Technology is incessantly changing with every second of every day. Every moment of our lives is updated, recorded, photographed and, for lack of a better word, tweeted to the general public. Different industries, companies, and organizations have begun adapting to this new worldwide trend. Recently, social media’s eyes have turned toward a huge world spectacle, the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Since the social media boom in the late 2000’s, sporting events around the nation and even the globe have become subject to being very interactive with the athletes and the general audience. This is a proven fact with the Sochi Olympic Games. According to Evan LePage, social content writer for HootSuite, the Sochi 2014 Olympics were mentioned a total of 6,549,377 times on social media platform Twitter within the first week.
Not just the audience is taking part in this social phenomenon, though. The Olympic athletes are, as well. Even before the opening ceremony aired in the United States, Team USA stepped up their “selfie” game. Athletes such as snowboarder Shaun White, figure skater Ashley Wagner, and skier Heidi Kloser each took a selfie to document their appearance in the Sochi 2014 Olympics. The hashtag #SochiSelfie was trending from February 7th to February 14th, according to LePage. Most of the selfies taken were self-portraits, posing with their medals, as well as a selfie contest amongst athletes to have their picture taken with the Jamaican Bobsled team.
Not all of this free publicity has reflected positively on Sochi. Before the Olympics began, Twitter’s biggest social media impression was on Russia’s stance on homosexuality, with 10 percent of the impressions being positive ones.
During the opening ceremonies, one of the five Olympic rings did not open, showing an incomplete set of rings and causing a social media uproar. During the four-hour ceremony, the Olympic rings fiasco accounted for 8% of the conversation in the “Twittersphere” according to LePage.
Again, athletes have contributed to this negative impression of Sochi. Athletes, along with journalists documenting the games, have documented the living conditions provided. Most of these posts were accompanied with #SochiFail, which made 21, 853 impressions on Twitter. #SochiFail also became it’s own twitter handle, @SochiFails and has garnered currently 22.8 thousand followers, as well as it’s own Facebook page.
Overall, the Olympics, along with everything else in the world, have succumbed to the use of social media; Twitter is definitely taking home the gold medal.