Social Media Gulf Between Heels and Blue Devils
Recall this decree last week from Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski essentially banning — or perhaps banishing — Twitter and other forms of social media from his Blue Devil regime:
..I think sometimes in the development of a team you can be connected with your Twitter shallow family, or you can get more connected with your team deep family. And that basically is just try and get together, try to develop our family greater. Talk to each other. Not to talk to people you may not even get a response from. …
Duke’s season lasted approximately 48 hours after K’s pronouncement.
In contrast, UNC coach Roy Williams seems indifferent to the Tar Heels embrace of Twitter as the preferred mode of interaction between current and former Heels and the far-flung Tar Heel empire. This despite the techno-curmudgeon side to Williams which has seen him rail against the “crap-net” and struggle almost weekly with the century old, two-way tech that is a call-in radio show.
As a result of Williams’ detachment the Heels have long had a robust Twitter exchange with fans, one that has exploded in recent days in the wake of Kendall Marshall’s wrist injury and surgery. As ESPN explains:
Using the Twitter hashtag #PassFir5t, Marshall advocates — even pets and children — have been posting pictures of their #5 inkatures to the @PassFir5t twitter account and Pass Fir5t Carolina Facebook page.
Marshall — a prolific and funny tweeter — duly noted this shallow family forming up and its attempts to connect with him:
@kbutter5 Thanks to everyone supporting the #PassFir5t Movement. You guys don’t realize how much it means to me.
Now is that shallow meaning or deep meaning, Coach K?
You can see just how much — and how fast — the world has changed from — what else? — social media. Specifically, a tweet from former Tar Heel guard Bobby Frasor, who might be the single most dependably hysterical tweeter in the Heel firmament:
Where were all the Carolina fans writing 4’s on their knee caps back in 2008? I see how it is. #ACL4Bob
Sounds pretty profound to me.
In just a few short years social media have crushed the gatekeepers who sought to define relationships. Not all of this change is without friction — as the blurred lines between workplace and private actions have shown. We do not yet have good ways of defining a “deep” virtual relationship — but we know they exist.
The compassion Everquest II players showed for a dying little boy the other day is as tangible as a gold brick and priceless beyond measure. At the other end of the significance scale, former Tar Heel and Cleveland native Jawad Williams knows that his overseas Twitter bleg for Netflix suggestions was met by some nut who both recalled his days as a Bingo Smith fan and counseled that Dexter was far better than 24. (Jawad still went with 24. We’ll always have Bingo, bro.)
It is unclear to me how building ad hoc “families” of this sort detract in any way from our face-to-face relationships. Humans are social animals, as the filmstrip has told us for decades. Tweet, beep, blurt, hearty-handshake — it is all good.
PS — I know, it is spelled dook.