Dexter Fowler, the ebullient Colorado Rockies outfielder is a gazelle in the ball park and a social media adept. He’s got nearly 25,000 Twitter followers and uses the platform to reach out to fans via his handle @DFowler24. He was even in a famed Rockies commercial extolling the virtues of Twitter before Todd Helton sets him straight about his position in the organization.
Fowler is the king of the RT: effortlessly retweeting his followers who say something nice about him. And I can’t blame him. There’s so much negative to be mined from the internet in general, a few (OK, a lot in Dex’s case) nice things said about you would be a good thing to spread around. I’ve joked in the past about how Fowler’s retweets get on my nerves because it seems like a constant stream of self congratulatory promulgation, but it’s probably just a way to give his fans a thrill. And if it bothered me that much, I’d just unfollow him, so my annoyance with it is far down the list of real world problems.
But the other night as Fowler crushed a two run homer to help Jamie Moyer get his first win as a Rockie, I tweeted “Fowler's gonna RT about how great Dexter Fowler is tonight.” A cheeky nod to Fowler’s Twitter activities that were sure to follow. But when I woke up the next morning, I found a reply to my tweet from none other than Fowler himself. I had to look at two or three times to make sure it wasn’t one of his many fans using a similar handle, but after careful inspection, I realized it was him.
Here’s what he said: “good call ;)”
The beauty of social media is you have direct access to people like Fowler. And they have direct access to you. Apparently Fowler was out and about last night answering tweets and curbing naysayers. Someone I follow retweeted someone else talking about how Fowler called him “jealous” during the night. I’m not sure what they said about him, but like a social media Santa Claus, Fowler was finding out who was naughty and who was nice. Thankfully he took my ribbing in the good nature it was intended and I didn’t get blocked. I’m sure he deals with his share of negativity, so answering people directly probably works. It did for me. I replied to him that he did a good job last night and will be looking over my digital shoulder the next time I’m inspired to be a smart ass.
Let that be a lesson for you sports fans: watch what you say, because it’s very possible that your clever bon mots are being read by the very people you’re talking about. So be nice. Or at least be willing to face the target of your ire.