Social Media Games

I would – typically – rather count strands of my hair than make reference to the personal lives of sports persons. But there is a compelling starting point in this reference:

Tiger Woods / Lindsay Vonn / someecard

I only warmed up to the idea of social networking long after high school having been a sucker for simplicity – letters, phone calls, and straight communication. I suppose those habits fell away with the last vestiges of green-screen mobile phones. Social media has become an Olympic sport and people are playing right along: marketing brand strategy, tracking competition, and taking all sorts of shots in the name of the game. And so, I partnered with Facebook, found commitment on Twitter, have a thing for LinkedIn, found mutual feelings on Pinterest and am recently separated from WhatsApp (but working things out).


The update

But there is a disadvantage to social networking found (not in the relationship but) in it was has been called the “status update.” The advent of the update has rendered no one ever short of something to say (good or bad) about someone, something, or somewhere. It has become the platform for a whole lot of goodness (think: petitions, social issue consciousness) but it has also doubled as a stage for the promotion of a bulk of garbage (think: chauvinist quips, shameless female self-degradation, and frankly, some of the worst spelling developed by the human race). Now take two sporting legends: one infamous golfing great and another troubled super skier, and coordinate a ‘statement’ released simultaneously regarding their budding relationship via social media status update. Legend, isn’t it? Well, kind of.

Indeed the way in which Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn announced their association is akin to the PR engines of many sports people, though, reaching a social network in a virtual instance has done little much to grant them anything more than anyone is willing to give  (think: the goodness versus garbage dichotomy). There is a meme doing the rounds with a man in a life-size bubble being bounced in the air by a sea of people underneath, which read:


As convenient a form of expression that instant communication has become, how you conduct yourself via these mediums is a reflection of yourself, as are the plays you make. In this particular game, however, there are very few rules after the fact that Woods and Vonn have defintely blown the official whistle.


World Wide Worx and Fuseware (along with TNS Research Surveys and Professional Evaluation and Research) summarily found that in South Africa:[1]

  • Both Facebook and Twitter have grown at a similar rate, at around 100 000 new users a month, for the past year.
  • LinkedIn has grown substantially, but at a slightly lower rate, to reach 1,93-million South Africans.
  • Pinterest is the fledgling among the major social networks, with only 150 000 users in South Africa.
  • *WhatsApp has become the leading instant messaging tool among South Africans aged 16 and over, living in cities and towns, with a user base of 4,6-million.
  • The youngest mobile instant messaging tool to emerge on the measurement radar in South Africa, 2Go, has close to a million adult users.
  • The most common “Check In” sites for Facebook in South Africa are airports and shopping malls.
  • The biggest tweeting day of the week is a Monday, with an average of 9,6-million tweets sent by South Africans on the first working day of the week. Friday is next, with 9.6-million, while Saturday is the slowest Twitter day, with 8,4-million tweets.
  • Both Facebook and Twitter have crossed the urban/rural divide. The proportion of urban adults using Facebook is a little less than double rural users – but rural users are now at the level where urban users were 18 months ago. Twitter’s urban penetration is a little more than double its rural penetration, but the rural proportion has also caught up to where the urban proportion was 18 months ago.


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