Every person with a social media handle knows the feeling. Thumb out a take that you know might be a little bit too lava. Give it a think. Delete it. Think some more. Thumb it out again — this time a little bit slower. Rinse. Repeat. And then — finally ..– BAM. Send it out into the ether. Immediately feeling both good about it and just a little bit of regret at the same time.
Rory McIlroy sure as hell knows what I’m talking about. Because after jetting out of Erin Hills after missing the cut at the U.S. Open — and another Major Championship went by without a win — the No. 4 ranked golfer in the world took maybe his best swing of the season when he fired back at JUNGLE LEGEND Steve Elkington, who watched Rory look lost chopping it around the muff at Erin Hills and wondered aloud if Rory, without Tiger to chase, was bored with golf.
Completely reasonable question. Something Rory has candidly discussed in the past. And just part of Elk being Elk — the exact kind of take that makes the guy a legend. But after struggling to hit anything straight in 36 holes of championship competition, Rors squared one up as he swung back at Elk — turning a mini-twitter beef into scorched earth, a war that got Golf Twitter popping but didn’t do much to make Rory feel better about himself or his game.
And that leads me to THIS decision. The one that Rory won’t regret. And that’s turning the keys to his blue-check over to his wife. Because after going toe-to-toe with Elk after missing the weekend at a major, he’s done what so many people should do who get hooked to The Gram or tied to Twitter. WALK AWAY: telling a reporter: “I mustve wrote and deleted that tweet about four times before I sent it… I actually gave my wife my phone and twitter… “I’m off social media just because of that reason. I don’t need to read it. It’s stuff that shouldn’t get to you and sometimes it does.”
It can’t get to you if you don’t read it. And it won’t get to you if your wife hits scramble on the password and locks you out.
Again, twitter is both the best and worst thing ever. It’s great because it gives athletes and others a platform where their message can’t be twisted or taken out of context. And it’s great for everyone because it provides quick and easy access to information and data. But it’s also the worst thing ever, because online zeros, who hate themselves and their lives, have nothing better to do than flex their internet muscles, and try to hook you in any way they can. And it usually works.
And you have to know that going in; and if you can’t handle you’re at mentions, or let those scumbags get under your skin or in your head, then don’t pick up your phone. Or at least delete the app. We’ve been over this a million times. And Rory, as a world class athlete, should have known this. Well, at least he does now. Better late than never. And maybe there’s something positive that comes out of this for him.
Rory acknowledged that the criticism from Elk — a former player, a guy who has won on the biggest stage — stung especially badly since he’s not just some media guy with a hot take, maybe he got exactly what he needed from Elk: Some premium fuel for his tank.
So while stepping into the mud and going toe-to-toe 140 characters at a time with a Jungle Legend will never have you leaving a winner, old Rors should send a jug of the good stuff to Elk for getting him back on track — and off Twitter.
I used to always say twitter was a loaded gun. And that it will go off in the hands of an inexperienced user, and someone is going to lose a toe or two or worse. I used to say that, but now I’m starting to think it’s more like an atomic bomb because there’s a blast radius and you could be taking others with you.
Again, I’m not anti-twitter; I’m saying, at its best, it’s an incredible tool, but at its worst, it’s a dirty, filthy online crackhouse for incredible tools.