The thing with social media is not ‘if’ a player is going to get grief, it is just simply a case of ‘when’.
Earlier this season we saw Matz Sels take himself off social media after getting over the top abuse from claimed Newcastle fans on Twitter, something that had been building up and came to a head when he conceded a late equaliser against Aston Villa.
Now Matt Ritchie has came out and said that he has no interest in social media and that even if he did he wouldn’t use it, due to the fact that he wouldn’t be able to stop biting back at any abuse, which is of course the ultimate for any ‘troll’ if they can get such a reaction.
No doubt citing the case of Sels in particular, Ritchie says he has seen the impact on other players and that just confirms he has made the correct decision in not exposing himself to the risks of interacting with the public.
I hope other Newcastle players take a lead from the Scottish international.
For most players there won’t be a problem when the team are winning most weeks and are top of the table but we all know that if form takes a nosedive, whether in the Championship or Premier League, no player will be safe from getting instant abuse delivered to their phone etc.
Exactly why players bother with social media is beyond me, the perceived benefits are minimal surely for anybody still playing football, whereas the risk of being the target of abuse is always there.
I can see why ex-players use it, especially if they are building a career in the media.
However, for those actually still making a living from the game, it just doesn’t make sense for me and that includes owners such as at the likes of QPR and Aston Villa. No doubt the instant communication of social media seems like a good idea at the time but it always ends in problems for them.
Matt Ritchie speaking in Saturday’s (v Rotherham) programme about social media:
“I’m not very good at biting my tongue.
“I have seen players get some abuse on Twitter and things like that.
“There’s fines in place and I’m a little tight, so I wouldn’t want to be paying fines if I was chewing back on Twitter.
“I wouldn’t say it’s a conscious decision. I’ve never been someone for Facebook or anything like that.
“I have never been interested in that sort of stuff. I don’t miss it because I’ve never had it.
“It’s just not for me. I’m a very private person. I keep myself to myself and it’s just something that’s never appealed to me.”