A young tweeter sometimes needs room to grow first
As sports fans, following athletes and sports on Twitter has become commonplace. It’s where we see breaking news about anything sports related from NFL lockout news, to who Derek Jeter is sleeping with, to who the Knicks are selecting next in the NBA Draft. It’s where Matt Jones tries to decipher the lost language spoken by Bookie Cobbins. It’s where scouts give updates from AAU events on who is destroying the competition and what color shirt each coach has on. It’s where sportswriters post twitpics that make it hard to take their writing seriously ever again (couch…Gary Parrish…cough)
It’s where we read about a young 18 year old basketball star’s relationship troubles, friends stabbing him in the back, and thoughts about deleting his Twitter.
Wait…what? That’s not what I signed up for (and probably not what the kid signed up for either).
That star athlete is Rodney Purvis. Last night, he went on another one of his tweet-explosions. He went from deep heartfelt sorrow over a relationship to anger over a ‘brother’ stabbing him in the back. Per his usual, he ends up performing self-therapy by spouting confidence building phrases and words of wisdom for himself. Eventually, he nearly cancelled his account, something he’s said was going to happen one day before too long anyway:
@rpurvis_44: I’m really about to speech my mind . . . . . .
@rpurvis_44: Deleting this. . . . . .
I’m not chastising the guy – we all go through tough times. It just made me reconsider how useful Twitter is for young athletes who sometimes treat it as a therapy session or divulge too much personal information. Since Rodney has been tweeting, he’s seemed like a polite, courteous, and hard-working young kid who has the best of intentions and will provide a positive impact through basketball. But when he starts talking about all his relationship issues, asking questions to his followers about what a girlfriend can/cannot do while in a relationship, and constantly trying to simultaneously win her affection back and also disappear from her life, I feel like something has gone terribly wrong with the internet.
I want to speak out to him and give him advice – Hey, kid, you’re too young to be worrying your life away about some high school relationship. Stop taking it so seriously, you have so much yet to learn about life and love. You’re doing it all wrong and it’s making you seem a little crazy. But I can’t do that. I’d look foolish, thinking my advice his worth the time of a future NBA player’s attention (probably similar to how I look now).
But I had to say something about this. The world is a crazy place, and the internet keeps making it a little crazier – especially regarding privacy and the ability to voice your opinions. UK fans know a great deal about the internet. Hell, sometimes it feels like we invented it. To summarize the point of this – it seems like young athletes have a lot to learn, and sometimes that gets exposed on Twitter. When you tweet your every thought, it can get a little out of hand. It may be time for kids who know they’ll get lots of attention because of the athletic abilities to take a step back and be careful what they share. Or maybe it’s time for fans to stop paying so much damn attention? Guilty.