How fortunate are most people today?
How "creepy" are most people today?
How dependent on the media are most people today?
At first, I avoided Twitter like the plague, but in today's world, it's almost 100% necessary for beat writers and other media enthusiasts to get quick information through this micro-blogging tool. Over the past ten years, we younger folk have been most fortunate in having breakthrough media such as the Internet to give us what we need when we need it. Now, many fans and athletes are capable to gain this information as well as give their opinions on what they think--not to mention what they're doing as they "tweet" their respective opinion. It's gotten so bad that athletes have been fined over this privilege, going to the point where they are "tweeting" during playtime.
(For example - A Main Offender: Who else but Chad Ochocinco?)
...Don't you give me that look. I'll slap you silly, you dancing queen.
But there is one thing I've noticed and have concluded over the past several months: What did sports writers and fans do "back then" when the Internet didn't even exist? Do we realize how lucky we are to find out the things we're able to find out now? I bet if you could use a time machine to go back to the disco days, you'd want to get out of there within a few hours because you wanted to check the Yankees/Rays score or find out the status of Packers' RB Ryan Grant. The only way you could find out stuff like that back in the 1970's were either through the television, radio, or [a real dinosaur medium] the newspaper. Oh, I just got shivers even typing that. How did they live!! Easy. They didn't submit their souls to this kind of luxury. This doesn't mean that we're soulless people today because of social networking like Twitter, but it seems like we've lost that boundary of personal issues and the true skill of hunting for news about your favorite team or player that exists across the country.
For example, I've been a die-hard Phillies fan since I was really little [Haters, just hate, okay?] and I love to read about their farm system and the numerous stats the big league guys have compared to the other teams in the league. Without the Internet and the wonderful guys on Twitter like Jayson Stark, I would be in the dark about all of that stuff. If the Internet (or social networking) didn't exist, I'd be paying about a dollar or two each day to read the newspaper articles on my team and watch the game highlights and interviews on TV. I would have a massive barrier between the "big guys" and myself. Today, I would be able to search stats on websites, message writers like Stark on Twitter (maybe get a response! ha ha) about an opinion that I have, and I can even watch cable-televised games on my purple Dell laptop. Could I have done that 40 years ago? Absolutely not. This is the kind of stuff that Walt Disney imagined in his Carousel of Progress and could never really experience himself.
Another point I wanted to bring up was how easy it is nowadays to contact professional athletes and other assorted figures in a sport. Today, it's easy to ask Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon what his favorite side dish is at dinnertime. Twenty years ago...maybe not. But to be honest, he might think you're a freak if you really did ask him that whether it was face-to-face or on Twitter. I'll admit, I would get really giddy if someone of such a high caliber ever got back to me on a question I asked him or her, but if something like that ever happens, you actually get to see how "human" the person is. Many years ago, you never really knew what kind of person the athlete or official was like unless if you saw a televised interview or read something that they said in the newspaper. Today, even though what they say is in writing [where you might have a hard time establishing any emotion], you get a sneak peek of the type of person they are or how they live.
We are so much closer than ever to our idols and our inspirations than we really think. They love us enough that they're talking about their lives for all of us to see. Sure, it could be a bit much at times, but they still want us to know about what they think and how you will react to it. It's something scary. We're all being interconnected, and the ones we see as being Superman aren't exactly so "super" anymore.
In case if you were wondering, I'm not going to break out into the Barney song about how we're all one big family and what have you. That would just be sad.