A Call For Respectful Social Media Practitioners This Super Bowl Sunday

I don’t need to tell this audience the impact social media has in our lives.  Although I don’t contribute as much as others, I get more information from Twitter, Google+ and, to a lesser extent, Facebook than anywhere elese.

News breaks on social media every day.  Depending on who I “friend”, “follow” or “circle” the links in my browser bookmarks have become obsolete.  We see stories develop before your eyes by following the people who are on the ground at revolutions (Egypt, Libya), natural disasters (Japanese earthquake), or other major news events where the media has yet to stake a claim.  It’s true “people journalism”.

With all these connections we make there is bound to be a certain amount of noise–tweets or status updates which mean little to us but we put up with to get the information and interaction we value by being a member of these social networks.

The noise problem, however,  is more prevelant during a large sporting or entertainment event viewed by a wide television audience.  Expect the noise to reach historic proportions this Sunday during Super Bowl XLVI.

I, like many of you, will watch the game on television and follow my friends on social media at the same time.  But I must admit, I’ll likely close the laptop before the end of the first quarter if what’s trended during my social media expereince in the past resurfaces.

As an example, let’s go through a scenerio that will likely play out this Sunday in Indianapolis….Tom Brady throws a touchdown pass to Aaron Hernandez.  (I would have gone with Rob Gronkowski but his status for the game is still far from certain).  As soon as that play is over, my social media stream will get flooded with the following, or something similar:

HERNANDEZ! 
Brady to Hernandez, Pats lead 7-0.
Clutch throw! 
Money!
Pats on top!

What’s the value of this?  Why state the obvious? There will be over 100 million people watching the game.  For those providing updates on the score, do you really feel that I’m waiting for YOUR update to find out what’s happening in the Super Bowl?    Dude, you’re not that important.

I love the insightful and amusing comments that come up during the game.  Some of them about the Super Bowl ads will be must-read tweets.   Unfortunately they get drowned out by this drivel.  Now I’m not naive to think that my social media streams will be filled with useful information 24 hours a day.  But at times it’s easier for me to shut down than tune out.  I don’t want to have to do that.

This Super Sunday think about your audience before you tweet.  Be considerate of their expereince.  Show your excitement.  But do so that adds to, not detracts from, most people’s social media expereicne.

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