Other than playing goalie for the United States women’s soccer team, Hope Solo also has one of the most awesome names ever. Part of me hopes that she has a long, lost twin brother named Han. Just because she has an awesome name, though, doesn’t mean she’s awesome at everything.
Hope Solo isn’t very good at social media.
Hope Solo took to Twitter to criticize Brandi Chastain, the television analyst who worked team USA’s 3-0 victory over Colombia. Solo was offended by Chastain’s criticism of one of her teammates. Chastain’s criticism wasn’t over-the-top and nothing out of the ordinary. And it’s not like Brandi Chastain is just some talking hair-do on TV. Chastain played on team USA and helped lead her team to the World Cup Championship in 1999. If someone knows something about women’s soccer at the highest level, it’s Brandi Chastain.
Solo’s comments created a firestorm of thoughts and opinions online and on sports talk radio. I’m a nerd but I love sports. Stories like this combine those two worlds: an amazing athlete using social media to create a controversy.
Hope Solo isn’t the first world-class athlete to dislike the commentary of a television analyst. With the advent of social media, though, athletes now have the opportunity to share those thoughts with the entire world. And even though most of us don’t have over 500,000 followers, we probably shouldn’t give voice to our unflattering thoughts, even if we can fit them into 140 characters.
Every grandma’s favorite saying is, “If you can’t say anything nice, then you shouldn’t say anything at all.” I think we need to update that to, “If you can’t tweet anything nice, then you shouldn’t tweet anything at all.”
Twitter doesn’t come with a filter so we have to be smart with how we use it. Just because we have a medium to share our negative thoughts, doesn’t mean we should use it. Proverbs 15:1 says, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Not knowing when to hold our digital tongues probably won’t cause a media firestorm, but it could damage relationships and discourage others. Knowing when to hold our digital tongues, though, can help us preserve relationships and encourage others.
And if Jesus had a Twitter, I’m sure that’s what he would have done.
How do you filter your thoughts for social media?