The "Twitter" tab on Google Chrome has remained untouched for hours. Every few minutes, you click "New Tweets," spilling a handful of previously unread, 140-character thoughts onto your timeline. Every day, you do this for hours on end, seeing what people are saying about subjects you care about, shaping your opinion of said subjects, sometimes angering you when opinions differ from your own. As fun as social media can be, it is also a total time suck, and the negativity that permeates it can be detrimental to your health.
This is doubly so for athletes. After every poor performance, they must deal with thousands of tweets like "STOP SHOOTING, YOU TRASH BUCKET!" and "you're worse than a 3-legged dog tbh" in their mentions. This is (probably) what San Antonio Spurs star LaMarcus Aldridge had to deal with after scoring a measly five points in the Spurs' first regular season matchup against the Golden State Warriors in January, a game in which the Spurs were blown out 120-90.
It was his lowest point total of the season. Following that game, Aldridge shut down both his Twitter and Instagram accounts, though he refused to relate the decision with his performance against the Warriors.
"I just wanted to lock in," Aldridge said at the time. "It's not anything about the game. This is a new adventure for me. I've never been in this system or with this team. I've never been on a top-two team in the West. So I just wanted to lock in on my season right now. It had nothing to do with that game. That's the reason. I wanted to lock in."
Whatever the reason, his social media blackout has done wonders for Aldridge's game. In January, before the shutdown, he was averaging 16.7 points per game. Post-shutdown, he has been on a tear, averaging 20.4 points per game in February and bumping it up to 24 points per game so far in March. His PER also jumped up, from 25.8 in February to 28.1 in March.
Aldridge was huge in the Spurs' second matchup against the Warriors on March 19, dropping 26 points and grabbing 13 rebounds en route to a Spurs victory to remain undefeated at home. At this rate, Aldridge may never tweet or post a photo again.
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