Football

Why Shane Long Is Loving Life Without Social Media

Why Shane Long Is Loving Life Without Social Media

2019 on Shane Long's Twitter account was bare. The last time he posted was Christmas 2018. The self-imposed exile from social media is one the Ireland international is enjoying.

"I think a few players have done it," he told the Southampton club website.

"I was never really into it – I think it was a bit after my time that it really got big. I didn’t enjoy it, so I decided enough was enough.

"I don’t read into anybody else’s opinions apart from the lads here and the manager. I never really took any notice of it. I kept telling myself, ‘just try to ignore it’.

"Even when it was good news I didn’t take any notice, so why listen to the bad stuff? There’s so much negativity, especially on Twitter.

"I never really posted anything anyway so I decided to come off it and it’s been refreshing. I’m not sat at home on my phone now. I’m playing with the kids or doing something else.

"You can lose yourself in it. Even on the bus going to games I’m not sat staring at my phone, I’m talking to the lads. It’s a nice way to be.

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"I do go on MailOnline just to catch up with news, and Sky Sports and apps like that, just never social media – a little bit of Facebook just to keep in touch with friends at home, but that’s all it is.

"My wife is the total opposite – she’s all over Instagram doing videos. I see all of my life on her stories!

"For me it’s just not that appealing. I never really got into it that much, and when you’re getting abuse like that there’s no need. You know yourself if you can do better or not – you don’t need some keyboard warrior’s opinion."

The 33-year-old reestablishing himself in the Southampton first team should benefit his international chances. He is yet to feature for Ireland in the Euro 2020 qualifying campaign but has started the last five games for Southampton and Mick McCarthy was impressed with his performance against Burnley at the weekend.

"Obviously not being in the squad here, the manager of Ireland (Mick McCarthy) decided to pick players who were playing at club level and I was overlooked," said Long.

"I spoke to him about it, we kept it very civil, he told me his reasons and I accepted that.

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"It was tough because I was really looking forward to it at the time and I needed that game time. I wanted something to clear my head because I wasn’t involved here, so that was a killer blow for me.

"I think it was the first squad since I’ve got into the Ireland team where I’ve been fit but not selected. It was tough for me to take – another body blow, as I say, but I’ve got over it.

"I’m still in touch with the manager – we haven’t fallen out or anything. He keeps texting when I’m playing, saying ‘good game today’ and keeping me encouraged.

"It’s about keeping my place in the squad so when it does come to picking that Ireland team I am involved, because they’re massive games.

"I pride myself on playing for my country. I love playing for Ireland so I want to do everything I can to get into that next squad."

Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

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