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Social media hysteria – How should we respond?

Social media hysteria – How should we respond?

DISCLAIMER: This article applies to me as much as you

If you could stop following your team up and down the country week in week out, would you do it?

Would you be able to spend a Saturday without checking the scores, without the raised heart rate and that sick feeling in your stomach? At one point during the second half on Saturday, I turned to my sister and said; “I haven’t missed this,” and truth be told, I hadn’t.

There was a time some years ago when a Bluebirds loss would have written off my whole weekend. Saturday evenings ruined for everyone in the house because City had “thrown it away” again. I have to say those days have long since passed as, in the main, I manage to keep it all in perspective and comfort myself with the old “there’s always next week.”

I haven’t completely tamed the beast to be fair and a quick glance at my twitter feed would show many an occasion whereby I’ve let loose on some poor unsuspecting player. The truth is these occasions are becoming fewer as the years pass by.

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Whilst I may be able to reign the passions in sometimes, it would be fair to say that this isn’t the case for all supporters. Some really do seem to struggle to comprehend a poor performance or God forbid, a loss. Social media is usually awash with hysterical proclamations of doom. Some players should even leave the club according to some and that’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. The question surely becomes; is this fair and how do we combat the urge to throw the baby out with the bathwater?

It may be profitable to put yourself in the football players boots when you’re about to write the latest character assassination and publish it for the world to see. It may sound like a cliché, but it really is prudent to ask yourself; how would YOU feel if your every action in work was publicly critiqued by an often inebriated panel of interested parties? How would we feel if every mistake we made was headline news and the subject of multiple copy lines in print and digital form?

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The retort at this stage often comes in the form of “yeah, but look how much he earns… for 20 grand a week I’d happily take the criticism.” Would you honestly? Most of us find it difficult to be in conflict with others and difficulties in work often leads to problems at home. Time and again, we’ve seen football players struggle with very real mental health problems and the social media spotlight leaves no room to hide.

The truth is, we all make mistakes and we all have bad days at the office. For us, the blessing comes with the fact that our mistakes don’t make the evening news. Maybe we should bear this in mind when we’re about to proclaim someone ‘a carthorse’ or worse.

We all want our players to succeed, maybe it’s about time we ramped down the rhetoric and gave the players some room to breathe. One thing is for certain, it’s not going to hinder the promotion campaign and may give some players the room to succeed. City As One is the hash tag, why don’t we make it a reality?

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