Baldwin: Social media hinders team bonding

710 ESPNAmong the many topics Doug Baldwin covered during his stint on 710 ESPN earlier this week was the dynamic of the Seahawks’ locker room.

He talked about Russell Wilson’s growth as a leader, Richard Sherman’s ego, the overall motivation of the players to win and more. One of the most interesting things he mentioned was the trouble younger players have bonding with teammates.

Calling himself on the “outskirts” of the millennial generation, the 28-year-old Baldwin explained, “I didn’t grow up with social media right there in the prime of my young years. But you see a lot of guys come in now, they’re all about Instagram, all about Twitter. We go to the stadiums, they’re doing Snapchat. It’s like, ‘Can you just put your phone down and just enjoy the moment with your teammates?’

“It does frustrate me. I feel really old saying that, but it really does frustrate me. … It’s an anti-social culture when they come in. They don’t have the willingness to be vulnerable, the willingness to have conversations.”

It’s a reminder that NFL players are people, too, and just as subject to the impact of today’s highly digitized world. But Baldwin makes a great point that a team needs to be together — and, contrary to its name, social media does not foster true socialization, rather tends to divide and isolate.

“It’s much more difficult on guys socially because of everything that’s out there — the social media aspect of it,” Baldwin said. “I think that part of it really causes some problems for guys when they come in, especially the young guys, socially and how they interact with their teammates and realizing that the world doesn’t revolve around them. They don’t have to post everything on Twitter and Instagram.

“Some of these guys come in and that’s all they talk about is all the negativity they get on social media … and from the media. Sometimes I just want to tell them to grow up and get out of it because it really shouldn’t impact or influence their performance on the field.”

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