George Kittle

How 49ers' Kittle balances positives, negatives of social media

NBC Universal, Inc.

As a professional athlete, 49ers tight end George Kittle knows that being on social media for extended periods of time could be detrimental to his psyche.

Speaking with NBC Sports Bay Area's Jennifer Lee Chan, Kittle explained how he's able to walk the fine line of being active online while also protecting his mental health from social media.

"It's really fun when you have a really good game to like, 'Hey, I might type my name into Twitter' and see like what cool plays I made, 'Like hey, am I on an ESPN account?' stuff like that," Kittle told Chan. "What did 'Pardon my Take' say about me? Stuff like that, that's really fun."

Despite being one of the more fun personalities in the NFL, Kittle knows social media has its limits. That is why he is beginning to understand it's best to stay off of it altogether as he gets older so he can focus on playing his best each week.

"Because yeah, getting puffed up by the media like, 'Oh, wow you did this so good, you did that so good' a one-dropped ball a week later and you're one of the worst players in the NFL," Kittle added. "So all I care about is, yes I'm active on social media, I try my best not to look at, people like to say a lot of mean things, people like to say a lot of things they don't know anything about.

"It is what it is, it's the internet, free speech, you can say whatever you want. Come say it to my face, I promise you'll have a great time with that too."

Being a professional athlete, Kittle is correct in his assessment of how dangerous social media can be depending on how the team plays from week to week.

If he and the 49ers perform well one week, social media will be singing their praises. However, should Kittle and San Francisco drop the ball -- literally and figuratively -- the next week, the fury of the internet denizens will rain down on the 49ers.

RELATED: 49ers' Kittle reveals influence for fashion, love of sneakers

Still, considering Kittle is one of the best tight ends in the NFL, he can afford to divert some of the attention he's placed on social media to other endeavors, like his love of sneakers and fashion.

Because, all athletes like Kittle know, the best way to perform at their best is to feel at their best, both physically and mentally, without the stresses of social media.

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