Image source: www.mediabistro.com
When I discuss Twitter with people, one of the things that they are most surprised about is when I tell them about behaviors of sports fans. In particular, they are surprised when fans “have” to announce they are unfollowing someone.
In the early days of this blog, I would write about the unfollow more than I do now. Unfollow is part of the “Twitter experience”. So much so that I made it part of my blog opening (an ode to ABC’s Wide World of Sports):
Spanning the Twitterverse to bring you the constant variety of tweets
The thrill of the retweet and the agony of the unfollow
The human drama of the twitter timeline
This is CadChica’s Wide World of Tworts
People will unfollow for a variety of reasons. Follow and unfollow. Bringing that into the sports realm, there’s a certain segment of fans who feel the need to tweet the person they are unfollowing telling them of such. As I stated earlier, I wrote about it quite a few times early on in my blog:
I’ve written more than just those, some in great detail. It came to a point that I didn’t want to write about it anymore. It grew tiresome. And yet the unfollow announcements continue:
mark schlereth (@markschlereth) January 21, 2012
Love when folks you don't know tell you they're unfollowing you. (Note: Unless you're pretty, I don't care & almost certainly won't notice.)—
Gary Parrish (@GaryParrishCBS) January 30, 2012
As I’ve watched the dynamics between sports fans and media or sports fans and athletes, I continue to be amazed. Twitter, more so than Facebook or Google+ I believe, provides a unique insight into human behavior. It is the marriage of “basement blogger” with “anonymous message board commenter” as well as “loudmouth sports bar know-it-all”.
Media can write about it all they want but they’re media. Fans want to have a voice and Twitter provides it, fortunately (in my case) or unfortunately, as in the case of this post:
Will we sports fans learn? Read this next tweet and tell me what you think:
I'd rather have zero followers than have one follower who expresses his "fan" pride by sending racist messages. Less than zero, if I could.—
Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) February 28, 2012
There is no room in this life or sports for ridiculous behavior like I’ve seen on Twitter. Sadly it is a reflection of what goes on in society all around the world. We can hope and pray. But, until that changes, what we see on Twitter will continue.