Why Twitter is Depressing Me

As I’m sure you are aware, Twitter is another social networking tool which allows you to share quick messages (no longer than 140 characters) which are called “tweets” with those who “follow” you.  You can follow anyone you choose (unlike Facebook which requires the friend to accept your friend request).  However each user can change their publicity settings which are set to viewable by the public by default.  For more on twitter, go to www.twitter.com.

Some people use twitter to keep in touch with their friends by “following” each other.  Others use it more as a “news” ticker by following popular news, entertainment or sports tweets.  With more than 100 million users on twitter, the choices of who to follow are endless.

Some of the most popular users on twitter (based on number of followers) are sports celebrities.  For example, Shaquille O’Neal [basketball] has over 3 million followers, Lance Armstrong [cycling] (2.6 million) and Ian Poulter [golf] (1 million).

Since one of my favourite sports is golf, I decided to try to find and follow PGA professionals.  It would be interesting to see what they tweet about.  What they do off the course.  What they find interesting.  What they say about their play on the course.  So I went out and found about 20 PGA members.  Some tweet like twice a year, others twice a week.  Then there those that tweet 5 to 10 times per day.  These individuals give the best insight into a PGA professional’s life.

At first it was interesting, reading about them going to the course to warm up, working out in the training facility or boarding a plane to the next event.  It really opened up my eyes as to how busy these individuals are with travel arrangements and how much time they spend away from their families.

I started recognizing who hangs out with who on the tour based on their tweets about who was going out to dinner together.  They would post pictures of them out together, videos of some interesting, and not so interesting things they would do.  They would post pictures of the views from their hotel rooms and and PGA members’ vehicles in the private parking lot.  They would comment on their round of the day saying that they weren’t putting very well today, or that their driving was spectacular.  They would comment on who they’re partnered with the next day and what their tee time is.

I learned which sports teams they like and which sporting games they attended.  I learned about products they endorsed and promoted, what equipment they are given to play with and test out.  Just how many pairs of golf shoes they own and some of the eccentric outfits they put together.

All of these things were interesting and really showed me at least a little bit of what it’s like on tour.  However, there are a number of posts that I had a hard time putting behind me.  Some things that really showed their net worth and the just how, at times, they flaunt it.  Some examples of these are the super expensive sports cars that they own.  Not one but two or three, custom ordered.

How some of them ride in private jets.

The lavish cabin on the lake.

Custom wake surf boards.

Custom golf carts.

Custom made wedges and an immense amount of equipment (over 200 pairs of shoes).

The list goes on.

To the novice follower this may seem entertaining or even fascinating but over the weeks and months of reading these tweets and viewing these pictures and videos, it kind of left a bad taste in my mouth.  I’m sitting there thinking that there are people out there living paycheque to paycheque, trying to make ends meet, or even worse, those who are living on the streets wondering where their next meal is going to come from.

Even though the PGA raises millions of dollars for charities, I still am having a tough time swallowing the exorbitant means by which these pros, who play a fun game for a living, live.  And furthermore, it seems to be guilt-free.

Will I stop following them on twitter.  Probably not.  But I will have to start taking the extravagance with a grain of salt.

Follow me on twitter – @BrianWawryk


About brianwawryk
PMP and Prince2 certified project manager.

One Response to Why Twitter is Depressing Me

  1. Pingback: Is it Golf Season Yet? « Today's Tangent

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