re putting out. “She love to climb on top … and leave disappointed yo.” 

If anyone is to blame for the gobbledygook (told you I was old) on social media, it’s not the generation that has grown up with it. It’s those of us that helped create the monster and now look in from the outside and judge the way it’s being used.

How many of us have had that moment when we met a famous actor, musician, or athlete we really admire? In awe of catching them in person, we mustered enough courage to approach them for an autograph or to just shake their hand, only to be confronted by the realization that our hero is, in fact, a total dick in real life. 

This is the new real life. Maybe half of what’s on Twitter doesn’t make sense. Or maybe it just doesn’t make sense to me. Who cares? All the TMI and bizarre over-sharing from athletes and the rest of the barely famous is a benefit. Their generation won’t have any false notions of who their heroes are because they know too much already. We’ve always been too quick to put sports stars on pedestals; today, those pedestals are being chipped away, 140 characters at a time.

Social Media

Instagram ditches plans for stand-alone Direct messaging app

Instagram is shuttering it's stand-alone messaging app, Direct, after testing it since 2017. While the messaging features remain intact inside Instagram, the separate app will be discontinued in the next few weeks.
Social Media

6 easy ways to archive all of your favorite Instagram videos

Saving Instagram videos should be just as easy as taking a screenshot. So, we've put together a list of the best apps and tools that save your favorite Instagram videos onto your phone or computer.
Social Media

Instagram’s new Explore grid tempts you to open your wallet

Instagram has made some changes to its Explore tab that might tempt you into the occasional shopping spree. It's also planning to add Stories to the grid, mixing them up with the existing photos and videos.
Social Media

Be the master of your own Insta-verse with multiple Instagram accounts

Whether you own a small business or have separate Instagram accounts for your five cats, we'll walk you through the process of switching between your multiple accounts on your Apple or Android devices.
Social Media

A fond farewell to Grumpy Cat, the internet’s most famous feline

We say farewell and fondly remember Grumpy Cat, the internet's famous frowning feline and a genuine sweetheart, who died at the age of seven. Even tempered and tolerant, Grumpy Cat was in real life the opposite of her online persona.
Mobile

Treat your selfie with one of these 13 apps made to beautify your pics

Selfies might be a phenomenon second only to karaoke, but they're not the easiest thing in the world to create. Thankfully, these awesome selfie apps for Android and iOS will make beautifying your self-portraits easier than capturing them.
Web

Creators of WhatsApp attack software face lawsuit from Amnesty International

This week a spyware attack was launched on WhatsApp. Now the Israeli firm linked to that attack is facing a lawsuit from human rights NGO Amnesty International, alleging their software has been used to surveil human rights defenders.
Mobile

New York could dish out fines for texting while crossing the street

Do you text on your phone while crossing the street? The dangers of stepping out in front of a car or bus are obvious, but in New York, offenders could soon face a fine of as much as $250, too.
Social Media

Help wanted: British royal family seeks social media wiz to run its accounts

The British royal family is looking for a social media expert to help it communicate its role and activities to the masses. So if you like the idea of having the Queen as your boss, why not throw your hat in the ring?
Social Media

Millions of Instagram influencers reportedly had private data exposed online

As many as 49 million Instagram influencers have reportedly had their private data exposed in an online database that had no password protection. The database was apparently created by a marketing firm and has been taken offline.
Social Media

Twitter co-founder Ev Williams still wants to save the world

Social media is evil, leading to a mental health crisis in Gen Z and a rise in hate speech. But there’s light at the end of the tunnel, says Ev Williams, the co-founder of Twitter. But weaning ourselves off today's social media won't be…
Social Media

Facebook gets a bad rap, former exec says, but we should break it up anyway

The rise of hate speech, the trolling, the comment on Facebook? Not Facebook's fault, says Alex Stamos, the social network's former chief security officer. But the site should still be broken up, he says.
Web

What is Reddit? A beginner’s guide to the front page of the internet

If you spend much time online, you've probably heard of Reddit. Here, we break down the terminology, perks, and inner workings of everyone's favorite social platform. Understanding the "front page of the internet" has never been so easy.
Mobile

Looking for love or just some fun? Cozy up with the best dating apps of 2019

Everyone knows online dating can be stressful, time-consuming, and downright awful. Check out our top picks for the best dating apps, so you can streamline the process and find the right date, whatever you're looking for.