Athletes and Social Media
Athletes and social media can make for a very dangerous combination.
Not everything we think or feel should be broadcast to the world.
According to the Pew Research Center, 94% of teens are online daily.
Of that number, over 71% say they use multiple social media platforms.
These numbers will only increase as our technology advances.
When you are an athlete at the high school, collegiate or professional level, you are under more scrutiny than the average student.
Good or bad, it’s a something all athletes need to remember.
Administrators at every level are trying to be more proactive about athletes and social media use.
Many schools today offer courses or seminars for their athletes to learn how to handle social media.
Here are a few things to consider regarding athletes and social media.
3 Tips for Athletes and Social Media
1. Nothing is private.
Every single thing you post or tweet is public.
It doesn’t matter if you delete it.
Once it’s out there, there’s no getting it back.
Even if you think you are sending a private message you must consider it public.
For instance, let’s say you send a direct message to a friend ripping your high school football coach.
You and that friend have an argument.
The friend then gets upset and shares your direct message to his Twitter followers (including the coach).
If you type it, then you have to own it.
2. If you share it or retweet it, it’s yours.
What about other people’s content?
If you share a disrespectful image or message from someone else, it will be viewed as if you created the image or made the statement yourself.
You own everything that is displayed on your social media accounts.
3. Every piece of content is a direct reflection of you.
Personal branding becomes a big deal for professional athletes.
However, high school and college athletes must be thinking about their personal brand as well.
Coaches everywhere are now monitoring social media.
Most programs have people that spend all their time monitoring and reviewing potential recruits’ social media accounts.
They are tired of social media getting athletes in trouble.
Recruiters will avoid players based on their social media.
Caoches from Penn State, Duke and SMU have actually tweeted about how they “dropped” recruits because of their social media presence.
What you do on social media speaks to your character and your judgement.
Don’t let social media keep you from being recruited. Be smart.
If you wouldn’t show your account to your parents or grandparents, what do you think coaches will think?
How To Post and Share Safely
1. Be positive.
If you are going to post something, keep it positive.
No one, especially a coach, wants a negagtive player on their team.
Your tone on social media will come across clearly.
Keep the negativity to yourself and post the positive.
2. Be supportive.
How can you help others?
Lift someone up. Make someone else’s day better.
Be there for your classmates, friends and teammates.
3. Share news around your sport, school or your teammates.
What’s happening in your sport?
What information can you share that others might find interesting?
People on social media want to be informed.
4. Engage with people you admire.
Today you can interact with nearly anyone through social media.
Who are the athletes and leaders that you look up to?
Follow them and get in on their discussions.
Just be respectuful and contribute to the discussion.
5. Stay out of arguments.
Whether or not they want it, athletes are public figures.
That also means they can be targets.
Athletes have fans but they often have just as many people who want to see them fail.
Don’t get caught up in the negative stuff.
It’s easy to get baited but you need to ignore the negativity.
Never engage in an argument on social media.
It’s always best to walk away.
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