One thing is certain as the London Olympics go on, social media has played a larger role in this Olympics than any other. While social media is still a relatively new presence compared to every innovation throughout history, one only needs to look at the Olympics to see its presence and power.
Social media has dominated these games, in every way. Everyone from viewers to commentators to the athletes themselves are using Facebook and Twitter to cover every aspect of the games. While this has been useful for getting up to the second information about the events and the outcomes, this also has led to some controversy as well.
Both athletes and news professionals alike have been suspended over controversial statements made via social media, and there have been strict punishments for anyone deemed to have gone to far. Social media also allows for a flood of negativity and hatred from people based on ethnic tension, nationalism, and sometimes sheer boredom.
Therefore, social media has been both a positive and negative force during the Olympic Games. It is an odd force to be sure, due to the way that everyone is expected to provide as much insight and information as possible to the process, but there are lines which are being crossed which are resulting in punishment. It is interesting to consider the power of social media when it is often just short sentences expressing a view or news snippet or joke, and how such words on a screen can affect so many people.
This is a trend that is not going to change. As technology grows and expands, so too will the ability for people to be heard and for more exhaustive coverage to be provided. Whether or not this will lead to fatigue from information overload remains to be seen.