Can sports and social media mix?

Social media and sport are two things that play some part in most of my days. One from a professional standpoint and one for personal reasons (I don’t need to say which is which).

It’s therefore very interesting for me when the two collide. Like Man U deciding to discourage it’s players from using social networking sites. Seems crazy. For a team that boosts about its overseas support, you’d think it would encourage its players to engage with the fans.

On the other hand, I was very impressed to see an Arsenal blogger I follow make the step into live blogging sphere. For me this is the future of community communications where people with shared interests converse openly and in real time. Critics will say these platforms are open to abuse by those with extreme views. True they can. But I’m of the opinion that a warts and all view of human beings in their natural element is one of the most enlighting things to behold.

(Disclaimer: I’m an Arsenal fan so apologies for the bias of this post)

Broken Britain or the next evolutionary step?

I’d like to commend Dom at 33 Digital for his very insightful post on Britain needing a rebrand. So much so it inspired me to respond with a post of my own.

I sympathise with Dom’s frustration (or should that be resignation) with Britain becoming a fragmented state that is rapidly losing its identity. However, I wonder whether what Dom describes as a breakdown in the society is a trait of  ‘modern’ Britain or just what happens the higher up the development chain a society goes.

We hear it all the time – Britain is broken. It’s not what it used to be. The fabric of our society has broken down. It’s not that I disagree. I just believe that as a developed society we no longer place a high priority of the bottom end of Maslow triangle. By and large most people in the UK have food and shelter. As such we’ve moved on to feeding our self-actualisation needs (This is where our X-Factor and CBB obsession comes in).

Don’t get me wrong. I’m also appalled by the everyday sights of elderly people standing on the tube or the lady with three children struggling to lift a suitcase up some stairs as people push past her. But in a society where people generally don’t die from malnutrition, and our main irritants are Jedward rather than week long power cuts and no running water, things surely can’t be that bad.

I spent my formative years growing up in Nigeria, a third world country where we did have some the ‘benefits’ of a community standing up against anti-social behaviour. However these benefits often manifested themselves in the form mobs. (I vividly remember a burglar being rounded upon and burnt to death for stealing some food when I was about ten). Shocking as it might seem in a developed world, most people at the time were quite happy for this to act as the community deterrent for anyone thinking about commiting a crime. Yes there is a difference between a crime and anti-social behaviour but to a mob mentality the lines are very blurred.

Ironically I’m sure most people in third world countries would give up their sense of community if they didn’t have to worry about where the next meal would come from.

I suppose for me what it comes down to is how you view the glass. Personally, I’d like to think of it as half full. So chin up Dom it’s not all that bad really.