These Games convinced me to quit social media for good


“I wish they would,” the nurse said. ” I miss everything. “

Now this this is how you test the pulse of the nation: in the COVID test lines, not in the social media sewers, which this column is actually about.

These Olympics have convinced your humble futon fighter that it’s time to give up social media forever. It’s poisonous. Not Britney spears toxic but Exxon Valdez toxic. This is useless.

The penny fell last Thursday afternoon as Jess fox won gold in the women’s C1 canoe slalom.

If you watched Seven you were crying with her, just as happy and relieved from the sadness of what had happened two days earlier in K1.

If you were to browse Twitter, the feeling was much different.

Here in the cesspool of anonymous public opinion, much of the conversation was about her father, Richard, who had canceled the event from a television in a small room in Melbourne.

When Jess Fox won her first Olympic gold medal, it was a celebration, but not on social media.Credit:Getty Images

He was being gutted because he was too calm, too cold, to “call him like it was a funeral.” He didn’t show enough emotion, according to the Twitteratti.

These absurd assumptions were made because he hadn’t yelled into the microphone. It doesn’t matter that there is no actual streak from him. Never mind that he may have been so overcome with emotion that he has no more words.

I have met Richard before and he is a calm and thoughtful man. Now people were judging his emotional state without seeing him.

Seven showed him a replay of the race, including a view of a camera secretly recording him, and it revealed what I suspected: he couldn’t speak because he was overcome with emotion, didn’t miss not, you are the fool of effing Internet effing people …


Many athletes have spoken over the past two weeks about shutting down all social media – good and bad – in preparation for competition.

Older generations think it’s as easy as deleting apps and closing accounts. To look at Social network on Netflix and you will understand it is not so easy for the little ones.

American gymnast Simone Bilès spoke of the social media pressure after she pulled out of the All-Around squad – and was then quickly belted on social media for playing the ‘sanity’ card.

Then there is Laurier Hubbard, who became the first transgender athlete to compete in the Olympics when she competed in the women’s 87+ kilogram weightlifting division.

Complex story: transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard.

Complex story: transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard.Credit:Getty

Whether you agree or disagree with the 43-year-old New Zealander competing in Tokyo – like a lot of people, I’m actually torn over all of this – her story is so complex that it can’t be clearly explained. ‘one way or another. tweet or post.

It certainly requires more than a hashtag campaign, declaring that “Hubbard is a cheater”, with images of her crotch surrounded by the bold statement: “THIS IS PROOF SHE IS A MAN.”

Ah, is that it? That’s the proof ? A grainy photo taken on a TV screen revealing nothing because the person in question is wearing bicycle pants? What a genius.

Of course, not all social media is this disgusting. There’s a lot of love and celebration and some pretty humorous takes. Some of my best friends are on Twitter.

But there is no point when you descend into the rabbit hole in the comments section because an anonymous person with five followers and another anonymous person with 12 followers are arguing like two Kings Cross ibis over a discarded Porto burger while discussing the merits of korfball included in the upcoming Olympic Games.

As a columnist, I have often used social networks as a thermometer; to take the temperature of the fans, of the punters, to see what they think of certain questions related to sport.

No more. This reveals the worst in society, not the best, so I will be spending more time in the long lines at COVID clinics.


“Make sure you stay home and self-isolate until you get the result,” the nurse advised after scraping the back of my head with a nasal swab. “Good excuse to watch the Olympics.”

If you insist.


“Don’t really feel like Tara Davis is locked here for the task at hand. – A BBC commentator after the bubbly long jumper appeared in a cowboy hat, danced and then posed for the cameras after each attempt. She finished sixth.

Fully focused?  American long jumper Tara Davis

Fully focused? American long jumper Tara Davis Credit:PA

There is only one thing better than being a gold medalist and that is to be a pending gold medalist. Victory of the Australian sailors Matthieu belcher and Does ryan in the 470 men category at the port of Enoshima will be a mere formality on Wednesday.

Talk about a raid for athletes now returning to Australia, from the plane and straight into quarantine at Howard Springs near Darwin. I have visions of Logan martin talk to his gold medal like Tom hanks talk to Wilson in Castaway.

It’s a great Day 12 at the Games for… the Opals, who may rock our eyebrows following the departure of the Matildas and Hockeyroos as they beat the minnow basketball nation of the United States in the semifinals on Wednesday night.

It’s an even more important Day 12 at the Games for… Pierre Bol, whose story really draws on the sub-shell areas of the heart. He arrived in Australia from Sudan via Egypt in 2004 and is our first man in 53 years to compete in an Olympic 800m final. When asked what this meant to him, he replied, “What does this mean for Australia? “

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