Postgame Press: Beware of social media

Social media has consumed a lot of American culture (and the culture of the world) within a time. These days, we see a lot of news about social media coming up on our Facebook feeds, ironically enough. Am I the only one who has seen a study about how much time social media takes up, which I read as a backlink from Twitter? With that, it seems to have become a major part of sports as well.

Sports were made for social media. These platforms provide perfect outlets for highlights, replaying bad calls and public fashion faux pas. Not to mention how much fun athletes can have with each other, Joel Embiid especially. Unfortunately, there is another side to social media: the irresponsible side. Kevin Durant, against whom I admittedly have a small vendetta, has often been on the wrong side of social media.

I know that my tone on the matter has been a little serious so far, but I have to clarify that this is absolutely hilarious. I love athletes interacting on social media, and when Kevin Durant has messed up, I have not been angry. He allegedly created fake social media accounts to talk back to online haters (horribly at times, if I say so myself) and accidentally responded while on his own verified account. On Monday, he liked an Instagram comment that said Russell Westbrook was the reason he left the Oklahoma City Thunder. Again, you could not write this stuff any better. Or rather, I could not. His response to the inevitable questioning was that it was a “total accident.” That is a tough sell.

It is not easy to accidentally like an Instagram comment. While maybe he did accidentally like it, Durant must have been scrolling through the comments on said post. Either way, it goes to show that he still is not quite down with his critics and may be upset at their treatment of him for having left the Thunder for the Warriors.

All of this is to say that athletes now have to be even more careful than they are in the public eye. There used to be stories that came out years later — like many terrifying tales about Michael Jordan, who surely would be watched intently in the age of social media were he playing now. Now, athletes can say what they want and be scrutinized almost instantaneously. One wrong flick of the finger can go viral in minutes. With so much public attention on them at all times, athletes have to be more diligent with their actions.

This does not just go for athletes. While millions of people do not directly follow us online, it is clear that people are watching. We are warned about future employers, family, friends and, through memes, a friendly FBI agent watching us. The internet is big and almost nothing is ever truly deleted, so this is a warning to all my readers and all the athletes on the still fairly new world of social media. Be careful out there.