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The Power of Social Media Over football(ers)

Posted by: Damien Moore-Evans on Tuesday, June 28 2011 09:29 AM

The Barclays Premier League football season came to an end in May. This is normally a time where the typical British male is more than happy to take up summer BBQ duties until the new football season kicks off at the end of August, when normal service (TV, Couch and beer) can be resumed.

The 2010/2011 football season was highly eventful, on and off the field.  Manchester United, probably the most recognizable football team in the world and a global brand in their own right, clinched a record 19 league titles! A couple of weeks after achieving this milestone Barcelona made them look like an average Sunday League team in the Champions League final at Wembley thanks to the mesmerizing Lionel Messi, Campeón de Campeones!

But once again, the sport has been overshadowed by the private lives of these superstar footballers who are, dare they forget, role models to millions of children across the globe. We’ve seen in the past how John Terry and Wayne Rooney’s private affairs were splashed across the front pages. Terry was then stripped of the England Captain’s title for an entire year. However, the front pages really are only the beginning of their worries; social chat then carries these stories across sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Personally, these sites have really helped build my individual brand by growing my social presence online. It’s never been easier for people to communicate to their peers what’s happening in their lives. The difference here is that being a private citizen I choose what I write about myself on these sites whereas footballers are not so fortunate. They don’t need social media to build their own brand, they have accomplished this already. While social media sites can really elevate a superstar’s image, at the same time, the power of these sites can severely damage their reputation. The Youtube video above shows how some footballers are using Twitter (and arguably not their best judgement).

I therefore ask myself HOW on earth these footballers think they can get away with the things they do? We live in a society where we are all being watched and now with social media super powers Facebook and Twitter, news has never spread so quickly! The recent saga surrounding footballer Ryan Giggs and Twitter is the perfect example of how social media can flip someone’s life on its head in a matter of hours.  His Super Injunction  was leaked on Twitter over a weekend and, although they were briefly taken down, the user had nearly 2,500 followers by Tuesday afternoon.

Let’s hope these footballers learn to pull their socks up soon, best behave lads!

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