Apparently activity on Twitter reached some kind of peak during the recent Olympics, and WordPress has posed the question of whether our own appreciation of, or engagement with, the Games was impacted by this or other social media.
Because this blog, if it’s about anything, is about my interaction with the world, I have written a couple of posts about my attendance at Olympic events, as well as my impressions of the impact of the Games on my city. I’ve also been to Cultural Olympiad events and written about them; but I wouldn’t describe writing about these things as anything particularly remarkable.
Where perhaps I have participated in the boom in social media is as a reader, not necessarily of blogs on the events, but in checking out comments on twitter. On the couple of evenings when I was out and interested in the results achieved by Team GB, in the theatre interval or on my way home before going underground, I checked out if anyone was tweeting about success or medal count, an occasionally tedious process if it required too much scrolling back through time.
I follow a couple of athletes as well as a couple of the BBC’s journalists on twitter, and if they were ‘cheering’ or ‘congratulating’ that was a fair indication of good news. Silence was a bit harder to interpret, as in the heady days of exceptional British success, sometime a bronze medal didn’t always receive the unbridled appreciation that it deserved.
My main interaction with twitter was on the night of the Closing Ceremony, which I watched on my own, cringing, barely able to watch it even through my fingers, so embarrassingly awful did I find it. I logged on, my PC on my lap to see if I was alone in my opinion of the lamentable occasion. It was the entertainment of the debate over just exactly how terrible it was that stopped me switching off, and then after a while I had invested so much time in the hope that it might improve, I didn’t want to stop, in case the moment after I turned off, it suddenly got better.
When I was bored by the events, I looked to social media to make it more interesting, but while I was properly engaged, as during Mo Farah’s races or Jessica Ennis’s heptathlon I didn’t even think about the online buddies; so I don’t think I’m properly of the social media set…yet, and didn’t really contribute to the Olympic inspired spike.
Addendum – I’ve just discovered that this post has been Freshly Pressed. A huge surprise, so welcome to all new readers. As you’ll have seen, I’m really only on the fringes of social media, so this it feels quite odd to receive such extra attention for a post on this subject. I hope you’ll leave a comment if you’re more savvy about it than me!