Fionnuala Carr

Fionnuala Carr – Does the GAA need social media?

Social media has become more prevalent in the GAA

People often compare the style and skill of previous generations against the current generation or compare teams of different eras and offer an opinion on which team was better.

More often than not we all look at the past through rose tinted glasses.

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One of the biggest changes to the modern GAA world has been the emergence of social media including Instagram, Twitter and Facebook or Twitterbook as my dad regularly calls it.

I often wondered are these social media platforms good for the GAA and their players, but there is no doubt that it is a new generation thing and something that is not going away.

We have social media accounts for clubs, counties, players, administrators and supporters alike.

Almost all of the clubs and counties in Ireland have their own social media pages which are used to upload match fixtures, results and score updates.

Some of them even use it to give live commentary and hats off to the Twiitter account holder in Wexford GAA for this!

Social media can be incredibly informative and can offer a view from inside the camera, in rugby the IRFU use their Instagram camera to show what it is like behind the scenes on a big game day, the documentaries shown in the past of how Croke Park operates on All Ireland days can now be shown through a story on Instagram.

Interviews, live warm up action shots, trying to capture those pre match nerves and tensions of players and administrators behind closed doors is something that most people can only image or dream of experiencing.

Showing these through social media can give a glimpse to supporters near and far from home.

Social media can be as personal as you want it to be but one thing which I can’t understand is the use of social media immediately after a match particularly one in which you have just been beaten, uploading an image of yourself kicking or striking a ball while commenting “tough day at the office but we’ll be back” or something to that effect.

I don’t know if that is an age or a generation thing probably an age thing but that is one of the things that you think of doing first then it would make me wonder how engaged you were in the match in the first place.

Social media is often used now in order to enhance a players profile, following them on Twitter or Instagram allows fans and supporters the opportunity to see beyond the player and gain an insight into what is behind the player or what they are like away from the pitch.

When used correctly the influence that social media has can be both inspiring and empowering, when used negatively it can create unnecessary stress in what is already an image conscious society.

I use Instagram a lot because a lot of people are now using it as a tool to promote their business, I follow so many fitness and diet bloggers that I convince myself any day now I’m going to look like them, but chocolate hobnobs with forty cups of tea as I try to write an article soon put an end to that.

That’s one of the negative sides of social media while it can give you an opportunity to learn and improve yourself it can also allow us to spend too much time using it so much so that we forget to actually go out and live or enjoy our own sporting lives.

I do think social media is a good thing I enjoy using it but I only take the good out of it.

Younger people might not have that same mentality and it can become addictive or obsessive so it should be used to be enjoyed and not to live.

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