As a Canadian, last night’s Olympic Men’s Hockey loss to the United States shed some light on the new experiences that social media can bring to sporting events and rivalries. Specifically, as I ventured post-game into the world of Twitter, I was supported by my friends’ similar reactions. We theorized back and forth about the reasoning behind the loss from halfway across the country, and posted links and analysis that helped us understand the game. Social media was effective in helping me connect and learn about this new experience.
As time passed, I noticed a few category tags appearing for certain topics. #GoCanadaGo has emerged as the most popular hashtag for supporting our Canadian atheletes, and it was nice to join that thread and observe all the support for the team.
- climbrandon: A sobering loss to the Americans last night will only make our men’s hockey team stronger! #van2010 #olympics #hockey #GoCanadaGo
- _kaylarichards: RT @Lovemilo47: The US did NOT ‘shock’ Canada, nor did they win in an ‘epic’ fashion. They simply have a great goalie. Let’s all move on now.#GoCanadaGo
- dvandersluis: I hope Kristina’s silver from last night doesn’t get forgotten in all the disappointment in other sports. Go Kristina! #gocanadago #van2010
The last post really made me remember our other great atheletes: After all, we won a Silver medal earlier in the day. As I continued to peruse these real-time comments about Kristina Groves’ fantastic run, I came across an unsettling trend. Within the #GoCanadaGo trend, there seemed to be a few taunting posts that included the thread name #SuckItCanada. The channel was almost like the warring ground for exuberant Americans and dejected Canadians, and while sometimes nasty, the thread was quite humorous. I’ve included some of the posts here.
- @twoeightnine: Canada: Subletting the Podium to America for Less Than Market Rate. #suckitcanada
- @themightymjd: If only there was on Olympic Health Care event. Then you might be able to beat us at something. #suckitcanada
- GhostOtaku: What is w/ the “suckitcanada” hashtag? 1) That win wasn’t for a medal. (still a long way to go for that) 2) Show some class in winning peeps
- @dear_gravity: Please don’t believe that all us Americans are supporting the #suckitcanada tag. Some of us actually have respect.
- @russianmachine: Captain America Punches Sidney Crosby. You’re welcome
All in all, the thread was flooded with people apologizing for the lack of class for the few rude Americans, but it was in good spirits, and it was a huge upset. The fact that I was able to easily connect and hear the thoughts of people around the world about the game was satisfying, and social media really has come a long way in that respect. Twitter especially allowed me to venture outside of my friends network and get some random opinions, which is something that Facebook doesn’t let you do at this point, and for good reason: I don’t want to do that on Facebook. But it is that concept that gives Twitter a unique meaning in certain situations, and means the two services won’t be defeating each other any time soon, in my opinion.