The perils of Twitter

Apr. 07, 2014 @ 03:06 PM

As a sports journalist, I love Twitter. Oftentimes you learn of breaking news in the sports world on Twitter long before you see it on the Internet or television. Busting out a 140-character blurb can tell you all you need to know in no time at all. And in today’s society, you don’t want to be the last to know the latest news.

However, Twitter does have its downfalls.

I won’t discuss the obvious drawback of the complete nonsense that many people flood twitter with. I follow many high school athletes just hoping that one out of every 100 tweets carries some type of relevance to my job. Maybe one day among the overwhelming number of “selfies” I’ll come across a big announcement where a local player reveals his college destination on Twitter and I’ll be the first to know. But enough of that rant.

Before I started using Twitter as a work tool, I liked it a lot more. I could just scroll for minutes at a time and learn just about anything I wanted to know about that particular day. But now it’s up to me to share news while I intake other news. And when you become a content creator on Twitter, you become an easy target for those that have little else to do than be critical of your every move.

Luckily I don’t have thousands of followers who nitpick every typo that comes across my page during the middle of a crucial game, but I’ve had a few flex their Twitter muscles at me a time or two.

At this young stage in my career, I’m still developing that thick skin that every journalist needs to have, so a baseless critique sometimes bothers me for a while. I constantly remind myself not to engage over the web because it’s too easy for people to say things they wouldn’t normally say in a face-to-face setting.

Just this past week I had someone on Twitter accuse me of making “inappropriate” comments about a coach and a player during a game. He even went as far as to tell me to “stay classy” in a clearly-sarcastic tone.

One tweet in question referred to a coach’s on-field antics and the other referenced a player committing an error. I stand by the understanding that those tweets were perfectly acceptable. During game coverage, I use Twitter to act as the eyes for those that can’t be at the game. I report what everyone else in attendance is witnessing. Occasionally I’ll throw in a personal thought or observation, but for the most part I simply update the score and key plays. Several folks have actually thanked me for being so active on Twitter and allowing them to keep up with teams when they can’t be there themselves.

I guess it’s a classic example of a love-hate relationship between myself and Twitter. I can’t seem to get enough of the never-ending stream of news and opinions but at the same time I wish could automatically filter out nonsense along the way.

So if you haven’t already, give me a follow on Twitter @TDCTravis. I promise to only give you relevant local, regional and national sports news with the occasional joke and insight. And if you don’t like something, don’t be afraid to tell me. If nothing else you’ll help me develop this rhino skin.