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Lakers’ Jared Dudley finds positives in a negativity-filled social media world

Jared Dudley, Lakers

Social media can be a cruel and dark place, even for professional athletes. Although a lot of good can come from us all being connected through social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, a lot of harm can be done as well. NBA players like Los Angeles Lakers forward Jared Dudley have seen the best and the worst of social media as a 13-year veteran.

The Lakers forward recently spoke to ClutchPoints about the impact it has had on players and the league over the span of a decade.

“I just think that you have less pressure because you’re not always seeing negativity,” Dudley said of the NBA before the social media boom. “When it comes to social media, you have to be careful what you read and what you write because there is always someone that thinks they’re an expert because of that. I think it’s harder to stay mentally prepared and mentally focused on the task at hand.”

Dudley used his superstar teammate LeBron James as an example of someone that distances themselves from social media at the most crucial moments during the NBA season. James famously disconnects from all social media platforms during the playoffs to concentrate fully on leading his team to a title.

“LeBron leaves social media for the whole playoffs to concentrate,” Dudley said. “There no coincidence that mental health is up and everything.”

Despite all the negativity that can be spread on social media, Dudley admits there’s plenty of positive things that can come from it.

“For me, it’s been positive because I’ve used it for life after basketball,” Dudley said. “Broadcasting to whatever. Getting in contact with different people, articles, or whatever I wanted to use. It could be both. I would just say the difference is accessibility for you and whomever.”

However, the bad seems to outweigh the good when it comes to social media and those that choose to use it. Many simply use it as an outlet for their rage or to belittle others on a daily basis, but Dudley uses it “uplift people” as much as he can.

“I think it is more negative than positive, especially because there’s more hate than love in this world,” Dudley said. “It’s how it is. There’s more hatred. You kind of use it at your discretion. It’s tough, man. It’s tough to be able to do, and that’s why it’s good to uplift people. It’s good to have positive energy, but it’s tough in this world.”