What is it about social media that makes it so addicting among users? Seriously, think about: I can’t count the amount of people that would wake up and send out a tweet first thing in the morning. The average person checks their Facebook about 5 times a day, and the total amount of time a person spends on Pinterest is nearly 72 minutes per session. People are in loved with the idea of constantly sharing their story with the rest of the world. This goes for pro athletes as well, which is why most professional sports have placed a banned on it.

As I mentioned before, it is so easy for people use social media as a dumping ground for all of their emotions. This is why both the NFL and NBA have placed a banned on the use of any type of social media outlet before, during and directly after the game. For the NFL, no social media usage is allowed 90 minutes before and after the game (this includes halftime). For the NBA, using social media is prohibited 45 minutes before and after the game (this also includes halftime as well). Players are often expected to address the media before tweeting out to their followers.

Many fans refer to the prohibiting of social media usage the “Villanueva Rule”. Back in 2009 Detroit Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva was frustrated with his in-game performance and begin tweeted during half-time “In da locker room, snuck to post my twit. We’re playing the Celtics, tie ball game at da half. Coach wants more toughness. I gotta step up”. The NBA went out of their way to enforce a new rule that would put a stop to this immediately.

(Pistons forward (then a member of the Milwaukee Bucks) Charlie Villanueva received some heat from the NBA front office for Tweeting during a basketball game back in 2009)

We all know that a lot of people, including professional athletes like the idea of expressing their idea, emotions and beliefs via social media because it allows them to connect with on so many people and it gives them a dump ground for all their emotions. However I agree with NFL and NBA for holding players accountable for what tweet and when they are allowed to tweet it. Professional athletes must be held more accountable for their actions and be more cautions of what they send out to the followers. Not just for PR’s sake, but because just like us, their bosses just might be watching.

(Photos courtesy mlive.com and theoatmeal.com)

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