Super Bowl highlights flip-flopping narratives created by social media

Photo from ethicsunwrapped.utexas.edu

Sentiment on social media during the Super Bowl is like watching a fish out of water flopping around in the bottom of your boat. Watching how opinions are transformed on Twitter during any NFL game is eye-opening at times.

Before the internet was around you had to wait until after the big game to catch what people were discussing about the biggest sporting event of the year. Now you can watch it all unfold in real time, which makes me curious about if/how much this instant feedback changes our point of view in the grand scheme of things.

It was amazing to watch on Twitter how sentiment changed as the San Francisco 49ers’ ten-point lead evaporated. The narrative about Patrick Mahomes alone was pure gold.

It makes this old behaviorist wonder how much the instant feedback might alter how people think their way through formulating an opinion about what they’re watching live. We already know how screen time changes neurological development of the brain in children.

Photo from news-journalonline.com.

Do the principles of groupthink apply in a similar fashion?

How much does commentary given by someone you respect for their football IQ on Twitter alter your own opinion? I readily admit to altering my opinion about a particular play or player when someone like Erik Turner (@Cover_1) jumps on Twitter and explains why something happened during an NFL football game.

But I also wonder how much all this instant feedback affects our collective opinion in the midst of those who simply want to troll on social media looking for a fight? Or how does the ‘echo chamber’ of our timelines change when feedback is nearly instantaneous and there’s only one point of view you’ve curated on your timeline to look at?

These are the types of questions I hope future generations of psychologists will be able to answer in a more precise way than we currently understand about the effect of ‘groupthink’ and social media. The bottom line… life is a grand old experiment anyway, so we might as well learn as much as we can about ourselves as a collective.

Besides, it’s the off season and I can blabber about this and all sorts of uninteresting trash between now and the upcoming NFL Combine. Here’s to offseason blabber. Huzzah.

Editor’s babble: A Super Bowl for the ages. Fans of the Kansas City Chiefs are so deserving to have their team as NFL Champions. I’m joyful because we don’t have to spend another offseason hating the Patriots even more (if that’s possible). You can find me on Twitter @RobynMundyWYO.

About Robyn Mundy

Robyn Mundy is Editor-in-Chief of the BillsMafia blog at BillsMafia.com. She's a retired oncology nurse & psychotherapist who loves to write about her life-long passion for the Buffalo Bills, and occasionally something of clinical or social relevance. Robyn lives with her husband Gary and their dogs in the foothills of the glorious Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming. Robyn is also a proud founding sponsor. Follow her on Twitter at @robynmundyWYO.