The idea of Twitter was to cut down news and opinions to 140 characters or less. The NHL Lockout in 140 characters or less comes off as greedy, ungrateful and repetitive. During the 2004-2005 lockout, updated articles only greeted exasperated hockey fans at the end of each session, when there was news to report. In the 2012 edition, now the 2012-2013 lockout after the New Year, hockey writers flood the internet with their opinions 24 hours a day.
A formulaic method of news storytelling has developed out of the many negotiations between the NHL owners and the NHLPA. Reporters begin announcing on Twitter that talks are scheduled. They then update the “progress” being made between the two sides throughout the day as their blurbs are retweeted among hockey fans to build anticipation. The reporters give their social media microphone to both sides to spread optimism. Then, with just a single tweet, it all comes crashing down.
I do not blame the reporters. Their job is now to tweet all of these details and then organize them in a recap story when the chaos dies down. A journalist’s job is to keep people informed, which is probably why they thrive on Twitter. However, it continues to shine an unflattering light on both the owners and players as tweeted information cannot be boosted with frivolous details in such a constrained environment. The language is blunt and without double meaning.
How gullible are the hockey fans of the world, you might ask? Well in a tweet, only so much information can be sent because of character limits. The shortened words add an edge of anticipation and progress that might not exist if the updates did not flash up on a screen every few minutes. As a hockey fan on Twitter, it is impossible to escape the building hope and so even as a letdown is to be expected, it still cuts deep in a single new tweet.
Personally, I began using @derekindenver to connect with other hockey fans. It’s a great place to stay updated on thoughts about your favorite team. There are a lot of knowledgeable hockey fans on twitter, especially in the Colorado Avalanche community and I love the group that has formed around the team. However, Twitter is going to help bring about hockey’s downfall. Greed is never pleasant, especially as it refreshes over and over on everyone’s favorite information light speed highway.