Welcome to the world of the social media Olympics. The world has finally caught up, leaving a few old fogies trailing behind, scratching their heads in bewilderment and thoroughly being put down for saying it’s a load of tosh.
Social media is here to stay. Live with it. There are only a few unfortunates who don’t have access to suitable technology to follow it, and if you’re one of them, wake up and smell the coffee! Even my parents are on Twitter; my mother loves the focused succinctness of keeping to 140 characters. A truly fantastic event like the London Olympics has been a fabulous reason to get all social – and there are so many good reasons for being so!
The everyday recognisable media (newspapers, TV, radio) have sat back in wonderment as the general public have stormed past them within the social networks. So many virtual connections have been made between the athletes, spectators and the global audience as a whole. Here are platforms where people can express themselves, discuss with their friends about what they saw, how they feel and gather immediate feedback and responses. Photo sharing has soared, as so many mobile phone devices allow direct access to Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, where the engagement levels (comments) have exploded.
The general public provide a different perspective than what is published by the ordinary media, and if you are keen to keep in the know, the first place to get breaking news is via Twitter, for example, the pole vaulter who chose to announce her engagement using this particular platform, plus enabling others to find out about new and surprising relationships and other delicious gossip. People love the good-news stories, exciting events and fantastic results – all so accessible to ordinary people who follow a home-town athlete, celebrate the excellence of our women gold medal winners or just wallow in the glory of it all.
Of course there are disagreeable sides (poor Tom Daley), but generally this is not tolerated, considering the police response to this particular story. But positiveness create trends, which in turn are created from excellence, and the UK statistics for Facebook interaction have revealed lively and informative discussions based on our most popular successful athletes: Andy Murray, Jessica Ennis, Sir Chris Hoy, Mo Farah and Bradley Wiggins, well worth a follow.
Who thought that Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s first live tweet sent out during the opening ceremony around the Olympic Stadium would have created such an incredible influx and dramatic response by the UK public. The father of the internet set the ball rolling, and now it has gathered so much speed it zooms past even Usain Bolt’s world record in the 100 metres!