Is Social Media Bad For The Game? by Dan Smith
There are positives and negatives to social media, people are now able to share their opinions to the world within seconds. That doesn’t just apply to Football but all genres. The danger of the internet is by giving everyone a voice, we create a universe where everyone has a sense of entitlement. So many issues on our planet exist right now due to men and women hiding behind freedom of speech, literally thinking they can say what they want, however hurtful, because that’s their human right.
When YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc, was a concept new to us, it was enough just to have a forum to interact with fellow supporters. Now a standard part of our daily lives, it’s not enough to share your point of view, you now must argue that your way of thinking is correct, demeaning a stranger in the process now the norm.
Obviously, I use this site as a platform to write about Arsenal, but I routinely get verbal abuse, noticing it gets worse year after year. I have had comments from adults belittling me if I pick the wrong topic to debate, don’t say what they want to hear, even If I am acknowledging that Arsene Wenger was our greatest ever manager. Think about that. There are Arsenal fans, who once prided on how we did things the right way, who will get angry if you dare to mention that the man who won more for us than anyone else, might have been good at what he does.
10 years ago, I would have been allowed to have a preference of who our boss should be. When I pointed out that most gooners had never asked for Emery to take charge 12 months ago, I was mocked and given such a character assassination you would have assumed those hiding behind their key boards knew me personally. Like most trolls, no one would call you these names to your face and I long accept that for some, it’s a hobby to be as negative to a post as possible just to create some drama.
That’s me, others though might suffer from mental health, have family issues, grieving death of a loved one, etc. Do they need further rejection over what should be their comfort? If something was on my TV screen I didn’t want to watch, I wouldn’t email that channel, disrespecting the operator, I turn over with my remote control. In 2018 though, why should we?
Some people’s weeks are affected apparently by my predictions of all Premiership results. Instead of reading other articles, they have tried to belittle me into thinking like them, back to that sense of entitlement. Over the last few years, fights have broken out at the Emirates. Gooners were divided about the future of Mr Wenger but social media intensified the mood between fans. Loyal supporters who use the sport as escapism, didn’t want to hear if they were loyal to a man loyal to them, that they were naive, not a real fan, sworn at, etc. Too deep, too serious.
Once upon a time you had to buy a newspaper to get your dose of sports new. Now it’s 24 hours a day. It’s why the Frenchmen said he would never forgive the disrespect some fans had shown him. I admired him saying this before extending his contract, from a PR perspective he could have said how great all gunners were. He was generally let down, feeling the values we stood for had vanished. Having loved his place of work, he never thought the day would come when his own would mistreat him.
Yes, he was paid millions to live in North London for over two decades, but he could have earned even more elsewhere.
We took a good man, who loved us and sold our soul, becoming just another club. First, we tolerated him being swore at for the sake of likes, agendas to force him out existed so Youtubers could grow their subscribers, we accepted a man in his 60’s being photographed falling over at a train station, laughed at, for the hope of getting hits. Even when getting their own way, people feel it’s cool and big to verbally abuse the greatest manager in our history. Wenger went through pressure he would have escaped pre-social media. An era, when success was based by what happened on the pitch, not how many followers the brand had. You spend obscene sums to get a player who makes a difference, not because of how many people follow him.
Most of all though, we were a better fan base. We were all one family, behind anyone who was wearing the red and white. We didn’t have agendas. We didn’t think our opinion was gospel. For first time in my life, I can say Arsenal have fans who don’t deserve to see us Champions ever again.