Tennis star Eugenie Bouchard is a prolific user of social media and says it’s simply because it is “what my generation does”.
The 22-year-old – currently ranked 46th in the world despite being as high as fifth in 2014 – has been criticised for her heavy use of platforms like Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.
Ex-Olympic rower Adam Kreek, working as a broadcaster at the 2016 Rio Games, was angry at Bouchard’s preparation for this year’s event and questioned whether she actually wanted to be a tennis player in a rant that went viral (watch the video below).
“She’s posting pictures of herself, she’s holding up the toothpaste and she’s trying different hair styles and maybe she wants something different than to be a competitor – and that’s ok,” he said.
“For me as a sports fan, I’m not interested in watching that.”
But Bouchard returned serve, saying that posting on social media was just the natural thing for someone of her age to do.
“For me, it’s what my generation does,” she told News Corp.
“We grew up with Facebook and then slowly Twitter and Instagram came into the picture.
“I’m just doing what my friends, sisters and people my age do and it just so happens that mine has a lot more followers in the public eye.
“But in a way I just see myself as posting about the show I saw or my outfit for the day and that’s what people my age do.
“It’s natural for me in a way.”
The Canadian, who reached the final of Wimbledon in 2014, says she is “careful” about what she uploads to social media – and that she tries not to use it excessively during tennis tournaments.
“I also know I have to be careful with what I post, but when I’m off the court, I’m a normal 22-year-old,” she added.
“I enjoy texting and Snapchatting to talk to my fans and friends, but I’m not on it all the time and especially during tournaments.”
Bouchard opened up on the issue further in a radio interview with SportsNet 590 The Fan in July, in which she said that she had learned to shrug off social media critics.
And she added she has self-imposed limits to ensure she does not get distracted.
“Oh, have I experienced hate on social media? Of course,” she said.
“It comes with the job and I’ve learned to not take it personally, block it out, and realise that it’s easy for someone who’s alone at home behind a computer to just say anything, but it’s what our generation does.
“Good, bad, ugly, whatever we post, it’s who we are and how we express ourselves – through that medium.
“I definitely think it can get to the point of being distracting.
“I think it’s important to just have limits. If I post something on social media it doesn’t mean I just spend an hour reading on social media, I could have just come off after training, post a selfie and go right into my next training. You know what I mean.
“I think people read a little bit too much into it, as in it takes too much time. Whether I post on social media or not, maybe I was still on my phone for those five minutes. It doesn’t really make a difference.
“I just think it’s important not to read too much about yourself – or at all. I really try not to. That’s my one social media rule.”
Bouchard has been given a wildcard entry into January’s Sydney International as she prepares for the first grand slam of the year.
The Canadian’s best result at the Australian Open came in 2014, when she reached the semi-final, before losing to Li Na.