One of the positives of social media sites like Twitter and Facebook is that it allows fans to communicate, one-on-one, with the athletes they cheer for.
It’s also the biggest negative. And that was on full display over the weekend as the Florida State football players were besieged with angry, nasty messages from fellow students and fans following their third straight defeat.
The result came early Monday morning when the team decided to shut down Twitter and Facebook for the year.
Head coach Jimbo Fisher said it was not his decision, but he certainly didn’t disagree with it.
“The only thing that comes back is negative,” Fisher said. “And they read all the stuff that people say. I told them, ‘Be careful. Be careful on that stuff. And don’t listen to it and don’t reply back.’
“… You get mad at somebody for saying something. Because they can say it behind words. And for us, I don’t ever ban it. I never have. But I know schools that do. I don’t think it’s a good thing for college kids at all. Because I think they get exposed to things they have no business being exposed to at that age as they’re developing.”
The most prolific Twitter user on the team — by far — was junior fullback Lonnie Pryor, who had over 4,000 followers before cancelling his account on Monday.
He admitted it took a while to get used to.
“It was kind of weird today because I was seeing so much stuff I wanted to tweet about,” he said with a smile. “I told everyone I’m just going to start blogging.”
Pryor said it was a team decision to ban Twitter because the negative feedback was becoming too much of a distraction.
“It was just something we needed to do,” he said. “Like Coach said, in social media there is a lot of negative. You’ve got fans out there that love and support you, and you’ve got fans that aren’t true fans, say whatever they want to you and try to hurt your feelings. That was just something we didn’t need.
“We all came to a decision that we didn’t need this. We need to get back on track and stay focused.”
Thompson on the mend
Chris Thompson won’t play football again this season.
Source: Associated Press