Social media has made everything so accessible over recent years. There's so much easy access to everything you could ever want to know about every team, player, coach, mascot, ballboy, etc. Through all the networks you can fairly easily interact with and follow almost any athlete in any sport worldwide (As long as you can hack the great firewall of China) and vice versa, athletes are able to keep in touch with friends and family back home and keep updated with the goings on in the "real world".
Even a bum like me can have a fan page, and several means of communicating with those interested in my Beach Volleyball journey. It's so different from even a few years ago, when the only news you could get about the tour was months later in the latest issue of DiG magazine. Nowadays, though it's still not as popular as the big 4 sports in North America (Hockey, Basketball, Football, and Baseball) or other sports that have been easy access through TV forever, people can still be informed about Beach. You can watch streamed matches live from across the world, check scores via tournament websites, comment on your favorite player's Facebook group page, hashtag each event on Twitter. Sure you're still not going to see that many World Tour caliber games on your big screen (aside from the Olympics every 4 years) until the sport grows more in popularity, but there are ways to get involved in the game like never before.
All the social networks have gotten so involved in sport in general that last year, London was called the first "Twitter Olympics". People at home had more opportunity to be involved with the games than ever before. Even though I didn't get the chance to be there myself, I was able to send my words of motivation to those of my friends who did, and got to hear back with their words of thanks afterwards. It made me feel like I was at least somewhat part of it, even though not quite in the way that I wanted.
I for one, enjoy being able to so easily share my successes (not so much my failures), and being able to draw from the support of everyone following the experience. It's been kind of cool being able to gauge the excitement of people back home who followed our success at World Championships, and likewise it helped soften the blow seeing the words of encouragement after our recent hiccup in Berlin. I look forward to all the things I'll get to read from everyone next week in Moscow.