Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Time for a quick self-checkup everybody; uncontrollable cheering, have you spontaneously chanted “U-S-A” or worn an American flag headband? If so, I can go ahead and diagnose you with Olympic Fever, the only remedy is to listen to Bruce Springsteen songs on repeat until the closing ceremonies happen in a few days.
Now that that’s out of the way let’s talk about a non-sports issue that seems to have permeated every aspect of the games: Justin Bieber. More specifically, Justin Bieber’s Twitter feed.
Over the last week Justin Bieber has taken over the news. This is an especially surprising development when you consider that I thought he had taken over the media as much as one person can years ago when Twitter.com changed the way they calculate ‘what’s trending’ just to unseat the 18 year old song bird from the list…temporarily.
For the uninitiated, Twitter.com is a social-media service that allows users to share short (140 characters or less) messages to their ‘followers’ and the world beyond. In July 2011 there were 150 million unique visitors to the site.
Justin Bieber is mainly known for performing hit singles (from “Baby” to “Boyfriend”) around the world, and while he does play sports (basketball, skateboarding) he’s not exactly an authority when it comes to performing physical feats on the world’s biggest stage, but here he is; commenting on Canada’s relationship with semi-obscure gymnastic events (“CANADA!!!! We love our trampolines!! Congrats to @RosieMacLennan on GOLD!! #ProudCanadian” August 4th) to his 26.3 million followers
Actor Samuel L Jackson of ‘Snakes on a Plane’ fame was a featured tweeter for NBC, “why not complain about him?” you ask, “Why didn’t the Biebs get his own Twitter slot on NBC?” I will tell you; Bieber doesn’t need a special spotlight to announce “Justin Bieber Night” because every night is Justin Bieber night.
You may have turned on your television last week and seen Ryan Seacrest talking about the conversation happening via Twitter between Bieber and 17-year-old swimming phenomenon Missy Franklin, the next day Bob Costas sat down with Missy to get her reaction to setting world records, taking home the gold, and getting tweets from Justin Bieber. You thought that was enough? Well you were wrong, after talking about what a dream come true the famous tweet was for her, Costas took things to the next level and unveiled a video message to Missy from Justin Bieber himself.
Who else was featured in this video you ask, Justin’s baby brother Jaxon. That’s right, at just two years old little Jaxon Bieber is already getting screen time on NBC and breaking the hearts of Olympic swimmers.
How does Justin feel about the U.S. women taking team gymnastics gold? He’s happy for them and tweeted as much. He’s clearly a fan of Missy Franklin, and he tweets @RyanSeacrest a surprising amount. My question is this, in a time where nations congregate in celebrations of excellence and displays of national pride, where do Justin Bieber’s loyalties lie?
He’s tweeted to American athletes as much as he has Canadians (he tweeted at Canadian gymnast Dominique Pegg after they narrowly made it into the team finals). Should we consider giving “The Biebs” U.S. citizenship, even if it’s just for his Twitter account?
Maybe Justin reaching across the border to congratulate winners is a grand example of ‘togetherness’ and the Olympic spirit, maybe he’s simply working his way deeper into our society so he can send more info to his Canadian Intelligence contacts without suspicion. I don’t know, no one really does, but it does make for exciting Olympic coverage.Vincent Davis II is a Cornell graduate, DJ, and market development specialist in the IT industry. His column appears on the second and fourth Friday of every month. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org