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July 26, 2012

Social Networking Adding Another Distraction at this Year's Olympics

By Oliver VanDervoort, Contributing Writer

There is very little doubt that social networking can be quite the boon when trying to communicate. It can be a bit of a distraction and a bit of a plague for people who have better things to do.

Everyone wants his or her opinion be known about everything as quickly as humanly possible. That can be good, but it can also lead to Twitter (News - Alert) scandals like the one that briefly popped up in France.

Being distracted by Twitter is a concern especially for Olympic athletes who are trying to focus on winning their event. One of the things that most of the athletes are told once arriving in London is that they should be vigilant about any kind of distraction, including those that come from social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook (News - Alert).

"I have found quite a close correlation between the number of tweets at competitive times and the level of under-performance," said Sebastian Coe, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in the 1,500 meters and the head organizer of what is being dubbed the "Social Media Games." While some athletes might feel as though they owe it to their fans to post their every thought that occurs to them, focusing on the extra-curricular parts of the Olympics is only going to cause problems when crunch time arrives. 

Professional and amateur athletes alike have been falling into the trap of using social media when they should have been focusing on their sports. The spotlight that is being shined on the Olympics could actually end up being a positive in this regard, because that much of a limelight for athletes that aren’t used to being followed can be enough. It does seem as though there are a few athletes here and there that have fallen victim to living the high life, spending time on their craft. With the newest generation of social media popping up, making sure that the concentration is being paid to sports only is going to be a full time job for some of these athletes’ handlers.

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Edited by Brooke Neuman
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