There are few things in the world more abhorrent than the dark abuse-laden side of the internet. Online bullies use the freedom of speech and anonymity offered by social media as weapons to torment fellow users, irrespective of their status in the world.
As this toxic culture gathers pace, many make a conscious choice to safeguard themselves from such brutality by simply avoiding such platforms.
Martin Ødegaard is one among many who’ve decided to pull out of social media owing to such deep-rooted negativity.
Arsenal midfielder had a verified Twitter account under the username @martinio98. The account had more than 300,000 followers but it has now been deleted by the player himself.
Speaking with TV 2, the Norwegian put his contention forth in crystal clear words saying he doesn’t need Twitter because there’s a lot of sh*t: “It’s been a while since now, really. It was really because I never used it and had no need for it. I think a lot of sh*t, in general, is there. I have no need to be there. I probably did not have a Twitter update for a long time, then I thought there was no point in having it, so then I just deleted it.”
Having not been a big fan of the platform in the first place, the midfielder stated: “There’s a lot of sh*t, simply. For my part, I don’t need to sit there and look at all those comments. There is a lot of anonymous and very strange [comments]. It’s a little scary if not you have your head completely in place, it can influence you a lot.”
He stressed the importance of such detachment for budding footballers in particular, who have a higher vulnerability in falling prey to such rampant malice: “I would especially say to young players that one should be careful not to look too much at such things. It can be a lot negative.”
While there is no doubt that social media brings a lot to the table, its flagrant misuse begs the question as to whether it’s more of a vice than a virtue.