Social media: a growing problem at live games?

The use of phones during sport events is becoming an irritating habit and people seem to forget what they paid for.

It is also an undeniable fact that social media has an enormous effect on our lives and has become many people’s main source of information and entertainment. It could be suggested that users spend a lot of unnecessary and/or extra time, distracting themselves being online, scrolling up and down without any outcome.

It seems that people are extremely keen on taking photos or videos during concerts, sports games, even when going to the theatre. The obvious reason for doing that is for them to have a personal proof that they were there, to keep the memory alive.

Sometimes this is not the case. On many occasions people are using social media, tweeting or texting friends, while the show is happening in front of them. This essentially means that though you have paid to see a favourite club or band, your thoughts are somewhere else and once that goal is scored or that song played, it is gone, no going back.


And since The Voice of London Sport is all about sport, there are two potential questions to elaborate on. First – does the use of social media during sports events can now be considered a normal activity? VoL Sport talked to football fans during the London derby between Tottenham Hotspur and Crystal Palace about how they felt in relation to people’s use of social media during live games. The founding was controversial amongst people, who had different opinions and experiences with the use of phones and the questions we asked people received interesting feedback. To a certain extent the annoying thesis of people being on their phones was proven.

In 2015, Anthony DiMoro, a Forbes contributor said: “according to Navigate Research, sports fans are 67 percent more likely to use Twitter to enhance their viewing experience compared to non-sports fans, . . . So the behavior of a team or an athlete on Social Media can directly influence a fan’s perception of that team or athlete”. By viewing experience it could be argued that people who, for example, are watching a Chelsea game at Stamford Bridge tend to look online for match previews, squad updates or live games at other venues. The issue comes from the fact that many spectators use Twitter or any other platform at a point where the game has already started and phones ought to be put aside. Otherwise the experience and excitement of seeing your favourite footballers play in front of you is lost. Again, once that goal is scored, you can’t re-live it, not while posting on Facebook. Somehow the connection between fans and players is disturbed, if people don’t pay attention. Imagine if Eden Hazard picked up his phone during a game and started tweeting. Nobody would like that, would they?


Second part of the issue refers us to the growing problem that defies real life events and transfers them to an online platform. This is where people mostly agreed and admitted that having a phone in your hands when being with a friend at a venue, a gig etc. is an irritating habit.


Here is what fans had to say in addition to the topic.

The truth can be found somewhere in the middle. There are many advantages of being online especially when it comes to sports, because social media is probably the fastest and most reliable up-to-date source of information. The downside of using a telephone during a game combines all the aforementioned factors and is becoming a negative trend amongst people who visit live events.


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Words: Nikolay Kolev | Subbing: Kieran Soutter

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