Student Athletes and Twitter

For my blog topic I wanted to talk about social media and student athletes. Mainly, I am going to be focusing on Twitter because it is of the newest social media site that has taken a turn towards popularity in the eyes of many.
So for one, being a student athlete myself, I believe that someone having full access to your account never sounds good. It is like an automatic loss of privacy. The great discussion of this idea however is that if you have something on your account that you do not want some one to see, should you not have put it on there in the first place? Not only is there SOMEONE who is going to see what you wrote, but also, that someone could be an employer, an opposing team, an athletic director, or someone who is out looking to take you down from your success.
To continue with this idea about having things on your profile, newsfeed, or tweets, etc., there are some parts of your life that are not socially acceptable as a student athlete to be recognized. For one thing, we are the representative of our school, our program, and all of those involved in what we do. We are the voices that kids hear and idolize becoming one day. Do you not think it is our job to have the right voice being heard? No kid needs to know what you do on your Saturday night when it involves something like drinking and downtown.

For example, this tweet will remain anonymous, but it states “I dont mind buying drinks for ppl dt..but don’t ASK me to buy you one and don’t ASK for me to buy yo ugly friend one either.”

First of all, the athlete that tweeted this is NOT 21. This means this should not even have been in a situation that the person was in. Secondly, the biggest question is why it is even mentioned on twitter. This site is open to public to view. Also, later on in life when that person is in a situation where they are trying to obtain a job for example, it may become difficult if an employer asks them if they have participated in any illegal activities. It will become nearly impossible to cover your tracks since they are all over the Internet.

Even with just this small example, there are many other reasons why I could justify having student-athletes profiles monitored. Notice, however, that I used the word “monitored.” I did not say that it was appropriate to having their entire profile open to crucifixion by someone in athletes who knew their sign in and password. In personal experience, I think being monitored is a great responsibility to remember. Knowing that someone is watching what you are putting out into the world makes you become more conscious of what you say, how you say it, and in what context it can be construed as.

It may seem like I am against student-athletes using social media. That is untrue. I personally have my own social media profiles and use them on a regular basis. The idea I am trying to push is that social media can be used in constructive ways rather than the example from above.
Successful athletes and successful programs have a big voice that carries over many different types of audiences. This can be very useful if used to help benefit the program, add to promotion and publicity, and help to get awareness out.

For example:

“Dead tired but gotta wake up and take advantage of today! #GoDawgs”
“Thankful for just one more day among the living. Remember that you only get out what u put in.#keeponpushin”
“Come check out the squad tonight at 8:30 in Stegmen Coliseum! Be there or be square!”
“Who loves pancakes! Celebrate MardiGras at the @UGATriDelta Pancake Supper tomorrow 5-8! Friends, fun, & even better…Benefits St.Jude’s!”

These are just a few examples as to why student-athletes can be such a strong force. We are well known in our communities, grounded with the unwavering support of our fans, and surrounded by great causes that we want to show support for. Our voice is loud if we use it in the right direction. We live stressful lives, and do our best to be successful in what we do. We want to make it seem easy, but in reality, like these tweets above say, it is not. We do our best to make it through each day just like anybody else. What we want, however, is to do our best while staying positive, staying motivated, and continuing on the path of the right direction. Student-athletes can lead by example, and should with every ounce of what they are.

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