WALES wing George North has opened up on dealing with the perils of social media while being in the public spotlight as a professional sportsman.

The 27-year-old has enjoyed his fair share of success on the international stage, but that doesn’t mean that he hasn’t come in for criticism online.

“It’s a great platform, but it makes you very accessible,” he said. “It is something I have to deal with on a daily basis, not the fact that you are so approachable – you never go out to play badly, you go out with the best of intentions to be man of the match in every game – it’s the fact that people think it’s okay to say whatever they want.

“You go through stages where you’ve got to just let it go and you log out and then you move on and go about your business.

“The most important thing for us players is we know whether we have had a good game, and we know that straight away with what the coaches say and the feedback we get.

“And from the team point of view, it’s how we get better from that, but to have that constantly on you all the time, it’s hard, not just on the players – we know when we have had a bad game – but it’s the effect it has on your family as well.

“It’s mad, what it does – and people think it’s fine. I don’t think they’d ever say it to your face, especially not Alun Wyn, the size of him.

“It is hard and it just seems like people think it is okay to do it, and it does have a bearing.

“It is easy enough when you’re on a keyboard to say what you want. If they were to come into the environment, see the prep we are doing, the lengths we go to not just physically but mentally I would hope they would think differently about what they say and do.”

He continued: “In this job we are always in the shop window, so there is not much we can do about it.

“You can log out, get away from it, it is easy to do that. But sometimes when it is your name the whole time being put through it then it is difficult not to read it. It does filter through.

“Your family reads it, it gets through eventually. You put yourself in the shop window, you expect to have some of it, but when it’s unjust or without any real knowledge or information behind it then it does drain hard.”

When it comes to reacting to the critics, he added: “I do it online sometimes – block people – when all people say is complete crap.

“They tell you “you should never play for Wales” or “here’s your P45 I’ll sort it out” looking for a reaction.

“All it takes is (me responding) a screenshot and it’s taken out of context. Sometimes it’s not worth it.

“The Union are looking after the boys in a great way and try to turn a negative situation into a positive and have a laugh and a joke about it.

“They (trolls) haven’t got a Scooby Doo about what we do Monday to Friday.

“They only see that game on a Saturday where they think they could have done better if they hadn’t blown their knee out when they were 12 – they would have played for Wales, obviously.

“The greatest honour is to play for your country, so to not perform for your country is the biggest upset for us as individuals as we give so much to get here.”

And when asked if he considers deleting his accounts, he replied: “Yeah, I do. The career is such a short time and you have to make as much as you can when you can.

“It sounds weird. It is such a powerful tool, not just for the fan base, but for you as an individual as well.

“Sometimes I do think I will just can it and become a nomad. I have logged out a few times, for like a week or two, and I have really enjoyed it.”