Social media is a double-edged sword, and anyone that has a twitter or Facebook account likely knows that. It allows you to communicate with the masses, but it also allows them to communicate with you. Now imagine if you were famous - you're always going to have haters, and those haters can send you venomous messages with a few simple clinks. For some MMA fighters, it's tough to know how to handle things. Ben Fowlkes of MMA Junkie talked to a few fighters regarding this, and Rashad Evans probably had the most blunt response:
"If I read a couple and get mad, and I feel like saying something back? That’s when I know I need to cool out for a second and turn it off. Because Twitter, it’s great, but Twitter will hurt your damn feelings, man."
"People will say some outrageous things on there," Evans said. "It makes you feel like, man, if I was there with you, I bet a million dollars you wouldn’t even want to think that because you’d be scared I might hear your thoughts and beat the hell out of you."
Top women's bantamweight fighter Miesha Tate also shared some opinions on the subject:
"That’s every single day on my Twitter. Literally, every day. They don’t teach you how to deal with that. The UFC encourages you to be active on social media and have a Twitter and all that, but they don’t really tell you how to deal with dummies."
"I think social media has given a voice to some people who clearly never should have had one."
"People who go out of their way to look you up so they can tell you they hate you, even though they’ve never even met you, chances are they probably don’t have an awesome life," Tate said. "The normal, functioning people, they probably don’t spend their whole lives on Twitter telling people they don’t know that they don’t like them. The normal, successful fans of yours are probably at work right now."
Tate is quite clear on the fact that she'll keep using social media, because there are many good things that come from it:
"That’s why I keep doing it," Tate said. "Because there’s been times when I feel just so tired of it. But then I look and see some young girl who tells me she started doing MMA because of me, or a mother who says her daughter looks up to me, and those people make it worth it. I have to take the good with the bad."
The whole article is worth a gander, as Fowkles talks to a professor of sport communication and he offers up some advice on how to handle it, and how a different level of expectations can change the playing field to a certain degree. You can check it out here.