Technology plays a significant role in both the real world and sports. It is hard for Americans to imagine a society without computers, cell phones or a laptop. However, face-to-face communication has been the price for this international connection. Sports too has undergone alterations to conform to this changing world.
Let’s dissect 3 major areas that technology impacts sports:
Positive: Social media enables people from a variety of countries to embrace in the sports culture by sharing their input on crucial games or news. It promotes team pride and establishes friendly competition between friends, family or others. People can watch games on their devices which include score updates and analyzation of the game.
In 2016, 78% of Americans had a social media profile; that is 54% more that just 2008!
Negative: Unfortunately, collaboration may become violent or abusive on the multitude of social media platforms; cyberbullying is a risk of this online usage. Additionally, being on one’s phone during the game can take away from the natural thrill that sports provide.
Positive: Replays correct human error and minimize wrong calls that could drastically impact the game. This technology allows fans and officials to look over a scenario and make a personal decision. No person or technology is perfect, though replay maintains the integrity of the game.
In 2014 when extended replays were introduced into baseball, 85 out of the 191 uses in the first month were overturned!
Negative: Replays take away from game play and can hinder the excitement and atmosphere of a crowd. Also, after looking at the replay, the opinion by the officials is the only ones that matters. Evidence is not always present to make a decision and therefore, the call is that of judgement.
Positive: Athletes of all ages are able to train using programmed technology from Zepp, Nike, Volt and others. This allows the athletes to diagnose specific flaws, leading to systematic changes in one’s swing or form. This decreases chance of injury while improving technique.
Negative: The technology limits playing time of the sport and may give false facts.
Sports and technology are constantly improving, but are the imperfections in sports sometimes what makes it so great?