Will you be tweeting about this year’s Super Bowl?
Is that even a question? Of course, you’ll be tweeting about Super Bowl 2012. And, if you haven’t teetered your way into Twitter yet, well then you’re definitely going to be posting a status or two when Victor Cruz comes up with the big play (considering he’s averaging 18.7 yards per catch).
Twitter, Facebook, and other mobile apps are reaping the benefits of increased social sharing during sporting events, and the Super Bowl is no exception. We saw the rise of social media as a funnel of smack talk, celebrations, camaraderie, and emotional outcries during the 2010 FIFA World Cup games in South Africa. Not to mention, social networking sites like, Facebook, Google+, and especially Twitter as instant news feeds.
Just like people looking for a laugh got their news from the unlikely source of The Daily Show with John Stewart (due to his amazing ability to be comically witty and politically savvy at the same time), people are also increasingly turning to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Tumblr for their daily headlines. I take that back. People aren’t really turning to these sites voluntarily, but are already on Facebook to begin with, making it much easier to click a news link while your surfing your friend’s profiles on Facebook instead of going to a different site all-together (yeah, it makes the human race look a little lazy when you read it like that).
With this increasing tendency for social media to play multiple roles in peoples’ lives, also comes increased user interaction. What does this mean for the famous Super Bowl ads that everyone either chooses to deliberately ignore (made-up of diehards and ad-hating viewers), watch the Super Bowl only for the ads (who does that?), and the ones that come for the Super Bowl and stick around during the timeouts and dead space because slightly above average ads are on (the one who also positions himself in front of the dip)?
It means that Super Bowl ads get leaked early, even earlier than the Super Bowl itself. It means that people have new avenues for shit talk, more than ever before. It means you can send emotional outcries of disbelief and disparity to the masses (actually, just your friends). It means you can bitch about losing. It means you can study all day, and still know the play-by-play by scrolling your Facebook news feed. It means you can create awesome, new hashtags (useless after the Super Bowl is over) on Twitter. AND, most of all, it means you should be aware of how companies are capitalizing from your attachment to these new digital modes of media. According to this stat below, you’ll also be on your phone alot:
A snippet from CNN’s article, 5 things to watch during the Super Bowl
“Apparently, a good many people aren’t occupied enough by the annual super extravaganza called the Super Bowl. Nearly 60% of mobile phone users plan to look at their device during the game, according to a survey by Velti, a mobile marketing firm.”
That’s a ridiculous statistic. Why aren’t people just enjoying the game? It’s because we’re now part of a huge social circle, which is an extension of our own identities as social beings. We have the ability to interact with our friends at all times, especially during widely publicized events like the Super Bowl and the World Cup. But, it isn’t just about sporting events. I first learned about Bin Laden’s capture and death via Twitter, before any news stations even publicly reported it.
So, it’s gravely important to appreciate social media and what it has done for our social circles, but also know that it’s encroaching in on all parts of our lives that involve communication, and almost all of them do: news, media, sports, jobs, opinions, education, etc.
Twitter and Facebook have not only changed our lives as to how we interact with others, but also changed the whole scape of communication by meshing different realms of identity into one. Our social identity, our academic identity, and our workplace identity all come together in one place. Things that were once on different book shelves of our lives (for instance, retaining news and talking to our friends) are now “apps” on the same book shelf, and maybe pages of the same book, or words in the same sentence (okay, I kind of pushed the extended metaphor too far). But, it has some truth.
At the least, I hope this post makes you take a step back and just think about, not only, how we’re evolving, but also how we’re responding to how our world is evolving. And of course, how sometimes it’s just nice to sit back and enjoy the game.
Now, I pass it to you. I’m curious, what do you think? If you get a chance, post a comment.
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Thanks for reading, as always.
* Post image from Phandroid
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