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Social media has altered forever the way we enjoy sports
The way we watch sports has changed. Before the social media wave, knowing a game’s highlights and outcome meant watching the game at the stadium or on television, reading about it in a paper’s sports section the next day, or watching highlight reels on ESPN.
“Watching a game” used to mean celebrating with the people around you during and at the end of the game. Now “watching a game” means sharing a status or a tweet of every exciting moment with the world, the second after it happened.
Cable television or a subscription to the paper, aren’t necessary anymore to keep up with a game. All it takes is a Facebook or Twitter account and sports fans everywhere can know everything that happens even without being tuned into the game as it happens.
It may not be traditional—but is this change so bad?
While the buzz of everything sports is all anyone on social media can talk about during the big events (making non-sports fans roll their eyes), there are always new ways being created for fans to interact with their favorite sporting event, a plus for social media.
June 12 marked the beginning of what’s expected to be the most talked about event of 2014 on social media, beating out the Super Bowl and the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Fans of the World Cup know their status updates and tweets about players, teams, and scores coming out of the month-long event have only just begun.
Whether you’re a die-hard fan or simply enjoy watching worldwide sporting events, Facebook and Twitter feature interactive ways for you to follow all things World Cup 2014.
One cool feature on Facebook is the Facebook Ref., a profile page of a man dressed as a referee who posts goals, fouls, scores, and his opinions during games. Facebook Ref. interacts with users by answering questions like, “Who’s your favorite player?” with humorous and clever responses like “The one who plays by the rules.” According to his bio, Facebook Ref. has been a referee his entire life and he enjoys activities like reading the rulebook, ironing his red card, and re-lacing his cleats.
Twitter users can access official hash tags and World Cup timelines, and follow select teams, players, and coaches to get updated official World Cup news. One of Twitter’s new features is an added benefit to those who haven’t signed up for an account. During the Cup, new users are asked if they want to follow the Cup, and if answering yes, are prompted to choose which teams they want to follow.
Social media has changed the way we watch sports. But the changes merely add to the ways we can enjoy following our favorite events. They still show our interests, give us a chance to connect with other fans, watch highlight reels, keep updated with our teams, and most importantly, give us a way to show our love for a treasured sport that has been a source of entertainment for years.