As a red-blooded American male, sports have become an integral part of my life. While this may just sound like every other guy you know who loves to watch sports, I assure you I am different. So, when the NFL officially ended it’s 130 day lockout on July 25th, I couldn’t have been happier. The condensed offseason meant there would be a flurry of players switching teams in an unprecedented period of time. Free agency would be cut down to two weeks, and the pre-season would start with minimal practices taking place. This meant, as a football junkie, I would be following what would normally be a three month period of offseason activity in the span of two or three weeks. My mind was spinning. How would I keep up with all of these players changing teams, and how would I be able to fully comprehend the enormity of this lockout ending. The answer? Twitter.
I had been a casual Twitter user up until the lockout ended, and it’s safe to say that I am no longer using the site casually. What Twitter enabled me to do was to follow all of the football “insiders” from various news outlets who could provide me with instantaneous updates from the rumor mill about who was headed where, when, and for how much money. While the casual football fans were stuck watching ESPN hoping a news flash would jump across the screen, I was getting those news flashes hours in advance from credible, plugged-in sources. This is when I realized that being on Twitter is like having your very own news network, catered exactly to your interests. However, Twitter has done more than provide me with news of the players on my fantasy football team. Twitter has kept me culturally informed more than anything else. I used to find myself on the outside looking in when it came to politics, economics, and current events, but not any longer.
Don’t let people fool you. Twitter is not just a forum to vent or a place for people to post their sporadic thoughts. Twitter eliminates the problem of the gatekeeper in the media by giving us unbounded access to any and all information we choose, with the simple click of a button. Recently I have found myself following developments of the “Occupy Wall Street” protests on Twitter from different newspaper columnists around the country, as well as following political debates from the viewpoint of several different media outlets. Simply put, Twitter is a great way to immerse yourself in the fast paced world we live in today, as it organizes the entire day’s events for you on one convenient feed. The beauty of Twitter is that by joining you become a member of the media, reporting news to anyone willing to listen.
Written by Alec Nathan.